Well there’s no undoing today, I did it. I’ve removed all my permed hair. How do I feel? Liberated, nervous, happy, sad; I’m a mixed bag of emotions. But what’s new. The night before I decided to mold my hair one last time and it wasn’t happening. The new growth was too thick for the permed hair to lay flat. This confirmed that it was time to let it go. There was also no point in continuing to waste good hair care products on hair I didn’t want. I went into the shop with my bangs combed out for the last time. With my perms my beautician, Dorthea Jones, always cut my hair after the wash, set, and dry. Today she cut it first. Dorthea has a texturizer in her hair and she asked if I wanted that. I said no, I’m committing to one year of no chemicals, not even dye as I’m looking forward to turning gray.

After washing and conditioning it Dorthea applied Dudley Curl Gel and styling foam. I asked if I should sit under the drawer and she said no, let it dry natural. In less than two hours I was out the door to share with Cincinnati the new me. My first stop was to my friend Carolyn Wallace who lives just around the corner from the shop. The curl gel constantly ran down my face and back of neck. I must have gone through 3 paper towels sopping up the run off. I’m glad Dorthea didn’t push me to buy it. It felt sticky, so I’ll look forward to trying Pattern Beauty’s equivalent products.

I decided to mark this milestone occasion with a professional head shot, including professionally applied make up. Crystal Grace, owner of Grit and Grace, referred me to a young make up artist Keliyah Blackmon. My request was to look natural and hide the dark circles. Given her subject matter, she did a good job. Clearly I look better with make up, but I just can’t stand the feel of it on my face. If I could find a brand that would allow me to get close to this look with three or fewer products and it didn’t easily wipe off I’d buy it. Between the gel running and the heat outside I felt like a was melting.

From her shop I stopped at my aunt’s to share the new me with her and my cousin before heading to Perfect Exposure Photography Studio. I met the owner, Pete Coleman, when he became a member of the Cincinnati CVB. He did my cousin Alex’s senior photos. I truly feel like I am the most un-photogenic person in the world. My last head shot was in 2005 as required by the Cincinnati CVB. I went to Dorthea early in morning before work, she did my make up, and I went straight to the photographer. It was my first professional picture since my senior high school picture. I liked it so much I actually had prints made and gave it out as Christmas gifts that year. I ordered two 8x10s of Pete’s photo and will give one to my father. The other I will display at my house, covering over the two previous.

Seeing these three images next to each other blows my mind. Time truly stands for no one. Thanks to all the work on my house, I’m about 20 lbs lighter today than I was in 2005 and it really shows in my face. Do I have any regrets. None whatsoever. I think I look awesome. The shape of my head is perfect for a natural, short style, if I must say so myself. I like my hairline. Even without makeup I don’t think I look masculine and I did manage to get through this entire first day without one “can I help you sir”. My vision for how I want to wear my hair is changing. I’m really feeling this short hair. Time to do some earring shopping and maybe, just maybe I’ll let someone teach me how to apply make up and start wearing it in public more often.

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