Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Mourning My Bangs

Fewer than two years ago, while debating what my head and hair would look like after I married Mr. T and entered my second marriage, I asked the question: Goodbye Bangs? And now, well, I've finally committed to saying goodbye.

I've written a lot on hair and head covering over the years. It's a central component to living life as a religious Jewish woman (not to mention a host of other religious and trendy lifestyles), so of course it comes up.
Nearly six months ago I purchased my first synthetic wig online. It was a short, dark bob, and it was cute, but not the right style. Then I found a long, flowing synthetic wig on Amazon for a mere $16 and purchased it. Crazy long, I cut some of the length and was in love with the look (always paired with a knit hat because, it being synthetic and cheap, the crown looked weird without the hat). I wore the cheap wig for about a month for Shabbat and various functions before it got ratted and knotty. I washed it according to the best instructions on YouTube but it, well, it died. At $16 a pop, I purchased another one for a few annual events and a Purim trip to the UK, but, well, that died after about two wears. 

So for now, I say goodbye to synthetic wigs. I've love a real wig to wear to special events, weddings, and for the occasional Shabbat where I just want to feel va-va-voom and beautiful, but let's be honest, there's no way I'll be able to afford a wig in this lifetime, and I'm okay with that. Because I love scarves, also known as tichles or mitpachot. I love the variety, the act of wrapping, the beauty of accessorizing with something so simple. 

While in the UK, having forgot my volumizer (that poof I wear on my head under my scarves to make it look like I have masses of beautiful locks underneath), I basically lived for 10 days in knit, winter hats. The upside? I didn't scream "I'm a Jew! Look at me!" The downside? I didn't wear any scarves, I felt frumpy, and I slowly realized that my bangs, the bangs that I've had my entire life (I joke that I came out of the womb with bangs), got frizzy and gross and unmanageable. 

Now, they've been on the outs for a while. While pregnant with Ash my hair got really full and luscious. It was wonderful. Then he was born and I've basically spent the past 15 months watching my hair thin, fall out, and deteriorate. All the treatments, conditioners, and love in the world hasn't helped. 

I'm mourning my hair. But in a way I never thought I would. Covering came easy to me. I've always loved covering my hair. It shows that I'm married, that I'm Jewish, that I'm proud. It's an outward mitzvah that makes me feel like I'm doing something for all of Am Yisrael. I'm going my part in my little corner of the world, the best I can. But I never thought I'd cover all of it, every last strand. It was never part of the plan. 

So here I am. Sans bangs. Turning another corner in hair covering with an open mind and a bit of hesitance. 

I suppose the one major upside is that I don't have to think about that tefach (hand's breath allowed showing) anymore. Also? I can finally do all of those fun styles I never could before with bangs. I'm going to view this as a new beginning rather than a loss. 

Forehead, say hello to the world for the first time in 30 some years.