June 1, 2012
The Power of Hair
I have always had nice hair. It has been a lot of different lengths, and even more colors, and with the exception of a really bad perm in the 80’s, it has always been very pretty. I pride myself on taking care of it. Hair is a lot of work, especially when you have much as I do. I love my hair and it shows.
Last week I lost my mind for a minute and managed to ruin the hair I love so much. Really, really ruin it. Time has passed and so I can finally talk about what happened without crying. I have discovered that hair is a powerful thing and mine, for reasons I don’t understand, helped to define me.
Before I share the story, let me clarify that I get it is silly. I am blessed with health, happiness and love, so in the big picture who cares about hair? Nobody died, I have a roof over my head, food on my table, and money in the bank, so why should my hair matter so much? It just does.
Important to note that the Englishman has been very supportive during the crisis. He thinks I am ridiculous, and that my hair looks beautiful, but he is a man and he is bald so what the hell does he know about it? I love him for being kind, but he has no clue what he is talking about so shhh.
Last week I decided to cover my grey hair. I have been coloring my hair myself for 25 years and never had a problem. Not sure what happened last week but for some reason I bought the wrong color. Instead of the medium brown I normally, use, I bought dark brown. Epic fail.
I colored my hair and quickly discovered it was more black than brown. The color was dark, patchy, and uneven. To make it even more humiliating, I did not even cover my grey properly. So now I am home, at 9:00 pm, with black hair, which makes my freckles look green.
I freaked out, not sure what to do. I started crying, which made my child feel sorry for me. By sorry for me of course I mean he laughed, suggested I audition for The Adams Family, and reminded me it was only hair. What is it with men and their insensitivity about hair?
I went to bed very upset and woke up at 4:30 to call my sister in Canada. She is a hairdresser and she would know what to do! She was very supportive. Well, after she lectured me on why one must go to a professional and not do their own hair, she was very supportive.
She told me I needed to make an appointment with a colorist immediately to fix it. There were products that could remove the bad dye job, I would go back to normal, and all would be fine. She was very comforting but for some reason I decided I was not going to listen.
I went to the drug store and looked for magic color corrector. I found it, bought a box and happily went home to fix my mistake before anyone even knew what I had done. Important to note that my hair was long enough to tie into a nice bow so why would I only buy one box?
I put it on and happily sipped a cup of tea while I waited for the miracle to happen. I washed it out after twenty minutes and that is when my screams woke up my son. He ran in to see what was happening and discovered me on the floor sobbing. I had turned my hair bright orange.
By my hair of course I mean only the top half of it. There was no way one box was going to cover it all so it was now orange on top and black on the bottom. More of a striped look actually. I had officially ruined my hair and was now on the verge of fainting. This is when it got really bad.
I have now officially lost my mind and am crying so hard I cannot think clearly so I do the only logical thing, I sent my son to get another bottle of the corrector so I could at least make my hair even in color. Now I know all the hairdressers are dying right now, but wait, it gets worse.
I put on the new bottle of magic potion, but only on the still black parts of my hair. I pace around for 20 minutes, crying while my son stares at me wanting to laugh but too afraid, then I wash it out with the belief that I will have fixed it and all will be well. No need to go on with this right?
My hair is now bright orange, with just the right amount of black stripes to make it interesting. My son is hugging me, looking at ME in horror, finally understanding exactly what I have done. I’m sure the entire neighborhood was frightened by my sobs, which were now wails.
I have ruined my hair in a way that I am convinced cannot be repaired. I wrapped my head in a scarf and drove my son to school. I stopped on the way home and bought a pack of cigarettes. Interesting because I don’t smoke. I got home, lit one up, and cried as if there had been a death.
I got dressed, threw away the cigarettes, went to a salon nearby and waited for them to open. When they did, 2 hours later, I walked in, removed my scarf, listened to the muffled laughter, and burst into tears. Why I did not go to my regular stylist is a mystery to me.
The salon told me it would be okay and they went to work. I’m not sure what they did exactly, but bleach was involved. 3 hours later I left with my hair one color, but sadly not a good color for me. I could have played Lucille Ball is a movie with the hair I was rocking.
I thanked the woman profusely for helping to get it all one color, hugged her, walked out, got in my car, drove far enough away that she could not see me, and had a good cry. I bought another pack of cigarettes, drove to my own stylist, put the scarf back on, and waited for to get into work.
Now the next four hours are a bit of a blur and I am still suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. My stylist, who I love, is Persian and there was a lot of whispering in Farsi, people running over to see what was happening, and quite a few meetings in the back room.
They put all kinds of stuff on my hair and the entire time I am crying, smoking on occasion, and being offered food and drink. Sadly nobody had a Xanax so I just sat there and waited. It took a very long time but in the end my hair was back to a lovely shade of brown and I was thrilled.
As much as the color was beautiful, the hair simply did not handle all the stress well and started to break. As she brushed into my hair it simply started to snap. I had managed to eat through its thickness and turn it into a frail birds nest. I gave my hair an overdose.
The only thing we could do was cut off the dead part, knowing it would grow back healthy and strong. I sat in the chair, feeling sick from what I had done, and the cigarettes, and I watched as my hair was cut from just above my waist to my shoulders. It was a nightmare.
It had taken me a long time to grow it out and I was crushed. In 24 hours I went from rocking some serious Kardashian hair to looking like a soccer mom. It has been very upsetting and even now, a week later, it makes me cry. How is it my hair became so powerful?
My hair is a beautiful color now, and the cut is lovely, yet I feel ugly. The Englishman tells me I am beautiful and he loves it, which makes me want to punch him in the face. My son tells me it’s a great cut for summer, which makes me want to punch him in the face. I want my old hair back.
I know many of you can relate to my misery. It is just hair and we’re not defined by how it looks, but it was beautiful and I really loved it. It will grow back but I’m 46 years old and how long can I rock Kardashian hair for real? My hair may never be back to how it was which is sad.
The color will fade and settle into a lovely shade of brown with red undertones. If I could remember what my natural hair color was, I imagine it is quite close. It is super healthy with not one split end to be found, but at the end of the day it just does not look like me anymore.
I may grow it out, or eventually love the length and keep it where it is. What I will never do however is color my own hair. There are colorists and hairdressers for a reason, and no matter how many times I have done my own hair, I am not a hairdresser. What the hell was I thinking?
I am never smoking again, never coloring my own hair, never going to punch my son or my Englishman in the face, and never going to forgive myself. Too dramatic? Maybe, but it really was beautiful hair. I am mourning the loss of it and don’t care how shallow that makes me sound.
I would feel better of course if I could cut off some Kardashian hair so I will keep some scissors in my purse just incase I have an opportunity. Watch your backs girls. It is only hair right? It will grow back. I just hope it grows back quickly, so I am deep conditioning and keeping the faith.