Change Your Hair. Change Your Life.

Surprised sexy housewife


Growing up in a tiny one stop light town, I don’t think I was fully aware that the women came into my mom’s beauty shop to change their lives. If I did, it didn’t click until years later, and by years, I really mean decades (OUCH!) Subconsciously, I saw this desire for change in myself, but it really came to light as Zora Adams, the protagonist of The Wisdom of Hair, told me her story (yes, I really do hear voices) and also when my editor asked me what exactly “the wisdom of hair” was. By the grace of God, and with a few “uhs” and “you knows,” the words just spilled out. WOMEN CHANGE THIER HAIR TO CHANGE THEIR LIVES.

The Wisdom of Hair by Kim Boykin (Low Resolution)

The release date of THE WISDOM OF HAIR is just 2 months away, so for the next 60 days this blog will be devoted to women, and men if they’ll keep the smirking and eye rolling to a minimum, who knowingly or unknowingly have changed their hair, or, as we like to say down South, “fixed” their hair to fix their life. AND the amazing hair warriors who answer the call everyday to make life beautiful for their caped clients.

So, tell me your hair story. Share the secret with the world. Say the the words out loud, making your intentions known and the act itself even more powerful.

“I changed my hair because __________” Fill in the blank. Tell us when you did it and why.  We want to hear about the small change (or for you really brave souls, drastic ones) you made in your hair. How did that change in your hair translate into a change in yourself?

And HAIR WARRIORS, tell us YOUR stories. Tell us the moment you realized you had the power to change lives. Tell us about saving clients from  drastic  mistakes and those poor souls who couldn’t be saved because they didn’t trust YOUR hair wisdom. For the next 60 days, this blog is dedicated to YOU! Just click HERE and dash off a note or give me your phone number and we’ll chat. Whether you tell your story anonymously or scream it to the world in great big shouty letters, THE WISDOM OF HAIR is infinite! Pass it on!




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About Kim Boykin

Kim Boykin learned about women and their hair in her mother’s beauty shop in a tiny South Carolina town. She loves to write stories about strong Southern women, because that’s what she knows. Kim is an accomplished public speaker and serves on the board of the South Carolina Writer’s Workshop. She lives in Charlotte, North Carolina, with her husband, three dogs, and 126 rose bushes.
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  1. Back in the 70’s when the Twiggy figure and spaghetti straight hair were all the rage, I had neither. My mane was naturally curly or – as my mom described it – ‘Tiny Tim hair. You remember him, the ukulele-player tip-toeing through the tulips? So change #1 was straightening the curls with curl relaxers, ironing, and huge rollers. In all my high school pictures my tresses are crimp-free. Change #2 came when I ‘grew up’ in college and let the curls run their wild ways. Still do. Now the color . . . well, that’s a secret only Teresa knows 🙂

  2. I’ve wished for straight hair (as a teen) and then I wished for less gray and more brown (in my 40s) but now I’m just grateful for my big messy head of salt and pepper, more salt than pepper these days. Over the years, many friends have told me I should color it, but I never did. I tell them I started to go gray at 23 and this is just the way my hair is. I’m grateful for its thickness, its body, its willingness to look good long or short with no styling. I know it makes me look older than I am, and I don’t care. I’ll take distinguished over bald, any day! <3

  3. I was a blonde for years…born a tow head, matured to a strawberry/beige, then graduated to frosted hair. But there was always a persistent copperish color that was visible no matter what we did. I had a serious medical issue when I was 38 years old…one I almost didn’t live through. The minute I was well enough to see my hairdresser, I had him mix up a batch of good old red….”make a miss sassy-pants,” I told him. I’m still a red-head today, thanks to modern chemicals and genealogy (my father, grandmother, aunts, cousins all have or had red hair).

  4. My hair is thick and wavy (it became curly like a perm all on its own about age 17!) and I always felt so frustrated with it. When I was a child, my mom cut my hair at home, and when it grew out, it swagged over my shoulders like Cocker Spaniel ears, and my bangs flipped outward like water buffalo horns. But at age 14, a classmate suggested I get a perm, or dye my hair, or straighten it, or something, and I didn’t like the idea of drastically changing it. I realized if I wouldn’t change it, then I’d better learn to like it as it was, and we’ve been on much better terms ever since!

