The Wisdom of Hair

Barbara Vey -- March 18th, 2013
Kim Boykin

Kim Boykin

Today’s guest blogger won this spot with a winning bid in the Brenda Novak Auction for Diabetes, Kim Boykin. Kim loves to write fiction stories about strong Southern women, because that’s what she knows.  She 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.

Be sure to check out her book, The Wisdom of Hair.

The Wisdom of Hir

When was the last time you made a drastic change in your hair? Why did you do it? Was it just a whim? Or was there a catalyst like a milestone birthday, a breakup, a new job?

Growing up in a tiny town in South Carolina, I don’t think I was fully aware that women came into my mom’s beauty shop to change their lives, but that’s exactly what happened. Even if it was just for a few hours, they dropped their cares on the doorstep and entered a safe place where they could say anything they wanted, knowing my mom would love them up AND give them a fabulous hairstyle. So when they left, even if it was just for a few hours or forever, they really had changed their hair and change their lives.

That’s a reoccurring theme in my debut novel The Wisdom of Hair (Berkley Books,) the story of Zora Adams, a young woman who finds her calling in beauty school, has a secret romance with the wrong guy, but finds her HEA with the help of a wonderful community quirky women. I didn’t intentionally plant the idea, but it is true.

We have a big job interview? We clamor for a new do. A bad breakup? Off with our hair! And when things are good, really good, subconsciously changing our hair seems like bad juju. There are times the changes we make in our hair work and times they don’t, but the fact is sometimes,our hair is the ONLY thing in our lives that we can control.

I’ll be honest with you, I hadn’t cut my hair since I sold the book. Don’t get me wrong, I’d trimmed it and colored the heck out of it, but things were going so great , I wasn’t looking for a change. But then about five months ago, my world got rocked in a terrifying and horrible way I can’t talk about without hurting someone dear to me. Before that, I’d been so adamant about keeping my hair the way it was, but I found myself looking at this young woman’s haircut and thinking, I’d really like that cut. And bangs.  AGAIN.  Would it have altered my circumstances? Crickett, my hairstylist, said an emphatic, NO and saved me from myself.

And she was right. Hair stylists listen to us, what we want in our hair and in our lives, our hopes our dreams, our greatest fears. My best advice to anyone contemplating a big change, a new do? Trust the force. Trust  the people who fix our hair and change our lives. Trust in the wisdom of hair.


Kim has gracious offered to give away 2 of her books today.  One to a lucky commenter and one for the commenter’s hair stylist!

Bottom Line:  I have an urge to run to the closest salon and get a consultaion.

30 thoughts on “The Wisdom of Hair

  1. Brenda Novak

    I’m getting my hair done today! LOL I’m making an event of it and taking my daughter. One of my best friends (a man named Henry) has done my hair for years. He’s one of the best listeners ever and always has plenty of advice, too.

    1. Rolynn Anderson

      Your hair always looks great, Brenda. Congrats to Kim on this debut novel…sounds like a great read and a premise we women can understand. I tend to ‘stick’ with my haircutters for years…27 for one, now about 10 years for another. Kim is right…our hair people know a whole lot about us! Good luck on your book.

      A shout out to Barbara Vey…heard your words of wisdom at the Santa Ana Conference. Brilliant advice to writers about readers. Many Thanks! Rolynn Anderson

  2. joysann

    There’s no doubt about it, that that one’s hairstyle is influenced by life… Or is it the other way around, one’s life is influenced by hair? Personally, while I too have seen the same hairdresser for years, I find that women who NEVER change their hair seem stuck in a rut that colors their personality. I think your book, Kim, sounds really good, and I’m looking forward to reading it.

  3. Dawn Chartier

    Hi Kim,

    I wrote a hair stylist character in one of my books that will never see the light of day, but I had a great time interviewing my hair dresser. He shared some wonderful stories of his career that I’ll never forget. Maybe one day I’ll rewrite the story…

    Congrats on your book and winning the blog spot.


