Thursday, October 2, 2008

Bad Hair Day

My Dad calls me Witch. Not because I'm crabby or less than average-looking. My nickname has been Witch since I was about seven years old, when my hair grew to unmanageable lengths.

I hid behind my hair. No matter how much my mother brushed, braided or sprayed, within minutes it would look like it had been through a combine. I let it fly free in the wind as I rode my bike, climbed trees or crawled under the porch.

Once in a fit of impatience Mom took the scissors to my bangs, right up to my hairline. I was furious. I yelled at her and hid in my room. I couldn't stand the fact that now everyone could see my unibrow, but that's another story.

Even today my hair takes on a mind of its own. I plead, beg, cajole and sometimes wrestle it into submission. I have to cover the grey every two weeks because I refuse to give in to the misguided theory that silver tresses are elegant. Maybe in a few years, but not now.

When my hair finally behaves, it makes my whole day better.

Hair determines our mood, our outlook on life, our self-esteem. Hairstyles and lengths pinpoint a particular decade like the long hair of the seventies and the mullets of the eighties. People judge other people by their hair. Your hair may determine whether you get that big promotion or are doomed to linger in the copy room.

In novels, there seems to be a lot of emphasis on hair. Heroines have long, flowing tresses and the ultimate hero has close-cropped, curly black locks, perhaps with a touch of distinguished grey at the temples. Damn men, they can have grey hair but we can't...

But I digress.

How much do you notice hair or write about hair in the novels you read or write? Do the main characters have long hair or short? Red, brunette or steely grey? Is there too much hair? Do we realistically depict hair on our heroes and heroines?

In the world of Happily Ever After, does everyone have a good hair day?