I’m taking a different tack than I usually do for this week’s column – and it is still about Saying YES to you. This time you’ll be saying YES to your head and other parts of your body. Your body counts too. It is the wonderful vehicle we have to travel in and it pays for us to take care of it.

You’ve probably heard that it’s not only fashionable to wear a great hat – it’s also a wise choice to make. I’m putting this our as a reminder because lately, even when we’re entering a season of direct sun overhead, I’m seeing many people walking in the street or taking their daily run in very bright sunlight without any head covering. By saying YES to your head you’re saying yes to YOU.

I’ve learned that it takes a very short time for us to absorb the healthy amount of Vitamin D we need i.e., a little sun goes a long way. The UVA rays can cause damage and skin cancer. The UVB rays are also dangerous. Thankfully, The most dangerous UVC rays I learned are, for the most part, blocked by the Ozone Layer and never reach Earth.  I think humans are fortunate to have discovered the need for and created hats. I believe that in addition to becoming a fashion, they’ve helped many people live longer and healthier lives than they would have otherwise. Our planet is gorgeous and a wonderful place to be and, that said, I believe it’s still in creation and it’s not – and will probably never be, perfect. Thankfully we were given intelligence.  We can create things that make it an even lovelier place for us to live. If you have children (20 years old and younger) please see to it that they protect their bodies from the sun. Skin cancer can begin developing at a very young age and in some case, will only become evident later on.

Head coverings began in ancient times.  Many say that it was to cover their heads before a lord they couldn’t see. I have a feeling they began, as most national and religious customs originated, to alleviate physical concerns. Most of the traditions had origins that came from human needs. For example, I’m quite sure that the Kosher laws began  for health reasons. Shellfish are “bottom feeders” and had could place unhealthy creatures into man’s system. I was at a lecture once at which I learned that that mixing milk and meat products was probably dangerous in ancient times because they didn’t have porcelain plates as we do today.  They used plates and platters made of wood. The fat and grease from the meat products would sink into the wood plates and couldn’t be totally washed out. They would leave organisms in the plates, which would change the composition of the milk products.  The Kosher laws have remained through tradition, but I’m certain they began as health measures.

Geographical areas that became Egypt, Greece and Rome, the countries we think of as beginning our culture have a great deal of sunshine. I have a feeling that people needed to put something on their head or the sun might affect them. UVA rays can get through your scalp. The ancients may not have had a name for the rays or even realized they were rays, but I bet people got dizzy and had other reactions to too much sun exposure. Today, you can wear sunscreen on your skin, but you need a covering for your scalp.  What a great excuse to wear a wonderful hat or a gorgeous scarf wrapped around your head!  This goes for males too. I actually see more males wearing hats in the past few years. Summer is coming. It’s a good time to find a few hats that you can wear every day when you walk outside. Straw is wonderful in the summer because it’s less likely to over-warm your head.

It would be great if you could meet with an image consultant to find out what your tonal color palette is and also what your style is. This makes it much easier to shop and saves you money. You’ll know your hat goes with most of your clothing and that you pieces of clothing go with each other.  If you can afford only one hat, buy it in a light neutral shade that harmonizes with your skin tone.

Hats are helpful in the winter too. While several scientists have debunked the idea that we lose most of our body heat through our heads, I find that hats are very important to my comfort in the winter.  I feel much more comfortable when my head is covered – especially by a beautiful hat! I don’t know anyone who feels as warm on a frigid winter day without a hat on as they do with a hat on. Hat styles can be dramatic, natural, classic or pixyish. Hats can make a definite statement, if you wish them to. My son is partner in a great very classy Burlesque Theatre troupe. He is always seen in a bowler or top hat.

By the way, there are other sun protectors that are good to think about too. I learned to be careful about exposing my chest to the sun. One day, I was wearing a V-necked tee shirt and experienced a nasty reaction, a burning and itching sensation the next morning. I had to go to a doctor, who said I should always cover over my chest and or put a healthy and strong sunscreen over that area. I’d had some cancerous cells in my breast about five years ago, which were removed. If you’ve ever had, even, cells and no mass as I did – it’s still important to protect that area from the sun.

So say, “YES” to your head and your body and put on a hat, a sunscreen, a scarf and most important: A Happy Face!