It's my mom's fault, of course. It's definitely her hair. However, on her, the fluffy unruly hair is snow-white, and conveys a general impression of cute little absent-minded professor - which is undoubtedly enhanced by in fact being a cute little absent-minded professor. On me, it produces a rather different effect, and I just look rather unkempt.
It's been getting progressively wavier as time goes on. My brother's hair has a tight, stiff wave, and my grandmother's is practically curly. I wonder, a little, if mine would look like theirs if I had it that short, or what it's going to be doing in twenty years.
Meanwhile, I think sometimes about playing with the color a little. You'd think I would have learned my lesson back in college, when I learned first that blondes really don't have any more fun, and then that cheap brown dye on top of cheap blonde dye on top of Sun-In yields mottled blue, not my natural color. I did learn from that, though, and I wouldn't do anything that extreme.
Six weeks or so ago, I was in the grocery store with amy_pearlman and we stopped for a long while in the hair dye aisle, as she debated whether to get her usual color or try something different. I looked at all the colors, trying to pick one that not only I liked, but that wouldn't be too obviously fake on me. Then, after I settled on one I liked, I realized that I don't really know what color my hair is. I know it's a lot lighter than I think it is, and my highlights are different than they were when I was younger. I asked Amy to tell me which was my natural color. She looked for a minute, then handed me a box. Same brand, same color family, just one shade darker than the one I'd chosen. I'm taking this as a sign that I should be happy with what I've got.
That color family, incidentally, is ash. It's a good thing that I like ash, because what ash really means is grey. Now, I distinctly remember being told as a child that no one actually had grey hair, and that "grey" hair was a mix of dark and white - the same thing as the salt-and-pepper, just a different place along the transition. (Sort of like the reverse of horses - officially, there is no such thing as a white horse. Unless I have that backwards.) My mom's hair did that, and that was the only grey hair I was really exposed to when I was younger. So, foolish and naive me, I believed it. And, indeed, I have a dozen or so white hairs already. However, I am also greying at the temples. Each individual hair still has color to it, they aren't white like the ones along my part. But the overall effect is definitely a grey (ash) brown, not the darker brown of the hair further back. I suspect the beginnings of this effect are why I remember my hair as darker than it is. At any rate, clearly what I was told as a child was wrong.