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Kicking It with a bad hair day


Last updated 8/26/2021 at 2:13pm

Elizabeth Youngman Westphal

Special to the Village News

This morning started out like every other morning. It’s another bad hair day. As it is, I’m in the transition between hairstyles; consequently, every day is a bad hair day. You know what I’m talkin’ about. Do I hear a big “amen”? The back is getting longer but not the top since I keep hacking at the sides and top to get some lift.

All the same, my hair continues to collect more in my brush than on the top of my head. Plus, it’s getting so thin it feels like each hair must be placed exactly, you know, like the fella with a combover. Like him, I too avoid windy days.

The problem is I cannot find one age-appropriate style for thin grey hair. As a matter of fact, I have not seen one single hair style that I want to copy worn by anybody.

In my younger days, it was easier. We could click on a television program or walk past a newsstand to see the most fashionable hairstyles of the day. Now, Hollywood is of no help because movie stars my age are still trying to appear decades younger.

In days past, there were plenty of women to emulate. All you needed was a wad of bobby pins and we could recreate Marilyn’s soft curls. The other notable lady of the day was Mamie Eisenhower, and that wasn’t any woman’s choice for a do.

All women were transformed by the most copied hair style of the day when Jackie Kennedy stepped her graceful foot into the White House. Her bouffant beehive was copied by every woman over the age of 15 around the world.

Naturally, at that time, we all had to learn to tease our hair to create that perfect bowl. It took cans and cans of Aqua Net to capture it. For those too young to know, that hairstyle could withstand a typhoon.

As an alternative to back combing, some gals copied Twiggy and Mia Farrow with their winsome pixie cuts. Of course, that really required great bone structure. Few of us had it.

Audrey Hepburn always looked sharp, but every time she was photographed, her style changed. Her hair was always character driven and was therefore hard to duplicate for everyday life. Few of us were foreign princesses, models, or paid escorts.

Bo Derek rocked us with her braided cornrows in the 80’s. However, that wasn’t good for the rest of us for a number of reasons. Not only did it require thick hair, a gifted braider, a drop-dead-gorgeous body, a golden tan, it also helped to be youthful. I was twice her age. While still a size 6 then, cornrows wouldn’t have worked professionally. Besides, it looked like they hurt. Didn’t you think Miss Derek seemed to have a pained expression throughout the filming of “10”? I thought so.

Finally, we got some good hair with Tina Turner’s shaggy mane followed by Julia Robert’s long tresses. We loved that! It combined the best of teasing with long, color-treated hair. It was a magical time.

Which faded all too soon when Jennifer Anniston made us consider a straight layered look. But that clever do could only be duplicated at a Rodeo Drive salon.

Meanwhile, across the pond, Victoria Beckham was wearing a one-sided-wedge-cut but again that only worked for young, thin faces. And it didn’t hurt her look to have David Beckham on her arm.

About that same time, Lady Diana was introduced to the world. Let me add, in the beginning, her tabloid pictures were not flattering and other than her extreme youth, absolutely nobody was jealous of her, besides Camilla, of course; therefore, no one copied Lady Di’s frumpy hairstyle. It was not until after her divorce several years later when she blossomed into an international beauty and fashion icon, after losing 165 pounds, also known as the Prince of Wales, the verist bonny-Prince Charles. Still, her hair was styled for her and the rest of us were left in her dust.

The last 30 years have been bleak. Unless one has a resident-hairdresser, lots of hair extensions, a colorist, and a great deal of time, not to mention money, we are pretty much left on our own.

So, you see, I am back where I started this morning. This day is just one of many days to follow. The bad hair days are adding up yet still I hope to find the perfect do. Or I could simply be brave and shave it off.

Elizabeth Youngman-Westphal can be reached at [email protected]


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