Today my hair has horns

Hello, I have missed this blogging activity, generally using the excuse that I have no time what with pursuing my degree and all, but it occurs to me that if I have time to play Sugar Smash, I have…

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Today my hair has horns


I have missed this blogging activity, generally using the excuse that I have no time what with pursuing my degree and all, but it occurs to me that if I have time to play Sugar Smash, I have time for this.

After completing the transition to gray hair, which I’ve documented, I decided to go from shorty-short to longish. It was a pretty grueling process, because growing out a pixie cut is not for sissies. There are long periods of just awful. In those dark times, I was glad that I work from home (ish) because very few people had to bear witness to the mop on my head, but later it was pretty OK, i.e.,

2014-10-27 18.10.36

This is actually pretty cute. and I liked it for a while.

Then there was this:

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This shit needed desperately to be cut; it wanted to be a mullet, and the mullet must be avoided at all costs. Amazingly enough, it was 3 months before I actually did anything about this mess. But when I did, it became this.


2015-09-14 13.01.23

This was really quite good for a long time (I actually ended up going 9 months without a haircut after this one. I literally cannot remember a time in my life before this cut that my hair was all 1 length.

But then I hit the wall that I hit when my hair is too long. It breaks a lot because it’s too skinny to support it’s own weight (weakling hair), and to keep it off my face, I just end up pulling it back into a ponytail all the time. Which is both boring and not a great look for me. This is what it looked like on Sunday, the last day it was longish (shoulder length is quite long for me).


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The before

Yes, I snapchatted it. I was having a decent hair day and I knew it was coming off. Later that day, I snapped this picture.

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The after

Much better. The hair anyway; my lipstick game needs work.

I’ve made this trip from longish or sometimes medium length hair to super short several times, and I honestly cannot remember the number of times I’ve asked a stylist to give me Demi Moore’s hair from Ghost (it’s a big number), but there are a few things that I have to relearn every single time I make this kind of cut.

  1. For the first week, I will automatically squeeze out about 4 times as much shampoo and 8 times as much conditioner as I need. Then I will stand in the shower for a moment, looking at too much product in my hand, mentally kicking myself.
  2. Bending over and wrapping a big towel around my head turban style is just silly.
  3. The more product I use to make this hair length more fun (and I use a lot of products), the more epic the bed head I will have the next morning.
  4. If I don’t apply a little bit of at least finger combing when it’s wet, no amount of product will prevent the horns from forming. Today I have horns that are coated in spray, wax, and whatever else I could find. The horns do not care; they are sticking out proudly.

In other news, I am now 4 courses away from a Bachelor of Science Degree in Health Informatics from Western Governors University-Washington. It’s going to take me 2-1/2 years to go from transfer credits for precisely 2 classes to full-blown college graduate. I pretty quickly realized once I started that I had missed being in a learning environment, and this program let me work at my own pace, so I basically smashed my way through the first 18 months. The last couple of terms are slower going, but that’s mostly my choice. The upper division classes have more new-to-me information, so the reading is not something I can skip and feel OK about, so I’ve slowed down to absorb more.

Next up after the BS: First taking the RHIA (Registered Health Information Administrator) exam. Then I’m 98% sure that I’ll be pursuing an MBA in Healthcare Management also at WGU. I wasn’t sure about a graduate degree at first, but it feels like a good idea and a good fit.

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Change is Hard

Going gray was totally not enough to change my life (surprise, surprise). After 4 interviews, no new job, and general unhappiness with my situation, I knew it was time for a more drastic change. Still gray, but now checking another of the “things I want to do in this life” box. As of July 1, I have reentered the life of a student, and I will get my degree this time. I’m getting a BS in Health Informatics (and I know that plenty of people have no idea what that is; it’s an IT degree with a healthcare focus) via Western Governors University. I am very excited about this, and did enough research to know I made the right choice for my school. The school’s tagline says it all: Online. Accelerated. Affordable. Accredited.  My program comes with several IT certifications, and 6 weeks into my first 6-month term, I have completed 2 of the 4 classes to meet the minimum for the term. At this rate, I can graduate in 2-1/2 years and that is starting with transfer credits for a grand total of 2 classes; I am essentially doing the entire program start to finish, and I am kicking ass.

