Now, I come from a family of lovely, shapley, dark-eyed women. They all were kind, outgoing, and sweet.
The women had ‘everything’ it took to locate a life-mate, get married, and get ahead in their career; the women in our family were smart and they were envied by others, and sought out by ‘men on the prowl’.
Their long, dark hair, flowing down their shoulders, was a sight to be seen, and was taken care of by my family’s women with joy and love.
Well – as often happens to us ladies – these women were terrific beauties when they were young…but as these ladies began to approach their 60s, things began to change.
Their once shapely figures, turned into something that looked more like the “Stay-Puff” Marshmallow man, complete with the gaining of much weight.
But that wasn’t the worst of it! The worst thing that could happen to a woman, happened to these women.
As they grew older, their lovely dark hair first became “salt and pepper” speckled, and then as salt overcame the pepper, their once-lovely hair began to fall out!
Every morning, the brush was left full of hair that had come off their heads.
The ladies visited their physicians, natural healers, rabbis, priests, and Old Granny Grace who lived at the crossroads, all with the hope of receiving some medicine, some special prayer, or some potion to rub onto the offensive balding that was stealing away their hair.
None of it seemed to help, as the hair had continued to fall out, leaving several thin areas with actual bald spots showing up on their scalps.
As I stated earlier, I am blessed (or cursed) to come from this line of women.
In my youth I was blessed with the luscious thick hair that I described earlier – and like the rest of the women in my family, as I got a little older, my hair also started falling out.
No one seemed to know what to do and nothing that was suggested to help seemed to do me any good.
A hairdresser suggested I buy a bottle of dark brown “color flakes”, which was then sprinkled into the balding scalp, and gently worked onto the skin.
I found that this was probably the best method that I had tried – the thinning hair was effectively camouflaged with the color flakes.
Proud of having found some sort of solution to disguise the loss of my hair, I went out to town once with the color-dyed scalp.
I thought I looked pretty good, and all was well…until it started to rain, and then to pour!
No, I didn’t have an umbrella, and after getting my hair and head quite wet, I ducked into a little restaurant to dry out.
I had only been standing there for a moment when I noticed that everyone was staring at me.
“What?” I asked myself, then I glanced over to look at my reflection in the mirror that the restaurant had displayed over the bar.
Those dark brown hair flakes that I had poured onto my head and rubbed into my scalp had, in the rain, changed to a dark-brown-soup and had began to drip down my head, face, ears and neck.
My beauty secret was officially revealed – as were my balding spots!
This has all led me to think, the color flakes are a good idea…but only if it is not raining; only then.
After that misadventure, I continued thinking about my poor balding head, and what I could do about fixing it.
Along with my hair genetics, it seems as though I was also blessed with a “if you can’t fix it, live with it with your head held high” mindset – so I was preparing to just adjust to the truth about my balding scalp – when I heard a television interview about Dolly Parton, and her beautiful head of thick blonde curls.
She told the television reporter that she wears wigs all the time when touring, and when performing!
I thought to myself, “Why didn’t I think of that?”
“If wigs are good enough for Dolly, they are certainly good enough for me!”
I have to admit, I am looking better than ever in my new ‘hair’ (even if the new hair-do does itch).
(Shut up and strut!)
Patricia Ann Hinson Mordes has been a Jackson County resident since 1968. She graduated from Chipola Junior College in Marianna in 1978 with a bachelor’s in social work. She attended grad school at Florida A&M, grauduating with a Master’s in education. She worked for the State of Florida for 20 years. In addition to writing, “Tricia” – as she is often called – enjoys studying genealogy and “laughing.”