Friday, August 26, 2005


what's in a hair color?

Today while watching my four adorable cousins, I decided that I wanted to dye my hair. Something about light brown just wasn't doing it for me anymore. For weeks, whenever I'd go by those Brilliant Brunette, blonde and redhead ads in magazines, I'd linger lovingly over the reds, thinking that it's so much better than brown hair.

For some reason, lately brown has just seemed so...brown. Blonde is out of the question for me, because it would look like a horrid disaster (quite frankly). Dark eyebrows? Pale skin? It may work for some, but it would be a car, train and plane wreck wrapped in one on my head.

So I asked for the opinion of my beloved relatives/confidantes. Would reddish brown look okay? All (ages 12, 11, 8 and 6) agreed that it would be fun. The poor kids, today had been the third day in a row that I was keeping an eye on them, so we had been long on TV and short on excitement. If that excitement came at the cost of me taking some personal appearance risks, it was all good.

After we made the decision, I surreptitiously kept excusing myself to go to the bathroom. Ry caught me once looking at myself in the mirror like a true narcissist. Important questions raced through my mind: was I prepared to give up my hair color - the same that had seemed so blah a half hour before? Was I ready to throw away my hard-earned natural blonde highlights that so daintily framed my face?

(okay, so that "Dainty" bit is a bit of a lie. But there are highlights, darnit!!)

Afterall, I had gone to the beach and risked scalp damage in order to try and lighten my hair to the point of possibly claiming a highlight or two. Was I willing to throw that away on a whim?

And was I ready to ruin any random compliment that I might receive from strangers saying "Why, you have such a lovely hair color!"? Saying "Thanks! it's natural" (then beaming becomingly) rolls off a lot better than "thanks. CVS. aisle 5." Not that any of those compliments have come yet, but one never knows.

And would I look too high-maintenance with dyed hair? Would people stop coming up to me to ask for directions, because I wouldn't look like the approachable friendly person that I'm (sometimes mistakenly) pegged for? Would parents stop pointing to me, saying to their youngsters "If you ever get lost, go up to someone like this girl. Or a woman with a kid. Those people are usually safe."?

Also, what if I meet a guy, and he thinks that it's my natural hair color? (well, he'd have to be pretty dumb...) I'll be like George in Seinfeld, who mentioned once that he hated meeting girls when he was wearing a hat, because eventually he'd have to take it off, and she'd realize that he's really bald.

(random note: I wonder if that's how kenny chesney thinks?)

Eventually, I'll have to leave my new ravishing hair color, and go back to ho-hum.

And then I realized that I was being awfully, horribly vain and that the only way to remedy this sudden alarming obsession with myself and these absurd situations was to dye my hair. It had to be done. Otherwise, I'd be spending the next two months gazing deeply into my own eyes.

When I came home and informed my parents, my dad got to the meat of the situation immediately by querying "You're dyeing your hair? What if you get an interview?"

But that was only prompted by me telling him that I was going to dye it green. hahaha. And besides, don't job hunters like someone with a little pizzazz?

So. I went to CVS, picked out "Rosewood" by Natural Instincts and eventually came back here and went for it. I got all dyed up....and the stuff was purple. It looked like a blueberry had exploded on me. On my shoulders, my forehead, my watch, the crook of my elbow, my cheek, and...the floor. At first, I was worried about how I'd pass the 10 minutes or so between application and washing off. Then it occurred to me that during the application process, I accidentally squirted dye all over the white wall, the white floor, and I got a tiny dot on the white door.

It also occurred to me that, unlike CUA's housing staff, my mom would definitely notice the purplish hue in the room. So I got to scrubbing. I was the modern-day Lady MacBeth - it would look clean, but then I'd turn my head, then look back, and the dye would reappear. I couldn't get rid of this crap. In fact, I think a bit is still remaining.

So. Finally. All showered and specially conditioned, then dried. And it's amazing! In a kinda dark room, it looks almost blackish - with a halo of reddishness. Then, in the light, there is a cacophony of color, a melody of red and sparkliness. Then, even closer up in the light, it's a color not found in nature, more often located on early 80s holographic stickers that shimmer oddly when you wave them back and forth. I'm not sure yet whether or not the super close up is a plus.

So, after all that...

the vanity continues.

That was way too long to write about your hair, so I stopped reading about halfway through and as a result have no idea how the (riveting and exciting) story ends, but I think red hair is hot so now you have the most important opinion to help you make your decision.
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