Crowning Glory…

 

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To Southern women, our hair is our Crowning Glory…So, it’s a big decision whenever we start to go grey…for redheads or blondes, the decision is not so dramatic- it’s just silver threads among the gold or copper! For brunettes, it can be quite traumatic. Take me for instance…from childhood, my hair was as close to black as you could get and my eyes are this weird shade of green- very light, sort of chartreuse or lizard green…My great aunt Trix- exclaimed regularly…‘Isn’t she unusual?‘ and I never ever thought she meant that in a good way.

When the grey hairs started coming in more regularly than I thought was necessary…a decision had to be made.  Dark hair and dark eyes are a better aging combo than dark hair and light eyeswe start looking washed out. And who wants to look washed out?  That’s tantamount to looking washed up. In the South- looking washed out is almost as scary as that Ptomaine Poisoning our mothers were always telling us we would get if we ate at uninspected places. First, I followed my grandmother’s ancient advice- ‘If you look bad, get a permanent wave.’ I guess I thought if the grey hairs were coiled up tight with the others they wouldn’t be so noticeable- not true.

So amid the unsolicited advice- ‘Get that hair dyed’…and solicited advice from my beauty operator- ‘let’s put a few streaks in it’; I began the transition. I went lighter, had a few streaks put in, I looked like a blonde polecat. Back to the bottle again. When my book was published I was in the frame of mind to look as young as I could. I told the hairdresser to just do it a little lighter than my natural color which was dark brown. Dyed dark brown hair color was a pure vanity decision for the book cover.  Soon, reality sank in, I was dealing with roots. Now, Southerners have an unnatural fascination with our ancestors- our roots…however roots near your scalp isn’t pretty. We may want to know who your people are, but we don’t care whether your string of pearls is real or cultured; nor whether your hair is natural or dyed. The main thing is, Southern girls want to be cultured and real pretty, especially when it comes to our Crowning Glory.

Next- I had a semi-permanent wrench put on it, and I sat for hours with R2D2 foil squares, the pole cat look returned. I started looking in magazines and online, a good many famous people- namely movie stars of a certain age…were going naturally grey. Emmie Lou Harris, Linda Evans, Pierce Brosnan, Jamie Lee Curtis, Helen Mirren, Anderson Cooper, Diane Keaton, Ali MacGraw and who can forget Meryl Streep’s silver locks?

Of course we all know that men get ‘distinguished looking’ with grey hair- I don’t hear those same sentiments about women’s grey hair. To my surprise, there were articles written about ‘grey being the new black’ with stunning examples.

Then, a blogger I truly admire- Vicki Archer, of French Essence-beautifully let her readers know of her decision to go grey. Something clicked when I read her article. I too, was going to go grey. Now, I certainly didn’t want folks to say- ‘well, she’s really let herself go’ or ‘bless her heart she sure has aged’ or ‘she needs to dye that hair’…after all a woman’s hair is her Crowning Glory- it’s biblical. Following the hairdresser’s suggestions, she warned me it would take a long time, I said I was prepared or thought I was. imageA local magazine called and wanted to do a story on my book- I could hardly have a photograph done with ‘roots’ showing! I listened to the ancient voices in my head…‘Once a woman gets a certain age- she can’t wear long stringy hair’…I had a semi-permanent wrench put on and as you can see, I had my hair cut it as short as possible! After over two years…I am finally natural again, I also decided that I missed my hair having a little length to it. When I started blogging the advice was to use a professional photograph, the book cover photograph was the only one I had…but really Darlin’ I need to update-morton tims event 1 004

It’s not a professional photograph and who knows if I will ever figure out how to change it across all media- but I’m going for ‘truth in advertising’.  And I’m gon’ try to keep some color on my face, lipstick on my lips and remember that a smile is the best face-lift. I may be too old to successfully flirt, but can always flatter. I know I’ll never get tired of hearing or telling funny stories. The pearls might not always be real, but you can never have too much culture. No matter what color it is or how it got that way-A woman’s hair truly is her Crowning Glory. For me- Salt and Pepper is the Spice of Life!

