It’s the one part of our physical appearance we get to choose. Eye color, skin color, face shape, height — all of those are determined for us, but our hair. Our hair.
That is all ours.
The length, how we cut it, how we style it, the color(s) we choose for it to be. If we fix it, or if we let it go free.
It carries social connotations, religious symbolism and historic meaning. We as women bond over it; dyeing, cutting and styling it are reasons for us to gather in each other’s homes and beauty shops to share the stories of our lives. With it, we get to choose the way others perceive us; how we control it (or not) tells the world something about who we are.
Curly, straight, kinky, wavy. Long, shoulder-length, pixie-cut, faux hawk. Natural, dyed, braided, dreaded: no one has hair exactly like you.
Let’s embrace our hair, look in the mirror and call it beautiful.
Let this Southeast Missouri woman inspire you.
What do you love about your hair?
I love my hair because it’s like an old friend that’s been with me through all the stages of my life — childhood, teenage years, adulthood. It’s easy to care for, and the length makes it unique. I like to do my own thing and don’t worry about following trends. Also, I’m a firm believer in living a healthy lifestyle, and I like to think my hair is a reflection of that.
What is maintenance for your hair like?
Maintenance for my hair couldn’t be easier! Just wash, air dry and go! I limit the washing to every three days; more often is too drying, and it’s good for hair to accumulate the natural oils. I don’t blow dry, straighten, curl or color it — all too damaging. I had two perms back in the heyday of “big hair ‘80s,” but that’s the only processing I’ve ever done. I have the ends trimmed two to three times per year.
People always stop me and ask what I use on my hair. I don’t use anything special, just shampoo and conditioner. I always tell people it’s not what I put on my hair but what I put in me that counts. One of my favorite mantras is, “You are what you eat.” If you eat healthy, not only your hair but your overall health will reflect that. I drink milk and lots of water, and I eat a lot of fruits and vegetables. I stay away from processed and boxed foods, rarely drink soda and try to limit sugar and bread. I cook from scratch and eat whole foods. Also, exercise is important. When asked, I especially enjoy educating teens about how eating and living healthy is your best defense against cosmetic damage and just good for your overall health, both physical and mental.
How long have you been growing your hair for?
I have been growing my hair all my life. The last time I had a major cut was in the second grade. My mother was a dear, but I guess after raising eight of my siblings before me decided it was too much to care for and cut it to my chin. I cried and hated it. It’s been long ever since. People probably won’t recognize me if I ever cut it; it’s my identifiable trait.
What is the strangest question you’ve been asked about your hair?
I do get a lot of comments and questions about my hair from strangers. My husband and children tell me people stare, point, take pictures and look in disbelief. Most of the time, I have no idea all this goes on behind my back. I get some strange questions sometimes like, “Is it real?” “Can I touch it?” “How do you go to the bathroom with that?” or “What do you do with it at night?” My favorite is when little children say, “Wow, she has big hair!” That makes me laugh. Or when they tell me I’m like Rapunzel.
Where is your favorite place in Southeast Missouri?
My favorite place in Southeast Missouri is our home and farm. It’s an 80-acre Century Farm that has been in my father’s family for more than 100 years. My husband and I purchased it in 2003, and we have raised our son and two daughters there. We are all quite proud to carry on that legacy.
What are you interested in?
My interests are natural health, music, reading, antiquing, flower gardening, exercising and making a lovely home for my family.
Tell us about something you’ve done that you’re proud of.
My family is my pride and joy.
What is beauty?
To me, beauty is much more than what the eye can see. I like a compliment as much as anyone, but as I’ve always told my children, real beauty comes from within. It’s being comfortable with who you are and staying true to yourself. It’s being kind, having concern for others and working for the common good. It’s knowing how to appreciate the simple things in life and being grateful. And it’s definitely believing in the power of God and prayer.
Location: Ebb & Flow Fermentations in Cape Girardeau
Clothes: Brickwood Boutique in Cape Girardeau