This may seem like an odd topic for me. After all, I don’t do fashion and style posts. But hair is something that can make a huge difference to people and I’m no different.
I’m not talking so much about my own hair styles. I have noticed that hair styles can make a HUGE difference in a person’s appearance – even if you change nothing else about their style. I’ve noticed that, personally, the length of my hair can occasionally create a different mood for myself.
I’m also not talking about the historical changes that hair styles have undergone. After all, when you’ve lived through the 60′ to 80’s, you’ve seen a whole lot of hair style changes, not all for the better.
Okay, don’t get impatient. I’m done telling you what I won’t be talking about. I just didn’t want people to be disappointed at the end if they were looking for style tips.
I do want to talk about two things. First, I want to discuss an aversion to hair that I have. Second, I want to discuss having a visceral reaction to facial hair. I know, you’re baffled. Hang on – all will be cleared up.
So – first things first. My hair aversion. It isn’t that I dislike hair on folks’ heads. It’s great. Mine is thinning and I don’t like that – it’s genetic unfortunately. Not much I can do about that (we’ll see how much spam that statement gets me, eh?). Bald men can be quite sexy. I like facial hair too, though part two will qualify that statement.
What I can’t take is loose hair. Hair collected in the shower. Hair that is left in the hair brush. Hair that is on clothing or furniture or anywhere other than attached to someone’s head where it belongs. Human hair, not pet hair.
When I see hair like that, it makes me gag if I don’t consciously control that urge. After you stop laughing, I’ll continue . . . . . . . Okay now?
Most folks have aversions that make more sense, I’ll grant you that. Bugs. Blood. But hair? That was my reaction too. I could not understand what that was about. I didn’t let my reactions to hair get out of hand – I cleaned what I had to. Now my husband, who was more understanding of this than I expected, cleans the shower drain and plucks loose hairs off my shirt before I notice them.
I had been truly puzzled by this aversion until I had one of Oprah’s famous “aha moments.” I was looking at some photos of myself as an infant and toddler, being held by my mother. And it was suddenly so obvious.
Here’s a photo of my mother the day she married my dad. She still looked the same when I was born within a year of that day.
Didn’t she have beautiful hair? I think so.
But then I imagined it from a different perspective. I looked at it from the perspective of an infant being held on mom’s shoulder. We’ve all done it with our children, to soothe or burp them. Well, I imagined what it would have been like for me, with my face in all that beautiful hair. I’d have felt like I was drowning in hair. If I was crying, I may have breathed in the hair as I drew in the heavy breaths between wails. If I was sleepy, I may have felt smothered by the hair surrounding my face.
No wonder I’ve always hated having my own hair in my face, regardless of its length. No wonder that seeing clumps of hair make me gag. It makes perfect sense. It’s all a matter of perspective.
Mind you, it hasn’t made the aversion go away. But it has made it more manageable. Understanding is the key. But guys with lots of body hair – historically a turn-off (albeit understandably) to me – nope. Can’t get past it. Hairy men need not apply.
Speaking of hairy men leads me to the second topic – facial hair. In spite of my aversion to all that loose hair, I have always found facial hair on men very attractive. A well-trimmed mustache and beard – very sexy. It could be that my dad and grandfathers all had mustaches. Who know? But I like it.
When I met my first husband, he had a 10-day growth of beard – scruffy but it grew fast, so before too long it was a beard and mustache. Sadly, for reasons that are better discussed in another post, I was the one who had to tell him when they needed to be trimmed and I had to do it for him. Still, I liked the look, so I took on the job. Several years after we divorced, he shaved it all off. Maybe no one to tend it for him – I don’t know. I saw him at church one Sunday and thought to myself, “Oh look, someone new to the parish.” Then my daughter asked me how I thought her dad looked without his beard. I had not recognized him – not a clue! And we had been together, between engagement and marriage, over 16 years. I’d have never been attracted to him the way he looked now, without the facial hair. Astounding!
When I married my second husband, he was clean-shaven. He looked just fine that way. But he knew I liked facial hair, so after a number of years, he decided to grow a mustache at least and see what with a beard. I liked the idea.
But one day, as he was kissing me, the picky hairs of the new mustache caused what I can only term a “flashback.” I was kissing my second husband when my first husband’s face flashed into my mind as a result of the sensory stimulation of being prickled by the mustache. Let me tell you, it was a real mood killer!! I pulled away. My husband was hurt until I explained. The next thing I knew, he was shaving. Smart man.
I love the smooth feeling of my husband after he shaves. I still like the look of facial hair – on a man – but I like the feeling of smooth skin. Go figure.
So I guess I have a different kind of thing about hair than most women. Most women worry about their own hair – is the style current, is it a bad hair day, etc..
I worry about other people’s hair – and I prefer that they keep it to themselves and away from me. (Yes, I’m laughing at myself as I write.)