REDHEAD AGING NATURALLY UPDATE
Periodically as a redhead I have shared my philosophy here endorsing aging naturally. This is only my experience and point of view that may not be shared by all redheads. What aging naturally means to me is that I avoid most concoctions said to create an eternal youthful appearance, substances that temporarily disguise actual aging facial effects, cosmetic surgical procedures, most so-called beauty products, coloring my hair.
Most specifically I've been especially interested in what naturally happens to my hair color as I age. I have a curl my mother saved from a haircut when I was very young preschool age. My naturally curly red hair was a very definite but light red color. My hair became slightly but more intensely red as I grew older into my teens, twenties and thirties. I was always quite proud of the golden red shade of my hair, a perspective that was repeatedly reinforced by the many compliments I received from others, sometimes perfect strangers.
Entering my fourth decade I again styled my hair in a short cut. When cut off I did retain the pony tail of hair I had grown the previous less-than-ten-years during the time after we moved. During that time when I had stopped working I unexpectedly became pregnant. My hair color had slightly darkened but unquestionably still would be seen as red by everyone.
My older brother had red hair, too, though neither of our parents did. My father's hair may have had a reddish glint in certain light, but he would not have been considered a redhead. I don't recall seeing any other redheaded relatives on either side of my family including grandparents. Both of my brother's children had red hair as their mother also had sufficient red hair in her darker locks to be considered somewhat of a redhead. This is interesting only as confirmation of what genetics has learned about who acquires red hair.
By the time I was in my thirties I was married with two children when the decade ended. My red hair which had always quickly became oily requiring frequent shampooing became less so. We had moved to a dry climate from one where humidity was more prevalent. Also, I had birthed two children during those years with expected hormonal changes.. I've always wondered how much either or both of those factors contributed to my hair changes, or was this simply the aging process?
My blond-haired older husband had very little hair left when I met him years earlier, but he had a red beard when allowed to grow. Our oldest child had red hair a different shade from my own. The younger child was a blond who also grew a red beard when he became older. My daughter's child is not a redhead since her father's dark hair color has dominated. My son's son is what has been characterized as a strawberry blond much like his mother's hair color.
When my fourth decade ended my red hair had become darker and I noticed what I have described as a few silver threads among the gold. These years for me had become distressful, harried ones with many life pressures. I have speculated this contributed or maybe even caused what I considered to be why silver/grey hairs invaded my coiffure, but maybe that was just all part of the aging process, too.
The next decade or two my life stressors altered and some new ones emerged. My red hair color continued to darken but also gained an increasing number of silver threads. Eventually, I could no longer best describe my red hair as having silver threads among the gold. Now, I described my red hair as having a few gold threads among the silver.
The darkened red of my hair began to take on a brown color during my seventh decade to a degree that most people no longer perceived me as being a redhead. Some even expressed skeptical surprise when I told them I was a natural redhead. The silver threads continued to appear in greater numbers as I also began losing more hair with every shampoo and brushing. Quite possibly hormonal changes may have been an issue for the continuing hair loss but that has been an unresolved matter.
Now in my eighth decade as I've allowed my thinning hair to grow from my longtime shorter hair style ever since I retired from work at age 79, the dominant silver threads are quite obviously white. Six inches or so of the darkened brownish red hair exist only in the curls of my lock's ends. I find less hair in my brush each time I use it and hope that my once very thick hair thins little more. Never had I anticipated hair loss would become an issue for me given the thick locks I'd always had.
Reports of genetic studies explanations of how red hair develops in less than 2% of the world population appear to be confirmed by the development of red hair in my family, except I can't verify a history of red hair in either maternal or paternal grandparents. There must have been some recessive genes there that didn't manifest themselves in those person's actual hair color, or maybe some had red hair when they were young and I never knew.
I'm always interested in what scientific studies reveal about redheads. One such conclusion has centered on finding the level of pain tolerance higher for red heads. I had thought my pain tolerance was high before I ever knew about the studies. Should a redheaded woman ever need to have anesthesia, I think knowing redheads possible heightened pain tolerance is important for doctors to be aware of when considering the amount of medication to be administered.
Redheads have also been said to have volatile tempers. I have never believed that for me and still don't based on my emotional life all these years.
Genetic studies also reportedly concluded redheads never get grey hair, that the hair only becomes white with aging. My hair is becoming white now but my experience when my hair first began losing it red color did go through a grey-appearing transition before reaching this white state. My hairdresser spoke of my having grey hairs during those early years.
I haven't attempted to describe all that is being learned genetically and otherwise about redheads but am always interested in new research findings.
HUMMINGBIRD NESTLINGS UPDATE
Those two baby hummingbirds mentioned in earlier posts continuing to grow at an amazing rate will likely fledge 'ere long. Moderator on that site reports to watch for fledgling behavior beginning this coming week Tuesday the 20th.
I've been intrigued by a couple matters I've observed on occasional visits via the live stream. One, is noticing the rapid growth of the beak each day from barely present visually at hatching to increasing length, compared to what is needed to feed as an adult The other surprising matter to me was that the hummingbird nest is stretchable. I could actually see the nest being expanded as the mother and at other times the nestlings pressed against the sides enlarging the space as they became larger.
EARTH DAY this week -- Thursday the 22nd !