Yes indeed; some day, a rugged, handsome man with bulging pectorals will ride up on a white stallion. I will be standing there, gape-mouthed, probably wearing jeans and sporting several zits, and he will swing down off his steed and tower above me in all his glory. In one swift movement he will scoop me into his embrace and dip me low to the ground. His mouth will skim across my neck and come to rest just a hair’s breadth above my ear. While I gasp for air and try to regain my wits, he will whisper tenderly,
“I cut hair like Nick Arrojo, and have the perfect haircolor right here in my pocket.”
At that point I swoon and pledge my eternal love to him. We live happily ever after and my hair is FABULOUS.
What? It could happen.
In the meantime, I’m thinking of starting a new category for my hair adventures. I mean, really now. I cut my hair! Yay! I color my hair! It turns out black, oh no! I cut it again! ACK, TOO SHORT! I dye it again, and….
Oh. Um. You might want to get a drink and a snack. This could take a while.
After dying my hair black I polled every person I’ve ever spoken to and asked for suggestions on how to be more successful on subsequent dying adventures. The UPS guy seemed a little perplexed that I was asking him for hair advice, but I wanted to be thorough in my data gathering.
Everyone who seemed to know anything about it said: “Go get your hair colored at the salon.” Which, yes, is absolutely the right solution for anyone who can go that route. I considered it–I really did–but in the end I decided it was more responsible to feed my kids for the month than to achieve the perfect dye job. What can I say; I’m boring that way. So then those people rolled their eyes at me and gave me a plethora of home-dying advice.
The overwhelming majority suggested Feria by L’Oreal. Alrighty then. I will happily buy the most expensive color-in-a-box at this point, because 1) it’s still cheaper than the salon, 2) I will just hope more money = more better results (yeah, I’m aware that things can’t actually be “more better” but I’m talking about my HAIR here, people), and 3) lots of people recommended it and not everyone can be wrong! Right? Right!
[A quick recap, in case you haven’t been riveted to this tale for some reason: My hair is dark brown. It’s a lovely color, actually. I have no desire to change it. But I do want to cover up the increasing grey, because grey in dark brown hair pops up and says “HELLO! I am grey! And RIGHT HERE!” and makes me look too old.]
So! I thought I would buy myself some Feria! But what color? Hmmmm. Here is where I always run into trouble. I mean, there are eighty gazillion colors all claiming to be some variety of brown. And so I fell into an endless loop of indecision, for a bit.
Then there was a woman selling cheap haircolor on a coupon board I frequent. Mail me, she said. I have all kinds of haircolor! Cheap! Oh, cheap… my favorite word. I mailed and asked her if she had any Feria browns. Why yes, she said. She had a Feria brown called “Creme Brulee.” Did I want it?
Hmmmm. Last time I checked, creme brulee was sort of… caramel colored. But she only wanted $3.50 shipped, so what the hey. Sure! I told her. Send it along! Because I am on crack, and the lure of the bargain overrode the part of my brain that should’ve known that was going to be entirely TOO LIGHT for me.
But hope–and tightward tendencies–sprang eternal! I sent my money and I waited. And waited. And waited. And waited.
Finally, one day a small box appeared in my mailbox. It had to be my haircolor! I ripped off the paper in joyful anticipation of saying goodbye to my grey roots. Inside I found a box of haircolor.
Nice ‘n Easy 120B, Natural Dark Caramel Brown, to be exact.
I mailed the seller. She promised my Feria. I waited and waited and waited and waited and finally, my Creme Brulee arrived. And it looked too light.
I decided to make peace with going grey at an early age. That lasted about a week.
Finally, I took the advice of a friend who is wise in the ways of haircolor, and I set off on my quest: Feria Havana Brown. It would be perfect, I was assured. It would NOT turn my hair black, all the smart people told me. It was The Color To Have.
So of course, the first store I went to was completely out of it. I bought the last box at the second store. Woohoo!
Now here’s where I admit that my miserliness knows no bounds. Here’s the thing: my hair is really short, now. There’s enough in those home kits to cover even very long hair. It stands to reason that HALF the kit should be more than ample to dye my hair.
Do you know where I’m going with this…?
Hmmm. What sort of plastic bottle with a nozzle top could I find so that I could preserve half the activator for a second application…? A plastic bottle. With a nozzle. Hmmmmmmmmm.
I threw a box of douches into my cart. HOWEVER, you are not allowed to call me douche-head, because tonight I discovered that I still had some hermetically sealed baby bottles in my basement that came in a the free diaper bag the hospital gives out. (Theme: Don’t breastfeed your baby! Buy our formula! Or, you know, breastfeed and then use these bottles for haircolor in 6 years!)
So tonight I prepared a highly scientific method for splitting the activator and dye and “aromatic additive” so that I could use exactly half of the kit’s contents to color my hair. Yes. I have a tape measure! And a Sharpie! So it was all good!
I mixed up half the kit. In spite of the “aromatic additive” it made my eyes water while I applied it. I offered up many, many prayers while I was carefully applying it to my hair. Please, God, don’t let this turn my hair black. You know, God, even if this is just SORT OF close to my actual color, that would be fine. And of course–God, hasn’t my hair suffered enough?
25 minutes later, I obediently headed back to the bathroom for rinsing. I lathered, I rinsed, I conditioned. I wrapped a towel around my head and then stood in front of the mirror and took a deep breath. Slowly, I undid the towel. I blinked at my reflection in the mirror.
I looked… exactly the same. I ran my fingers through my hair and reviewed the color. It was just like my natural shade. Perfect! All hail Havana Brown! Marvelous! I was all set to do a happy little jig right there.
And then I continued parting little rows through my hair to check the coverage, and discovered that it hadn’t taken on any of the grey. None. Well; no. Maybe the grey is now sort of blonde. Which, hey, if the box was labelled “Effects a significant semantic change on unwanted grey,” then I guess I would be pleased.
Did I do it wrong? Was my halving method flawed, and it wasn’t enough activator? Maybe not enough dye? Maybe my hair is just not meant to be colored properly… ummm… ever? I may never know. It might be time to start accepting the fact that my hair is turning grey.
Or scanning the horizon a little more carefully. Either way.