I want to make sure that I use this knowledge to my advantage.”
It took until about the time that she’d moved back into the apartment with her mom and two brothers, two years, and her head and body were still changing.
She wanted to fit in with the other girls, so she wore an enormous ponytail and some short, thick locks, which she had to pull up or twist so they wouldn’t fall down when she breathed.
After doing so for one- or two-hour stretches, she’d spend three days in the hospital, in and out, until her head was back to normal.
But she didn’t know that at the time.
“Nobody else did hair like I did,” she wrote. “Everyone else did it as ‘normal hair’ — just long. Then everybody else did it as an act of rebellion, like if I couldn’t look as ‘normal’ as everybody else was — then I didn’t look ‘normal.’ You know, it wasn’t like being skinny, or wearing a short skirt, or not being pretty.”
And she didn’t know that when the hair that fell off her ponytail got dirty and wet, or she’d brush it off because her hair was growing long. She didn’t know how that would affect her health.
The day we met, her sister was visiting. Her name used to be Linda, but it wasn’t anymore, so she was called Kelly. She said that after her son was born, Kelly’s mom had changed her last name. She was not Kelly anymore.
But she said it was Kelly who gave her the idea to try making her hair and ponytail look just like flappers so that others wouldn’t worry about her health. They started with just keeping her hair short and thick and then, after about five months, she said, the hair had gotten long enough for her to take a ponytail and put it up. When she turned 22, she was 27 when she got married.
Today, Kelly spends about eight hours a day on the phone with a hair salon in West Palm Beach, Fla., who gives her a new ponytail every time her age changes. She has the hair on top of the ponytail, and sometimes it gets out of shape and just sits and grows a little longer. She says she wants to dye it blonde, and she has made a few wigs out of the hair; she’s hoping that they will work.
Sometimes it looks