The Story Behind the Story

What’s THE WISDOM OF HAIR And Where Did It Come From?

 It’s a very simple observation, one that you innately know, but when the idea is verbalized, you’re amazed at how brilliant it is. I’m not saying I’m brilliant, although my Mom would disagree, what I am saying is people, particularly women believe if they can change, they can change their lives.

Growing up, I remember seeing women come into my mom’s little beauty shop, dog tired, some just happy to be there, some with all kinds of problems. My mom listened to them and made them beautiful. There were a lot of elderly women who didn’t drive in our town and she’d lock up the shop and go pick them up so they could have their hair done. Most of those homebound women were so lonely. They were grateful to get out of the house, to be around a bunch of women to talk, gossip a little, laugh a lot. I don’t care what anybody says about the outside of a woman not making a difference, I saw it then and I see it in today in my friends and in myself.

There’s a scene in the book that’s a culmination of what I learned hanging out at my mom’s salon. It’s about a woman from the wrong side of the tracks who married the town’s golden boy, whom she loves, but his family hates her.  Zora, the protagonist, closes the chapter with this:

“At first, it puzzled me as to why Ellie Jeffords was forever trying to change the way she looked.  But after awhile, I realized she believed that if she looked different, her world might just be different, that somehow in all of that she would find happiness.  I know that sounds crazy, but since I realized this about Ellie, I’ve seen it in other women who come to my station and look in that big mirror the same way.  They want something different, a change.  They want to be happy.”