Thursday, February 08, 2007

Adventures in Hair Coloring

I'm writing in Purple today in honor of my former hair color. Well, one of them anyway.
When I was 18, I started coloring my hair. It was rather subtle at first. Something called "Painting", and I had it done by a professional. Back then, when the earth's crust was still cooling, and a few Dinosaur's were roaming around, my natural color was a mix of dark blonde and light brown. The highlights I had painted in were a lighter blonde. It looked very pretty. I'm not being vain, I got a lot of compliments.

When I was in my early 20's I discovered Henna. I became a redhead. It suited my green eyes and fair skin much better than the blond highlights did! The henna worked for a while, but I got bored after a while. I went back to my natural hair color for a few years when I had the obligatory perm everyone else did in the late 70's. Then came kids in the early 80's and I didn't have time to do anything to my hair except pull it back in a ponytail. Then I went back to college. Now I didn't even have time to do that! I whacked it all off.

Once I graduated, the kids were in school, I had time to look in the mirror and I discovered that in addition to my hair having darkened over the years...there were some SILVER hairs mixed in with the brown ones, EEK!!! I ran to Sally Beauty Supply and got instructions and supplies to color my hair. Thus began my long friendship with Miss Clairol.

I went through several shades of red. Copper Penny, Red Penny, Flame, and then I made an amazing discovery... I could MIX the colors together! That worked pretty well. I finally got the PERFECT shade of red: Copper with some gold, NOT brass highlights and some auburn lowlights, too.
However, before I achieved perfection, I had some less than perfect shades. Like the time I took the towel off to discover, to my extreme disappointment, that my still wet hair had a strange orange-y cast to it. Since I don't even own a blow dryer, I had to wait for it to air dry. I kept going to check it in the mirror every 20 minutes or so. My reflection kept getting more and more horrific. By the time my hair was completely dry, I looked like a clown my hair was so orange! I didn't even bother to call my hair stylist, I drove up to his salon, and walked in. When took off my cap and burst into tears, he had the grace {or good sense} not to laugh at my predicament. He said, calmly and reassuringly, "I can fix it. Go over to Ellington's, have a drink and come back in about an hour. I'll be finished for the day, then. Don't worry. I'll make it better." And I did. In fact, I had two drinks. And he did. I sure wish he hadn't climbed on that Harley after having a few too many drinks. I miss him.

I didn't have any mistakes for several years after that. Until...I got a bug. I wanted Purple hair. Mine had gone Silver enough, that the red just wouldn't take anymore. So, I consulted the Ladies at Sally. They fingered my hair; looked at the relative silver and brown content; then they gave me their combined opinions: I would have to totally bleach it out, then I could dye it purple. So that's what I did.
Then my GrandMother had a stroke. No, NO, it's not what you think! She was 200 miles away. She didn't even know I'd done it. But, this did present me with a dilemma. Of course I HAD to go to the hospital. But what to do with my hair? Thank Goddess for baseball caps. I slapped it on my head and pulled the ponytail thru the hole in the back. That hid most of it, but satisfied my desire to show off my new haircolor at the same time. I did have the good sense to call and warn my Daddy, though.
When I get to the hospital, I go straight to GrandMother's room. Daddy looks at me and just shakes his head and laughs. That was his way with my harmless craziness. My step-mother, on the other hand, was stressed out. Her mother had just had a stroke, so it's understandable. She tells me to take off my cap, which I do, then she says, {GrandMother's in a coma, BTW} "You WILL get a hat and hide that hair for the funeral, won't you?" I bite the inside of my lower lip and don't dare look at Daddy, "Yes Ma'am, I will. And I'll get a black one, and I promise, no one will know my hair is purple, and I won't take it off until we are coming home from the cemetery." And then I left the room with Daddy to go find my Bros and my favorite Cousin. I kept my word. I wore a black straw hat {it was June in Central Texas} to GrandMother's funeral and I did not take it off until I was in the family car going back to Daddy's house after the graveside service. The Fam and friends who had not seen me at the hospital or in the days before the funeral had a good laugh when they god a look at that hair! And frankly, after all the tears and tension, I think they needed it.

A few years later, I had let my hair go natural. But I was starting gradual school and wanted a new hair color to go with my new student status. I found a really pretty Dark red on the Color Charm chart called "Cyclamen" {that's a color and a flower, for those of you who didn't get the 64 count box of crayolas} I took it home and streaked it thru my silver hair. When it developed, it was dark red, dark red it was PURPLE, again. Color Charm should have named it "CyclaTRON" instead of "Cyclamen" !!!! But, in all fairness, it did look pretty cool, purple and silver hair. And I wore it short and spiky, for about 18 months.

Now it's just silver and white, with some dark left in the back. I have decided, when I reach a certain age, I will not be a "little blue haired old lady". No, not me. I'm gonna be a little, Lavender haired old lady.


GunnLaw said...

Fifth Paragraph (or paragraph break)

That his most --> That hid most

I hope you look good in old lace. That and the lavendar hair should make a stunning combination.

Rabbit said...

I'm just pleased mine's turning white and not turning loose.


phlegmfatale said...

I always loved the pastel easter-egg colored hair of Mrs. Slocum on "Are You Being Served?" Hilarious. I think there's something delightful about pastel-haired old ladies and the arrogance of young people who think the little old lady is not in on the joke.

Golly, I'm so sorry you lost that superb hairdresser. It took me until I was about 35 to find one who could deal with my hair, and I've made her promise not to die before me!

Here's to adventures in hair color!