Turkish women and their hair: A visit to the guzelik salonu


This is me no more - I am going back to silver, much to the chagrin of Safiye Rakkas, the vainglorious dancing girl and Kenne, the Queen of Manners and Maintenance of Ladylike Behavior.  The little chorus of dancing girls are in Switzerland and Karagöz is dancing a jig at my (for Turkey) oppositional move.

This is me no more – I am going back to silver, much to the chagrin of Safiye Rakkas, the vainglorious dancing girl and Kenne, the Queen of Manners and Maintenance of Ladylike Behavior. The little chorus of dancing girls are in Switzerland and Karagöz is dancing a jig at my (for Turkey) oppositional move.

We Karagöz puppets take over while m’lady rest. She a right mess! Don’t tell her we say. We sneak jumpy jumpy iPhone toy, find her drafts from summer. She too perfectionist. We hit “publish” while she sleep, We blame Karagöz trickster – it work every time!

————
Today, our beloved dog went for a visit to the canine guzelik salonu for a nail trim – he won’t let us get anywhere near them.

And it made me think – it’s been a while since I have made my own visit to a human guzelik salonu, a.k.a. beauty salon.

That’s because I am growing out my silver hair, as the most empowered women I know refer to it. No more hair dye. Just me as is.

Safiye Rakkase, the vainglorious dancing girl puppet sniffs and turns her head in an exaggerated angle as she haughtily exits the house. Kenne, much to her horror, stands, straightens her crisp, linen apron, and follows her out the door.

As the Queen of Manners and Maintenance of Ladylike Behavior, Kenne is somewhat mortified to actually *agree* with a dancing girl, of all things, but “principles,” she pronounces with perfect diction and a balanced dictionary on her head, “are principles.”

It wasn’t always this way, you know, the dying of my locks. Aside from a teenaged dalliance with the infamous manic panic dyes in all shades of the rainbow, it has been me and my early silver strands.

And then I went to Istanbul with M.

And his family was horrified.

Just.

Horrified.

It would not be an exaggeration to say that they turned their heads back and forth, up and down, much like my dog trying to sniff a mouse out of a hole, wondering what on earth that grey hair was doing on my head.

“In Turkey, Liz,” they would say in succinct and serious sentences, “we dye our hair.”

I heard this refrain over, and over again each day. I even heard it from M.’s elderly aunt, who herself is silver-headed. Go figure. Sometimes there was a variation along the lines of “you are too young to let your hair go.” No stranger to bucking tradition when it came to my hair, I paid it no heed during that first year’s visit, nor the second, but the third, that’s when I broke down. Not that I broke down on the idea of moving away from my silver gilding, if you will, but rather I got so sick of the familial protest that I let them have their way with my hair.

$300 later, I walked out of the snooty salon with my sister-in-law, raven haired once more. Five years on, I have done endless battle with the hairdressers in the States – begging to grow out my silver – and each time being convinced that a non-permanent dye would “blend it in.” Although there are plenty of silver-haired foxettes out there, it seems the hairdressers just can’t get the idea that we WANT our silver.

Thankfully, Billie Jean, my hair savior right here in Provincetown, “got” me right away, and I am back on the path to grey – with all of those layers of dyed locks shorn in favor of what one friend called “middle-aged short.” We’ll see how this goes down in Turkey, but for now, Karagöz is dancing his oppositional dance, and Hacivad Bey is smiling too.

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This entry was posted in A Karagöz puppet battle, Family Challenges, Gendered moments, Visits from the Karagöz puppets and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Turkish women and their hair: A visit to the guzelik salonu

  1. Jack Scott says:

    There is a kuaför on every Bodrum corner, each one chock-a-block with Turkish ladies getting the full service. The drains ran red with hair dye!

  2. E. says:

    LOL on the drains running red with hair dye. There is something about that particular red hue amongst so many women of a certain age in Türkiye!

  3. E. says:

    …one more thing…M. Just read this, giggle-snorted & re-committed to his hatred of hair dye. “Finally,” he says, “your pretty silver hair is coming back!” an outlier.

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