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Rated: E · Essay · Biographical · #2226360
Hair is just an accessory, right?
I have always viewed my hair as just another accessory; I just can’t take it off or put it on like a bracelet or a belt, so I have to be comfortable with the fact that a change is going to be more than for just a day or so. I have been blonde, brunette, red and every shade between, but never black. Even I know I wouldn’t look good with black hair. With my pale skin I'd look like Morticia Addams.

My style changes to keep up with the color changes. My husband says that one day I am going to wake up and all my hair will be on my pillow; I just tell him I’ll buy a wig. Or two. Let him say what he wants; he’s the one with the bald spot.

Hair can make you look young or old, frumpy, or sharp. I choose young and sharp, since I’m (well) over fifty. Frumpy is for old women; not me. I’m going to look as young as I feel, and today I’m feeling about 35 with my auburn inverted bob. (Only a woman would know what that means) and I have, for the most part, had great luck in coloring and cutting my own hair, with two exceptions, which are the point of this writing. The first experience, about ten years ago, involved coloring.

I am not good at sleeping. Either I can’t get to sleep or I can’t stay asleep. On this particular morning, I woke up around 4 am and my mind immediately went into breakneck speed, thinking about the day’s work in a small law office and the evening, which would bring the much-anticipated church “spring fling”. With a burst of energy and inspiration, I hopped out of bed remembering that I had recently purchased some Clairol Herbal Essence hair color with a slightly red tone. My husband was on a fishing trip, so I didn’t have to worry about making noise as I lathered up my hair with the hair dye, plucked my eyebrows, and readied myself for the day. I had a to-die-for dress that I was going to wear that night and I matching shoes while I waited the twenty minutes for the dye.

I hopped into the shower and rinsed my hair, shaved my legs, and washed. I was excited that I was to have the day alone in the office to get a lot done; I had a great deal of work that had been waiting for some “downtime”, and today was the day. I hated to get behind in my work, and I was at the point where it was going to get overwhelming soon if I didn’t clear some projects off my desk.

I hopped out of the shower and wrapped my hair, not even thinking about what it would look like; I’d dyed my hair a zillion times and I was sure it would be fine. I was in work mode now, thinking about which project I would tackle first at the office, and I knew I would be there early since I had gotten such an early start on the day.

It was Friday, which was casual dress day at work, so I put on a nice pair of jeans and a white blouse. I applied my makeup, and since my hair always needed a little boost of body, dried my hair upside-down. When I flipped my head up and looked in the mirror, I screamed. My hair was the color of Catalina salad dressing—bright orange with just a hint of pink! My heart was in my throat as I ran back into the bathroom to wash it again and again, but to no avail. The color didn’t change one little iota. Bozo the clown had nothing on me.

I had no choice—I positively had to go to work, so off I went. I stopped at the closest Rite-Aid store and bought the darkest brown hair color I could find. It was as close to black as brown could possibly be. As soon as I got to the office, I made sure my hairdryer and towels were in my gym bag under my desk, and went to work to undo the damage. Fortunately, our little office had a little kitchenette so I could try and fix my hair in private. I put the new color on and let it sit there for 30 minutes—ten minutes longer than the directions said. I was sure that it would make my hair look presentable, but, alas, still Catalina red was all that showed (or rather, glowed) as I dried my hair.

I went to another Rite-Aid on my lunch break and purchased yet another box of the darkest brown hair dye I could find and re-did my hair in the afternoon. I was sure that my husband’s predictions about my hair falling out would be fulfilled that afternoon as I toweled my hair. I could just picture all my orange hair lying on the kitchenette floor when my boss came in Monday morning, but, despite my best intentions, not a hair fell out or changed color.

I went to the Spring Fling that night with the most outlandish hair color. I was mortified. I got some strange looks too, but it’s a running joke now at Church whenever I change my style or color.

Oh, now let’s talk about cutting my own hair. Usually, I can give it a decent little trim without too much trouble, but this Spring I got it into my mind to put an auburn color into my hair and cut the back of my shaggy hair on the same night. When I got done, it looked like I had some sort of a worm infestation that had gobbled up most of my hairline in the back and had left bald spots everywhere it had been. It didn’t help that the dye had left spots of red on my scalp at exactly the same places that I had skun the hair right down to the scalp.

After these two experiences, it would seem an easy choice for me to just go to a hairdresser and have my hair done. I am a rebel, however. These two awful experiences are such a small percentage of my overall hair experience that it just doesn’t seem to make sense to me. Why spend all that money when I can do it myself?
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