  4. Missy Taylor

    I might be a bit off. I usually change my hair when things are good. If I’m not in a happy place then I don’t want to mess up my hair. And I’ve only had two bad experiences with hairdos both years ago but they were horrific. The worse was a perm where he literally burned my hair off to the scalp in a few places (one being the very front top of my hair and it’s still a bit thinner their than the rest), he also had my hair frizz I mean lukewarm curls the top and bottom of my hair and the middle was straight. It was horrible. Young and lacking confidence I didn’t stand up for myself and actually paid the jerk who had to know that wasn’t an acceptable hair do. But I digress from my point. Since then I do not go for change when I’m down. Facing a horror like that one when I’m already down is not something I want to tackle so I now only do my drastic changes when life is good. My current hairdresser never leds me down the wrong and won’t let me take the wrong path. She was a friend while we were still teenagers and when she went to beauty school I was her guinea pig so we’ve developed some trust there. Thankfully she won’t let me do bad things to my hair and I love her for it.

  5. Barbara Vey Post author

    I am so do for a cut and color, but my favorite stylist started her own place and I have no idea where she is. I always take books in for the stylists and customers and we talk about our favorite books. My hair looks amazing when I come out. Win-Win for everyone!! :)

  6. Mary Buckham

    Kim ~ Love the premise of your book because so many women GET IT right away. I once had a hairdo from a new hairstylist that made me come home and literally put a sack on my head! I’d been turned into a Farah Fawcett meets Rocky Horror Story. And if a stylist moves or changes careers it can be very traumatic (just ask hubby ). Congratulations on your book and on winning the blog in the Brenda Novak auction!!


  7. Kim Boykin

    “I went to hair cutter place yesterday with my son. The lady who signed in before us had written “mental health” under the column “services required”. Made me think of your book.”

  8. Amy Moore

    I am a stylist and I myself am going through a life change and feel like I need to change my hair. My problem is that I feel like I will be cheating on my stylist, who is also my mom, by going to someone else outside of the salon I work in. My attitude has changed and I am becoming someone that does for myself first and to heck with what everyone thinks I should be or do. I am also dealing with not being able to drop weight even with diet and feel like a new style might lift my spirits a little. Anyway, a new style always makes a person feel better and more confident! I am looking forward to reading your book, I will be adding it to my Good Reads, to read shelf :-)

    1. Kim Boykin

      WOW! Two generations of hair warriors! Do you work at the same salon? Either way, I bet y’all have some stories to tell :-) You’re right, changing your hair is unbelieveably powerful and sometimes results in changing your life!

  9. Amy Cook

    My hair grows fast…my wallet can’t always keep up with the amount of trims I need to keep it short, so I let it go. Until, I CAN’T stand it and run to get it cut. I come out feeling like a million $$, 10 pounds lighter and full of sass. I don’t even mind the few times it gets cut too short, it grows back so fast, it just feel so clean and crisp when it’s cut.

    However, I color my hair if I need a change, THAT makes me feel empowered and in control. Changing the color to a bold red or a summer blond or a cool brunette totally jazzes me and makes me feel different inside. A cut doesn’t do that, at all. I usually follow the seasons, spring and summer blonder, fall redder and winter brown. Too fun!

  10. Renee C.

    I’ve never actually had my hair done professionally before but this book looks so adorable. I’ve never been brave enough to try anything new or different with my hair but maybe someday. :-)

  11. Jan Terry

    My favorite times in a salon have been when I go with a girlfriend or two or more. I really enjoy getting services done and talking and laughing. I’m thinking of special occasions, like before a wedding, or one recent time when a friend won at a casino and invited a bunch of friends to a spa day with all services paid for. It was at a beauty school instead of a regular salon, but we all had so much fun!

  12. Kym Lucas

    I’ve never been a huge hair style fanatic, opting instead for most of my life to just keep it long and thus easy to care for. That changed after I went through chemo, and my hair came back curled like a poodle’s. I’ve always had wavy hair, but now I looked like a dandelion! It was imperative that I find a stylist who could handle such rampant curls. Fortunately, I was able to do so. Now, my hair continues to be slightly out of control at most times and completely insane at others — when I sleep in a funny position, I end up looking like Don King. Still, although I do complain about it (just ask my daughter), I try to remember my new life philosphy: Happy to be here. Happy to have hair. :-)

  13. Diana Belchase

    Kim’s book is wonderful! As far as hair, I was always happiest when it was short and I cut it myself. But, now that it’s long, I just have to keep reminding myself, no matter what happens, it will grow out again. LOL. Congratulations on the debut. Lovely post.


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