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            Ripening Fruitfully

                   The yuk and the yum of aging hair.

It was at that moment that Merlinda knew for sure, there was definitely something wrong with her mirror. She'd been suspecting it for quite some time, but sometimes things can sneak up on you, little by little, until all of a sudden, wham!, the milk's gone sour, Harold the cat's a smelly old fuzzball and your ever-faithful
bathroom mirror is no longer capable of producing accurate reflections.

So off to the hardware store she marched, and into her bathroom floated a gleaming new, golden framed, highly amazing, miracle of a mirror. She preened, fluffed and readied herself. joyous in anticipation. At precisely eleven o'clock, Merlinda walked into the bathroom and flipped on the light. For more than an hour she stood and stared, taking in the disturbing truth: they just don't make mirrors like they used to.

Wouldn't it be great to live in one of those cultures where the older you get, the more revered you are? Where the closer your boobs get to your belly button, the more respect you enjoy? Where you just can't wait to get big, floppy ears and wrinkles deep enough to hide an armadillo? Until that fine day arrives for us, here are some ways to find harmony with our aging — at least the hair part.

The changes hair goes through as we ripen can sometimes be frustrating. For some of us it feels like it's been reduced to a wilted, dried out, hay-like substance birds want. For others, more like the perfect material for scrubbing dishes. Typically though, “seasoned” locks are losing moisture and oils, and hence, elasticity. Good quality shampoo and conditioner, that's what we need. Some people think one shampoo is as good as another. I shall restrain myself from launching into a rant that will feel good for only one of us and offer this: there is a big difference. I have seen very significant changes in hair when the switch to very good quality shampoo was made; not always, but often. The same goes for conditioner. My current favorites are Purelogy, Alterna Caviar and Aveda.

Whether your hair is becoming coarser and more wiry, or finer and limper, colouring your hair can also help, if your stylist uses quality colour and knows how to work with it. Colour can soften coarse grey hair, giving it more flexibility and shine, while fine hair can gain volume. But the very tools that can bring gifts can also bring garbage. Poor quality colour and poor application can make thing worse, rather than better.

Some of us will notice that some of the haircuts we used to enjoy just don't do what they're supposed to anymore. The hair has changed and is now of a somewhat different type, and as we know, only certain hair cuts work on certain hair types. This can be frustrating, but it's much easier to switch to a haircut that works for what's sitting atop your lovely head right now than fighting it. And priorities change. Who wants to spend the morning in the bathroom with a blow dryer when you could be out walking Mr. Woofles? Quick, easy to do hairstyles require a very good quality haircut that perfectly suits your present hair type. It doesn't do you much good if you have a haircut that your stylist expects you to spend twenty minutes styling, if that's not the reality of your life.

"Once we accept our limitations, we go beyond them"  Albert Einstein

I've noticed that with some clients, anywhere well into middle age, the hair thins out a little. This can be unsettling, to say the least. In almost all cases though, all will be well. What seems to happen is the hair goes to a new “set point", then usually stays there, as if to say, “Okay, I'm good again, just had to do that, carry on.” But as always, it's an individual thing. By the time we get so ripe that a shark wouldn't give us more than a glance, some still have more hair than ten of the rest of us put together. And it's quite possible they're doing it just to annoy those less fortunate. Well, bless them, if it isn't beady little eyes, it's a nose that could hide a squirrel, everybody's got something they'd like to trade in. (look for an upcoming newsletter on thinning hair and how to moderate it's annoying activities).

Hair will always fare better with better fare. Fresh, healthy food, mineral supplements, good quality oils; everything the rest of your sweet body loves to eat, your hair does too. There are certain foods that are particularly good for hair, find out what those are for your unique body and go eat them. Then look for another upcoming newsletter on this subject.
I don't think hair is any more thrilled about getting older than are eyelids and toes, but I'm pretty sure it won't complain too much if it just gets a little TLC. Be kind to it; let it lounge for an hour or three in a bath of the finest conditioner; tell it bedtime stories about amazing haircuts it'll one day enjoy; promise you'll listen from now on when it politely asks you to lay off the round brush for a day, and place it lovingly in the hands of a hairstylist who truly understands. With a life like that, who wouldn't do their very best to make you look lovely?  

There's one more thing. Of all the methods ever devised for dealing with aging, hair or otherwise, here, without a doubt, is the most effective I've ever come across:

Find a nice little area of your bathroom mirror and, at least twice a day, go kiss it.

Jay Lamb is a Calgary hairstylist with over 30 years experience, a visual artist, and a budding writer. For more information on Jay's hair salon in the Marda Loop area, please visit:     

403 281 1704

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Solace in Umber. Glass and Acrylic. Approx. 55 by 30 inches. $2200.00
An Evening With Khamsin. Glass and Acrylic. Approx. 55 by 30 inches. $2200.00
Infusions of Nootaikok.  Glass and Acrylic. Approx. 55 by 30 inches. Sold.
Copyright 2015 Jay Lamb, All rights reserved.

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Jay Roma Lamb Art · 34 Lissington Dr. SW · Calgary, Ab T3E5E1 · Canada

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