Having sifted through many intriguing old photos of my dad, I think he definitely took pride in his dark and handsome good looks when he was younger. That side of him was nearly invisible once he became a dad. He worked long hours, outdoors, doing manual labor, so he definitely wasn’t a suit and tie guy. He did always wear dress slacks and shirts, because that was the custom in the era he most associated with. He never owned a pair of jeans.
That’s why it was such a shock to me to see Dad in the nursing home, wearing Scooby Doo pajamas, denim jeans and canvas sneakers!
But Dad was proud of his dark shock of hair. His hair never turned fully gray, and his hair didn’t thin out that much, not until he was quite sick. I’ve probably earned more gray hairs this summer than Dad had until he was 50 or 60!
Mom offered to help Dad preserve his youth, so to speak. Mom had used hair dyes in a box since I was a little girl. I remember the drama surrounding the process. I was not allowed to touch her and she was barely allowed to move, for fear of dripping permanent hair dye onto something in the house. Then Mom would walk out of the bathroom with a new hair color.
I was a bit surprised Dad relented to the faux hair color treatment. Mom worked her “magic” in a bottle and Dad ended up with a beautiful head of shiny black hair. He was a bit self-conscious at first, but he warmed up to if after he received several compliments from people in town. Mom took a photo after onc such hair treatment and titled the image, “Black Beauty.”
I thought of this yesterday as I had my hair done at the local hair salon. I’m not one for vanity either, but there is something special about that momentary transformation when you get your hair styled or colored. Even the average-looking person feels beautiful, at least for that day.