Thursday, January 27, 2011

This astounds me

I just came across a statistic on Nancy Kress' blog that blew me away: She says 85 percent of women older than 16 color their hair. And she writes it as an aside, as though it's common knowledge (which it might be to most people but not to me). I did some quick Googling and found stats from about 55 percent to 75 percent, varying by source. In any case, chances are, when you see a random woman walking down the street, her hair color is not natural.

I don't color my hair. It's medium brown, shot with gray. The gray started showing up about four years ago. I left my youthful 20s behind and found my first strand of gray in the span of a week. I've since come to an accord with those annoying, wiry strands that I don't attack them with dye and tweezers as long as they stay mostly hidden in the under-layers of my hair. The agreement seems to work out, for the most part. I might revisit it later on. We'll see.

Bits and pieces:
-- I realized today that six of the seven girls in my daughter's preschool class have names starting with "a": Alexandra, Abigail, Alea, Alyssa, Amelia, Anne Marie. I wonder whether that's a trend in girl's names. (The seventh girl, for those who might be wondering, is named Kylie.)

-- There will be a long, interesting essay by Carlton Cuse (co-creator of "Lost") in this Sunday's New York Times. I had the privilege of reading it this evening through the news-wires system at work. It's about burnout and rediscovering your creativity, which is relevant to anyone in a creative pursuit.

-- About two days ago, I got it into my head to read Daniel Keyes' classic science-fiction tale "Flowers for Algernon." Amazing story. The next night, I was reading Calvin & Hobbes cartoons to my son at bedtime, and the storyline involved Calvin making himself smarter (with a construct made of a colander and some string) so he can write a report for school, but the smartness wears off before he puts pen to paper. Sounds familiar.


Anonymous said...

Calvin and Hobbes is full of allusions to philosophic experiments and speculative fiction. That's part of what makes it great.

The rest of my comments are thoughts on hair dyeing.

A young friend of mine naturally has what I think of as "mermaid hair"--curly, platinum blond with orange and green highlights--and is frequently asked about how she creates the look. She handles the almost daily questions from strangers with an excellent sense of humor, but they do frustrate her at times.

People have assumed that I dye my hair, and I'm a mid-twenties brunette. One of my younger cousins could justify their assumption, as she does dye her hair brown (from red).

I no longer assume the hair colors on any adult female are natural. I have seen remarkable natural coloring--e.g., copper and gold tips on curly black hair or my sister's former face-framing blond streaks in light brown hair. Unfortunately, most of the compliments I've given women on their hair were followed up with a comment on their last dye job.

Jennifer Campbell-Hicks said...

Hi Ann. I suppose the percentage surprised me because hair-dying is something I don't participate in or pay much attention to. I do see women with obviously colored hair. One of my co-workers' hair changes color every few weeks. I see the occassional woman with blue tips, green highlights or gray roots. But when I see a woman with naturally colored hair, my assumption is that the color is natural. Silly me.