In my opinion

Ana Veciana-Suarez: A bad hair day is now an old hair day

 

aveciana@MiamiHerald.com

As if I didn’t have enough to worry about.

Now commercials are reminding me of an unalterable fact, one that I like to ignore, usually to my detriment. I’m growing old and so are my various body parts. That includes my hair, especially my hair.

It’s not just turning gray in a peculiarly stubborn way. On, no, that evolution would be too simple. The locks that I’ve mistreated by washing too much, blow-drying too often and slathering with too many chemicals are aging follicle by follicle, down to the very scalp. Once glossy, my hair is now fragile and brittle and dry and unruly and thin. In other words, the hair of a woman well into middle age.

The beauty industry nags me incessantly about this hideous damage, in case I’ve forgotten or gotten distracted by more important matters. In fact, my Sunday paper included samples of L’Oreal’s Paris Advanced Haircare, cute little shampoo and conditioner packages that I used immediately, following the directions as carefully as if I were conducting a science experiment.

“What do you think?” I asked The Hubby, twirling my hair so it rippled just like in the commercials.

“You look great!” he gushed, a real sweetheart.

“Does my hair look younger?” I insisted.

“Was it old before?”

The Hubby looked baffled, so I didn’t press the matter. What’s the point? He has his own bald spot to worry about.

Last week’s freebie was, by no means, my only introduction to the brave, new world of old hair. Ads for anti-aging hair care products are everywhere. Turn on the TV. Rifle through magazines. Stroll the aisles of your neighborhood drugstore. You don’t need your bifocals to spot the displays. Dizzying, the variety. Overwhelming, the options. Products come with an array of euphemistic labels — revitalizer and total repair and damage erasing and youth renewing and age-defying — hinting at destruction but never spelling it plain, O-L-D.

Truth is, until recently, I didn’t realize I was in such need. I had my good hair days and I had my bad hair days, and usually I associated these with the weather. Atrocious hair was chalked up to Miami’s heat and humidity. The chlorine in the pool and the salt in the ocean didn’t help matters either, but I figured that was the price one paid for living in the tropics, by the sea. On those occasions, I pulled my tresses into a ponytail and went on my merry way.

What a fool I’ve been! To think I’ve been parading around with this old, dry mane when I could’ve been revitalizing my scalp twice a day and thickening my hair after every shampoo. Why didn’t someone alert me to these miracle potions before?

Thank goodness that’s all behind me now. These new products whisper a promise I hadn’t expected to keep, and I’ve answered the siren’s call to undo the inevitable, the unavoidable. I’m no slouch when it comes to combating the insidious effects of the calendar.

The new beauty regimen will put a dent in my budget, true, but one shouldn’t put a price on youth, or the semblance of such. Besides, the plastic containers look so pretty next to all my skin care jars.

Follow Ana on Twitter @AnaVeciana.

Read more Ana Veciana Suarez stories from the Miami Herald

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