    Later in life, I discovered that for some reason, cutting all my hair off released me from all sorts of emotional or psychological connection to a particular man, whichever one was the most significant at the time. I had hair to the middle of my back at the end of my senior year of high school, and one day I went and got it all chopped off to a bob. Surprisingly, that made it easier for me to move out of my parents’ house (I had a very difficult time with my father [which is now, years later, everything I could have wanted, so the story ends well!]). A few years later, I was having a hard time getting over my first-ever love, and dreamt he was cutting my hair. I went the next day and had my mid-back-length hair cut to a bob, and voila – no more frustrating romantic attachment to this guy (we’re still good friends).

    I told my husband these things, and now he gets a little worried when I feel the need to get a bob…. But we’ve weathered two bobs so far! 🙂

  5. Becky Steele says:

    As a small child growing up my Grandma would come visit and set each of us girls on the trash can in the yard and give us all pixie hair cuts. She was a hairdresser and owned her beauty shop in Virginia for years. Once I got old enough to voice my opinion, I let it grow. I remember the times when my sister and I would iron our hair. Then, came the big orange juice cans..We would actually sleep with these cans in our hair at night. Over the years I let me hair get very long. As I started to age I thought I needed it to be a little shorter so I went and had little by little cut. My husband would call the girl up before I went to my appointment to tell her not to cut much off.. He always loved my hair long. However, as I write I am struggling with the idea of doing something different with my hair. Maybe a little highlight is in order.

  6. Congratulations on your forthcoming book, Kim! Some might think I did the opposite – I “unfixed” my hair when I stopped coloring it at the age of 40. I found the change to be very freeing, and believe it or not, I had a very supportive stylist who helped me through the transition! And in his own words: “If we didn’t know each other and we were at a party full of blondes and brunettes, I would cross the room to talk to you – because you’d look like the most interesting person at the party.”
    The stubborn roots at my part line that used to embarrass and betray me every three weeks are now my favorite – a silver, signature streak in my otherwise dark hair. Sure, I got strange looks when my hair was half-natural, half-oxidized dye during the 14 months it took to grow it out completely, but every day I knew I was getting closer to what I wanted to achieve. And in the back of my head, I knew I had a CHOICE. If I didn’t like the way it looked, I could always go back to coloring. I had nothing to lose by giving it a try and letting my silver freak flag fly!
    Since then, I’ve met similar-minded gals from all over the country, participated in a group “gray” photo shoot in the middle of Times Square, and have been interviewed on CBS morning news about my decision to go gray. I know my “fix” isn’t for everyone, and some might think I didn’t change anything at all, but I think my hair is wiser for it!
    Thanks for allowing me to share.

    • Kim Boykin says:

      Well, said, but I suspect it wasn’t the hair that prompted the comment. It’s you’re eyes that would draw him to you, lots of fire there, something hair color or length or style can’t duplicate. AND you can write. You got the gift, lady! Work it!
      PS I have a Pinterist page with gorgeous grays (, my personal favorite, Richard Gere. Sigh.

      • Aw, thanks for the kind words, Kim. LOVE the Pinterest page – gorgeous is right! The last pic, I believe, is of Yasmina Rossi – truly timeless and an inspiration! And Gere is quite the Silver Fox, rawr!

  7. Sandra Novelly says:

    I always wanted long, straight hair when I was a teen but I had long, wavy hair. When I was a kid it looked great in a pony tail or in pigtails. My Mom had it cut and then permed and ruined it. I once tried a perm again when I was older and it was OK until it began to grow out; it grew out straighter on top and turned into a bush on the bottom. I had it cut short, tried to grow it out when I was older, and gave up when it began to thin. No Minny Mouse Ears for me! It is now short again, but still gets wavy. BTW, Kim, I LOVE Richard Gere. What a sexy guy!

  8. For me, it was merely an episode of extreme fatigue and laziness. Growing up, I was always a tad obsessive-compulsive about my hair. I couldn’t stand for it to be even slightly out of place. So I always got it cut just so, and combed it just so. But one day I was running late, so I just left my hair the mess it was in after I showered. I have never gotten so many complements on my hair, all from women. I learned that day that it’s important to cut loose; nobody likes people who are up-tight.

    The corollary, as I learned some years later when my hair had gotten too long and disheveled, is that people assume ability based on visible self-discipline, so it’s important not to let yourself go too far in the opposite direction. As in all aspects of life, balance is everything.

    My favorite complement, on a somewhat unrelated note, came from a girl in my first period class: “WOW! Your hair looks great! Did you get it cut? It looks longer!” Bless her heart.

Your comments welcomed!