Love y’all, Camellia

32 thoughts on “Crowning Glory…

      1. That’s because the gray is all in the back! You know, because I teach all girls, I speak of beauty often. Our culture absolutely does not “get it”. Once you develop the eyes for true beauty – there’s no going back! Keep writing! The world (and young women) need a voice voice to cut through the din. Do you mind if I share this post on Facebook?

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      2. Share it however you like! what a compliment that you would want to…google rihanna- when she went grey it was surprising and beautiful! Vicki Archer’s post in my post is entitled ‘going- going- gone’…I had someone tell me years ago- I did not heed the advice btw- that God knows how to beautiful a woman as she ages…though you still have to work at ‘glowing’ and smiling and doing a little something to yourself…

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    1. Well, you’re adorable just like you are! my mother is 87, she stopped coloring her hair- due to some mobility issues. Her hair, is now the most beautiful shade of platinum! it’s toss up! do what make you feel pretty!

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  1. I love this. I have gray creeping in, especially around my temples and in the back. My husband’s hair….what little he has…is gray. My hair dresser has told me for years not to cover it up, just to let it go gray. Although it’s been a slow process, it seems to have gained some speed the past six months. Interestingly….if I let it go gray as planned, I will have gray hair and my mother will not. Ha! But I think it looks odd when an older woman has a head full of colorful hair and is with her husband who is all gray. So I’m planning on letting nature take it’s course. 🙂

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    1. good for you! your hair will thank you for it! my husband’s hair is light brown which bleaches out in the sun- so when he went grey? barely noticeable…part of my decision is that I have two daughters who are in their 30s…I kept thinking ‘who am I kidding?’ and then there is this- with brunettes, sometimes dark hair color can actually be ‘harsh’ looking…just my opinon…I do have several gorgeous brunette friends who have dark eyes and pull off being brunettes beautifully!

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  2. As a blonde, my hair isn’t turning gray…it’s this rather dirty blonde, brownish color. I actually went to the store hoping to find that beautiful gray…almost white color, and just get it over with. Wasn’t there! Such is life!

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    1. so odd you said this- was just reading about a lady whose blonde hair darkened, she had platinum streaks put in hers! I was told they could get mine to that white color but it meant stripping the whole thing! umhmm what women endure! thanks for sharing!

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  3. interesting! My husband and I plan on travelling in the medium to long term, when he finally retires and the one concern I had was my hair colour! I would not be able to get my hair done so regularly in far away places.
    perhaps I should just let nature do what it does best! After all my mum is 84 and has not yet gone totally grey.

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    1. Actually since we travel more now, the natural color saves time! I am in my 60’s and my hair is salt and pepper, sometimes I wish it would be that pretty all white! A bonus is the money I’m now saving! I bet your mom is beautiful, because you are!

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  4. I’m an East Coaster living in the South. 😉 I have not had to deal with the hair thing…but what I have had to deal with it the toe thing. This was news to me. I honestly don’t think I’ve seen naked (un-polished) toes since moving here! It’s serious business. 🙂

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    1. That’s right darlin’ some of do defy convention, however if you are going to inflict your bare feet on the general public having your toenails painted is a courtesy! Mine are bare right now, and I am ashamed, so I wear closed toed shoes until I can get my toenails painted…with red polish being favored or pale pink…other colors are not as classic ! 😘

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      1. My husbands little old Aunt had been very ill. We went to visit her after she got out of the hospital…and her toes where painted. My husband and I both saw at the same time and shared a secret smile about it. Later we found out that her even older husband painted them for her. ❤ Come on? How sweet it that?
        Personally I don't mind that rule. I like painting my toes. I'm a fan of the crazy colors in the Summer and like you pale pink or red the rest of the year. 🙂

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