On the other hand, I’m still not happy in my current job, and I’m looking for a new one, but I’m looking at other transcription jobs for the time being. We’ll see how that goes. I know that in the long run, the degree will help me get out of the house, and maybe I can get out of the house before I actually graduate, but my current situation is untenable in the long run, so clearly I have to do something.

And I’ve achieved nothing in terms of weight loss. That’s the thing I’m probably most unhappy about. Oddly enough, if I actually try and not just pay lip service to the notion, it’s the one thing I can do something about the most quickly. I still hate tracking food, which makes me bitter and resentful, but I did get a FitBit (and I was using a smart phone pedometer app for a bit before that, but it wasn’t accurate enough), and I’m so hyper-competitive that it’s making me move more. I even have the Wii controllers recharging now (which hasn’t been done for months) so that I can make use of that and not have it be a $200 dust collector anymore.

Finally, I will be blogging with my friend, Lindsay (she’s made of awesome) about our Knit Along which is taking place while she is in Japan and I am here. We’re at Yarn Over An Ocean if you’re interested. So far, there’s 1 post, but more will come.

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First trim and thoughts on how to transition


At this point, it’s been 12 weeks and 3 days since my big chop and getting rid of all the dye. Today’s picture is a before and after collage of my first trim since that cut. If you look at my last picture, the one taken in October, you’ll see that I had a good amount of growth. I didn’t get much taken off this time; in fact, nothing above the middle of my ear, but my bangs are pushed to the side which makes them look shorter. I’m experimenting with letting it grow for a while and seeing if the curly, wavy hair that I had as a kid comes back. I’m granola-crunchy enough that I really do like the look of long, curly gray hair, as long as it’s well maintained.

I’ve been giving the matter some thought, and I really do think that it’s better to go short than to keep the hair long and transition slowly. I know there’s a school of thought that a pixie cut is aging, but that’s a stupid school, and I’m not buying into their program. Long roots are far more aging, IMO. I’m definitely in the cut it short and get it done camp. Looking back, I almost wish I had just gone ahead and gotten a buzz cut back in August (she says with all the swagger of a woman who did not shave her head). I’m sure it wouldn’t have hurt me in the job interviews that I had in September and October any more than my very clear half-and-half hair did.

I think that half-and-half can look like “I don’t give a shit about my appearance,” far more than fun, funky short gray hair does. I may be turning 50 (much) later this year, but age is just a number. I still care about my appearance (hence my disdain for half-and-half hair), and I have certainly not given up on myself (another thing I hear about naturally gray hair).

So, in conclusion, long curly gray: Good. Roots that are more than a couple of inches long: Bad.

But that’s just my opinion.

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Slackers unite!

I’ve totally been a slacker on this blog lately. Must remedy that. Back soon. Promise.

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No More Dye (17 weeks)

No More Dye (17 weeks)

Final haircut after the decision made not to dye. This is 17 weeks, so less than half the length of a full-term pregnancy since the last time I dyed my hair. It feels great to be free of the every 6-week cycle of cut and color and the constant worry every time an event comes up as to where in the root/dye continuum I would be.

Meanwhile, in other matters, I’ve had a grand total of 2 job interviews and 0 offers, but I’m dealing with that disappointment, moving on, and filling out more applications. I even worked out today. It might be nuts to view it in these terms, but with having the last dye out of my hair finally, it feels like now is a really good time to get on with the other changes that I want to make.

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About 14 weeks’ post the last dye

About 14 weeks' post the last dye.

My most recent hair picture, plus I’m learning to wear lipstick. Exciting times.

Also, I’ve had a job interview (for a job I really want), received a rejection letter (for the first job I interviewed for and would have taken but probably wouldn’t have loved), and my son (whom I like to refer to as That Boy) has left for Army basic training.

