Saturday, October 25, 2008
Dyeing for Change
Yesterday was a cold dreary day in Nashville. It was raining all morning and it was the first really cold day in October. It was undeniable that winter weather was just around the corner. I don’t know if it was the realization that the fall had truly set in, winter was on its way, and everything was changing or what, but at about nine in the morning I decided I needed a change, which for me is changing my hair color. Hair dye is the only thing that I’ve ever really been addicted to. I started dabbling in coloring my hair when I was sixteen with temporary dye and then by the time I was in my early twenties I had moved on to the hardcore permanent dyes. I was always warned that once I switched over to the hardcore I could never go back; my hair would never be the same unless I cut it all off and started over. Apparently since I always pick a variation of a red shade I don’t have this to worry about, since red dyes, even permanent versions, always fade. This is the only thing that always frustrates me about coloring my hair is how quickly it fades. I naturally have strawberry blonde, which my mother says she has absolutely no understanding of why anyone with my natural hair color would change it. I guess we always have that one thing we wish was different and for me it is to have fiery red hair with no blonde in it. I’ve really tried to become greener this year and let my inner child natural tree hugger come out, and with this change I felt I should appreciate my natural attributes and quit trying to change them. Well, that phase of my life is over; or at least the no coloring part of it. I had held off dyeing my hair for at least a year until the urge to color was so strong yesterday I could deny myself no longer. I like dark auburn hair and I want dark auburn hair. When I went to buy my favorite head turning shade the salesclerk said that I was about the twentieth woman to purchase hair dye that morning and she wondered why everyone had decided to change their hair color that day. I then began to suspect maybe I had been a victim of a subliminal marketing campaign by L’Oreal. I’ve seen exposes on how companies can quickly flash an image of their product into whatever show you are watching and it will stay stuck in your subconscious. Whatever made me decide I had to have a change right then I agreed it was what I needed, and after a year of depriving myself of my long term addiction I finally gave in. Nothing quite matches the smell of those noxious, odorous hair dye chemicals taking over my bathroom, watching the dye turn to a dark purple foam on my head, and anxiously waiting to see the result even though I pick the same shade every time. No waiting for the mandatory skin allergy test listed in the instructions for me, true addicts don’t bother with them anyway. The rush of endorphins that hit me when it is all rinsed out and I see my new shade is like Prozac in a box. I can't believe I held out for as long as I did without coloring. I tried but I can't give it up. Now I have my lustrous fall auburn shade back, complete with chemically burned eyebrows that will take about a week to fade. I gave up cigarettes after twelve years, it’s been over a year since I’ve smoked now, but I can’t give up my 7R Red Penny. At least I'll be a pro at it by the time my grays start creeping in.