Sunday, September 7, 2008

My Hair's Tortured Past

This post was composed for the 5th Edition of Smile For The Camera ~ A Carnival of Images

Rather than focus on the hair of my ancestors and its various forms from the bob of the 1920s, the "marcelled" look of the 1930s up through the beehive in the 1960s and the use of a "switch" a la Auntie Mame, I've decided to let you all in on the tortured past of my hair, in pictures no less.

My obsession with hair started as a young child, as you can see above, posing with one of my mother's many wigs. Did your mother have a wig or two, perhaps placed on a styrofoam wig head, safely tucked away in a wig box? Or perhaps there was a small case full of switches or hairpieces? My mother used to have a long ponytail that matched her hair color and it would be tucked into her natural hair when going out to a social event. I also remember older women in my family with their bun hairpieces or other sorts.

As are most men in my mother's side of the family, I am blessed with a full head of hair despite my advancing years and the stresses of work, home and life in general. While most men start losing their hair in their 30s, the men in my family tend to go to their graves with shocking amounts of hair on top of their heads. But, as in most pleasures of life, there is a drawback, or a "gotcha:" the hair will turn prematurely gray. I know this for a fact and have seen it in photographs of various family members.

What to do? Well only my hairdresser knows for sure, but in my youth, hair color was my friend. I came of age during the early 1980s with the Punk and New Wave trends in place and with those styles came bizarrely colored hair. I often say that my hair has been so many colors that my dandruff looked like jelly beans and my shadow looked like a stained glass window. You name it, I had it - though I was partial to pink. Shocking pink. [Note: the photos of me with bizarrely colored hair have somehow disappeared and not to be found. Surely, I would share them with you, my dear readers, if only I had access to them. Not.]

When I moved to California, I was soon taken with the Billy Idol look so then peroxide became my new friend. A bottle blond was I and not ashamed of it as you can tell by this photo:

Photo 1: Thomas MacEntee, age 7. Liberty, New York, 1969. Digital image. Privately held by Thomas MacEntee, [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE,] Chicago, Illinois. 2008.

Photo 2: Thomas MacEntee, age 26. San Francisco, California, 1989. Digital image. Privately held by Thomas MacEntee, [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE,] Chicago, Illinois. 2008.


Kathryn Lake Hogan said...

As a Billy Idol fan, I have to say I love the blonde, Thomas. Thanks for sharing your photos, you brave soul!

Sheri Fenley said...

Wow Thomas, we could be twins with the blonde look if only you had a party hat!

Anonymous said...

Billy Idol was never so cute!

Anonymous said...

My husband's jealous! Great pics.

Janet Hovorka said...

So cute--both of them. I really hope you can find the pink ones :)