I’m going to say this out loud: I am very uncomfortable that my hair has thinned as I’ve gotten older.
I’m nervous to say it, really. You might judge me for it. You might laugh. You might point fingers in my direction and say, “She’s the one who used to have great, thick hair that everybody envied – ha ha! Now it’s thin!”
Well, you probably don’t care that much. It’s the path we all walk, feeling self-conscious about things that no one else can see. It’s silly. The way our western world has taught us to be so superficial and surface-focused, rather than emphasizing what is inside, the personality, the talent, the smarts, the heart as the REAL person.
Because that’s the truth. Except it’s hard to know one thing and live in a superficial world. Women walk down the runway and pose on magazine covers with flawless skin and perky breasts and full, full gorgeous hair without a shred of gray. Shouldn’t I look like that? Because I once did.
And the truth is that as we age, our bodies shift and change. That’s life. That’s what happens over time. Everything changes. Except the beauty and thinness and perfection we once took for granted – hell, probably didn’t even notice until it was gone.
I’m 42 and my hair is thin. Some days, you can see my scalp. Or at least I can. I hate it. I wish I had the same hair I had in my 20s.
So what am I going to do about it?
Not sure yet. I’m on the fence between the surface world and not giving a shit about outside appearances.
I could pay big bucks for hair transplant surgery and hope it takes and that it leads me to feel good about how I look. I learned I could do some scalp tint thing, like makeup on my scalp to make it look like my hair is fuller than it is.
Or I could just accept myself for the way I am right now. Love myself, even, knowing that regardless of what my hair looks like, I am the same person with depth and heart and passion that I’ve always been.
Ironically, when I was Orthodox and trying to embrace covering my hair, that was exactly the lines I was fed. The notion was that modesty rules in religious circles exist to focus people on what really counts – the person on the inside, not on the outside.
Religious Jewish women grow up knowing that for most of their lives, their hair will be persona non grata in their
world and that the face they’ll show the public will be framed by a wig or a hat or a snood or a scarf. They’re OK with it because it’s what they know. There’s just no other way.
Perhaps it truly would be freeing to lift that expectation for perfection right at the start, and accept that there are greater things to focus on. More important parts of ourselves.