Every so often I get a reminder why I, unlike my Mother, and even my Sister should not ‘do’ hair. My Mom was a professional for a number of years and my Sister started to study for it (but like everything else in her life quit after a few days,ugh another story) and had the knack for it. Me? I’m in banking. ‘Nuff said.
I’ve struggled with the hair monkey for years. I mean I WANT to be able to do it. I’ve always craved and embraced change and I never had the patience or the cash to go to a professional to make these changes always. Some of these ‘changes’ I don’t have any photos of, mostly because my Parents thought I looked hideous and had no desire to capture it for posterity. Luckily for them most of those inspired moments of change took place after the official school photo. I know for a fact there is no way my Dad would have paid for me looking weird… well except for my Grad photo. Yeah I decided to chop all my hair off in rebellion because my Dad wouldn’t lend me the money to get my hair professionally done and babysitting wasn’t paying a whole lot back then. What? I was 16…what did I know?
One of the few short hair pictures my parents took of me.
I was a rotten child. The photographer commented on what he called my ‘lovely face’ and how unfortunate it was that I chose to have such short hair. It pissed me off that the guy had the balls to say this to me so I told him that I had just gone through Chemo. He looked all apologetic and shut up right away and I was smug. Yeah I know, I was 16 and a jerk with an attitude, now I’m nice (mostly).. with an attitude.
So it came to follow that I would grow and cut, grow and cut my hair many many different lengths all at a whim.
My hair colour also has changed radically over the years both naturally and by my own hand. I was born with a really light brown hair that gradually changed to a kind of chesnut colour that turned golden in the summer, especially toward the end of my very long hair.
As I got older it turned a darker almost red brown, then more mahogany. I’ve experimented with bleaching out sections of hair and dying them funky colours, the dreaded ‘Sun In’ experiment of 1985 before my first wedding (can we say Bozo the clown?)going a true redhead for a number of years with first Henna then various shades of dye and of course every possible combination of highlight/lowlight/frost there is. I also went from long to short to long to short, well you get the idea.
It got to the point I had no idea WHAT my natural colour was anymore and my hairdresser at the time had never seen it either. When I got pregnant with my second child I was advised by my doctor to not colour my hair. EEK!! I hadn’t ever gone a whole 9 months with no colour and nobody had mentioned this was a bad thing when I was pregnant with Chris, so I listened. I got frustrated and made an appointment with my hairdresser to just chop it all off again, but shorter than I’d been for a while. Nancy was shocked to see my natural colour which to my surprise was almost totally black, or as close as one can be and still be considered a brunette. Who knew? I asked her to chop it off to the colour line and I kind of liked the results at least for a while.
Yeah so anyway, after a while, I hated it. I forgot how much I end up looking like Snow White and the dark hair, it’s way too harsh for my tastes. The minute I popped that kid out I was back to dying/streaking my hair again.
Fast forward to February 25th 2006 and add a bottle of semi-permanent (thank God!) hair dye in espresso. Which by the way, the drugstore lady after staring at my roots (under all that faded red/brown) told me to pick up and how “Great” it would be with my colouring. A nice dark brown but not TOO dark. I squinted at the box and held up the sample colour to my head and it seemed ok so I went for it.
Test strands? FOR WIMPS! I went ahead and slathered the shit on and left it for the 15 minutes it recommended on the box and rinsed expecting to see my hair in all that espresso awesomeness. What I did see was my hair back to being as dark was it was while I was pregnant with Sean. Brown to the point of blackishness ACK!
After trying some of the old wives tricks to ‘lift’ too dark colour (detergent and conditioner, don’t ask…) which kind of didn’t yanno, DO anything! I’ve resigned myself to my ‘fate’. So now, for the next 28 shampoos anyway (according to the box)…call me Snow White.