Seriously, exciting times.

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As promised, a selfie


This is the after picture from my most recent haircut. I went quite a bit shorter, and I now anticipate my hair being 100% dye free at my next cut on October 28.

I took some minor crap on Facebook for the fact that I’m not smiling in this picture, but I almost never smile for the camera. It’s not that I’m mad or sad (although I do have bitchy resting face); I just don’t like the way I represent on (virtual) film when I smile. IRL, though, I’m generally pretty damn cheerful.

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Ten Weeks

That’s how long it’s been since I last dyed my hair. I’m off to the salon shortly to get some more of the dyed portion cut off (it’s been 4 weeks since I made the decision not to dye any more and got the first big hair cut, and also since I started this blog).

As I get further and further into the journey, I’m noticing two things. One is that I’m not alone. It’s like when you get new car and suddenly you see your new car everywhere (I drive a Nissan Cube; it’s still a rarity to see those out and about, although I am seeing more now than when I got my car 16 months ago). I am seeing a lot of women who seem to have stopped dying and growing out their natural gay hair.

The other thing I see is a lot of bad dye jobs. Don’t misunderstand me, I don’t have a problem with dying your hair for whatever reason, it’s just that the more I look, the more I can tell a home dye job because the color is so flat and lifeless. I also see a lot of women my age or older who are still clinging valiantly to the deep, dark shades of our youth, and frequently it’s just not flattering anymore. Our skin naturally fades as we age, and most of us have wised up and started wearing sunscreen, so we are, of course, paler. With these paler complexions, the dark color of our youths only serves to age us; the exact opposite of what most of us want.

This is pre-hair cut, a selfie with my 10-week skunk stripe. I’ll add an after selfie after today’s cut.


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Color my world

No, not the Chicago song, although I do love it (because I am of an age where it’s a classic to me). This post is about changing my wardrobe to match the new hair. I have found this can be a controversial notion. From what I’ve seen, particularly in discussions on the knitting site Ravelry, there is a sizable percentage of women (and probably men, too, but that’s not the point) who dress themselves only in colors that they like or that make them happy with absolutely no regard for how those colors make them look.

Personally, I love bright orange and many shades of yellow; they’re such happy colors. Tragically, I have no yellow undertones in my skin, and those colors, at least if worn next to my face, make me look awful. Ditto with most colors with appellations like dusty, heathered, tweedy, or country. The dulling of bright colors by adding beige or gray undertones is quite simply not flattering to me. If you go by seasonal terms, I’m a winter. I can wear pure white next to my face, and it looks good. I can wear really deep purples, blues, and greens (which is handy because I love those colors, too). Red can be tricky for me; a true red or a red that’s more to the purple/blue side of the spectrum can look great, but more orange/yellow reds don’t flatter me. With the natural hair color of my youth (as opposed to the natural color of now), I could wear pastel tones of the basic colors that look good on me. These days, pastels make me look washed out, and I practically disappear.

Now, if I were an introvert, I might dress in pastels and shades of beige, greige (gross) and mousy brown, but that’s really not me. Which means, that I’m going through my closets lately and this time, instead of just tossing clothes that don’t fit or are from a different decade, I’m tossing pastels, off-whites, and most earth tones (not that there are a lot of those).

If you’re wondering what your season might be, Color Me Beautiful, and Pretty Your World have quizzes. Color Me Beautiful is more established and has 4 seasons, which can be limiting. Pretty Your World believes we have 12 seasons and that even though I’m basically a Winter, I can wear some Autumn colors, which kind of explains why really deep chocolate brown and olive drab (like my Air Force fatigues which were very flattering on me) are colors that I can wear even though they’re not typical winter colors.

If you’d rather wear colors that make you happy, that’s cool, but for me, looking the best I can in what I’m wearing makes me happier than looking at my shirt all day. Which is why sometimes you might catch me wearing yellow or orange socks with my deep purple T-shirt.

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