Monday, March 1, 2010

Fun with Hair Color

I had golden blonde hair until my freshman year in college when I noticed it had become the color referred to as “dishwater” or “dirty” blonde. Some people find these terms endearing, but I am not one of them. Thus my passion for coloring my hair was born.
                                                                                    I attempted a professional coloring only once. I wanted a simple medium-light-champagne-ash-blonde-with-no-golden-undertones. How difficult can that be? After six different applications (“I won’t charge you for the last three, ma’am”) we reached a medium-dark-somewhat-ashy-brownish-blond-with-light-golden streaks. I handed her my credit card and drove straight to Wal-Mart where I met with my faithful friend, Miss Clairol 27 and through tears promised I would never cheat on her again.

Many people choose sky-diving, bungee-jumping or body piercing when they feel risky or need an emotional boost. I select a new hair color. I’ve tried platinum blondes, white blondes, and an occasional golden blonde. I was feeling especially risky, however when I spotted the auburn-haired girl. She looked so happy! Her hair was shiny and her complexion pictured on the box was flawless.

I made sure Miss Clairol 27 wasn’t watching as I slipped this new number into my shopping cart. I didn’t dare look back, knowing that if all went as planned I might never return to #27.

I couldn’t wait to get home and get started but my family expected supper and the kids needed help with homework. I decided I would have to wait until the following day. Everyone would be out of the house, and I could give my full attention to my new –found friend, Loreal 252.

In the quiet and solitude of morning I carefully snipped the end of the application bottle. I peeled the plastic gloves off the directions and slid them over my shaking hands. I skimmed the directions quickly to make sure nothing was different from #27, and then tossed them aside. I got a little dizzy as I unscrewed the cap on the color and inhaled the aroma. I poured the bottle of color into the developer and watched as the two chemicals blended together, forming a fudge sundae effect. Then I put my finger over the top and shook the bottle vigorously until the substance became the color and consistency of blood. Hmmm….not exactly what I had expected but the trustworthy directions clearly said, “Color in bottle is not the same as the final hair color.”

I began the application process, first coating the roots and gray hair. I waited the appropriate time and covered the rest of the hair until saturated. I looked in the mirror to see if my hair was going to indeed be blood-red. No, more of a brownish-red. Not bad. I waited a few more minutes.

Finally it was time to wet hair, lather, rinse, condition, wait, rinse, and towel dry. I could hardly stand the suspense. I peeked in the mirror. Neon Orange! Not auburn, golden blonde or burnt anything. Glow-in-the-dark neon orange!

“Don’t panic”, I reminded myself. Sometimes the color is different when the hair is wet so I blow dried it thinking, “The only way heat will change this color is if it catches on fire!”

Have I mentioned I’m a pastor’s wife? Have I mentioned this was on a Wednesday, shortly before time to go to mid-week service? I considered faking an illness so I could stay home but then thought, “Hey, it’s only hair, right?”

My pastor-husband said, “Hmm… you’ve colored you hair again” and disappeared into the bathroom. He thought I didn’t hear him laugh like a crazy hyena, but have I mentioned we live in a trailer? You can hear someone breathe from the other end.

Through tears my twelve –year old cried, “Mom! Please color it back! It’s not right, Mom ! It’s not right!”

I received all sorts of comments and stares at church. Friends gave me the usual hug-greeting, asked how my day was, etc, then walked away as if I’ve always had neon-orange hair. One of my favorite responses was from a deacon who looked at me carefully and said, “Something about you is different.” Hello! I have orange hair!

I had just about decided to stick with orange until Sunday rolled around. It was time to return to church and my loyal friends. Those who had not seen me on Wednesday admitted to being a little surprised, but then laughed it off thinking, “Oh, that preacher’s wife is at it again, bless her heart.”

There was no way anyone present could miss my hair color since I played the piano at every service, on the stage, out front. But as we were working our way toward prayer time I felt safe, unobserved, and ready for worship. The pastor (my dear husband) asked if anyone had any prayer requests. My precious twelve-year old son waved his hand in the air. My heart skipped a couple of beats, but then I remembered how sensitive by middle child is and how he takes prayer time at church very seriously.

“Pray for my Mom, please. She has orange hair!” He burst into tears.

I have been faithful to Miss Clairol #27 ever since....


  1. Wish I could have seen that. Not going to post a picture? I know Preachaman took one or twelve

  2. Yes, I too have tried new colors and wished I had not. Some of us just have to learn the hard way.

  3. I was actually planning on dyeing my hair red again, but now I'm scared! I won't get neon orange but Bozo is a possibility! Eep!

  4. Oh my goodness, what a great story! Why do we keep doing this to ourselves? I don't even know what my original hair color would be and I certainly don't want to find out!

  5. ok. i couldn't stop reading your post. you had me on the edge of my seat. i laughed so much i almost tinkled. thank goodness for kegel exercises.

    thanks for visiting my blog. and dude. i'm totally going to follow your blog.

  6. Awesome. Don't even get me started on hair color.....I think I am a blonde right now.


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