Some time has passed since I’ve written about the stillbirth of our daughter. At the time, I wrote some serious and reflective words. And now, I feel the freedom and passion to write some not-as-serious, but kind-of-important words. You might find them insensitive or inappropriate, but I think any woman would appreciate the insight you’ll have in your back pocket after reading this post!
I have thought about this post every day for the past 8 months, because I couldn’t wait to tell you to gently help your friends who experience miscarriage or stillbirth not to color their hair immediately afterward! If she does color her hair, it might only add to her depression.
You see, I dyed my hair right after delivering our baby. And I wish I hadn’t. It turned into a nightmare that wouldn’t end.
My body felt deathly, my hair was falling out, my emotions were out of control, and my heart was broken. One day, I just wanted to feel pretty again, so I thought that high-lighting my hair would give me a little lift, ya know? Well, if I would have expressed my intentions aloud to anyone, I might have gotten some good feedback, like “DON’T DO IT!” but I boldly slathered on the medium blond mix and watched as my hair turned bright, carrot orange.
Then, I tried to correct the carrot, and gasped as my hair turned lime green.
With my thin hair, now orange-and-green-striped, I finally trudged into the salon, where the stylist looked at me with wide-eyes and explained that women should never dye their hair when they have been emotionally or hormonally stressed, because hair reacts in crazy, unpredictable ways. “Oh,” I replied glumly, as she painted on the necessary blue dye to counter-act the orange.
She was able to offer a temporary fix that washed out in a few days. (She refused to use real dye.) Nonetheless, every follicle on my head was already fried.
Not the “pretty” I was going for when I first started out.
My hair continued to fall out for a little while, but, boy-oh-boy, it held onto that red color with all of the determination in the world. Don’t get me wrong, I love red-heads! I’m just not meant to be one of them!
When I became pregnant again, my hair started thickening up and growing back. (Praise be to God! Truly!) So now, I have that little baby-hair bang that surrounds a forehead and never lays quite right. My color is gradually returning to its natural state.
But my heart is holding onto this fervent plea: if you are close enough to a woman who is enduring an emotional or hormonal crisis, figure out some amazing way to encourage her not to spontaneously color her hair. Find ways to tell her that she’s beautiful just the way she is, even as her body ages more rapidly through the stress and strain of life. Pleasant words are healing to the body and soul. A box (or two) of hair dye is not.
* Many thanks to those of you who really did minister countless pleasant words to me during my suffering. I am certain that you upheld me greatly! Who knows what I would have resorted to without you! You should not, in any way, feel responsible for my naivete. Or for my hair!