Sunday, October 30, 2005

Doomed Forever to Have Boring Hair

It’s been a couple of months since my last hair lament, so I thought it was about time for another. For the past three years or so, I’ve been getting my hair colored a sort of red/auburn. It’s a nice enough color and everything, but it was time for a change. Anyway, that’s what I told my stylist, M, when I showed up for my hair appointment Friday evening.

I thought it might be pretty neat to get it dyed dark brown and then have some nifty red streaks put in it. I chose some shades and M got going. Three and a half hours later and more than $100 poorer, I walked out of there with hair just as nonexciting as ever. Check it out. Do you see any headturning, va-va-vavoom red streaks in my hair? No, you don't--because, unless you take a microscope to my head, you’re not going to see that some strands of hair are red in color and some are dark brown. They blend so perfectly that the net effect is dark auburn. It’s not that the color looks bad, but it’s not at all what I had in mind. I just wanted to have my hair look a bit edgier or something. I know it’s ridiculous, but I wanted a new look that would, I don’t know, maybe knock about 10 years off my age; solve all my problems; end the war in Iraq; and get the rest of the world to stop hating America. Is that too much to ask?

I suppose I should be grateful that hanks of hair aren’t breaking off in my hand. And given the color scheme I chose, perhaps M saved me from looking like I had a bunch of wooly-bear caterpillars hanging off my head or from looking unintentionally and unseasonably Halloween-y year-round.

I’m sorry to say it, because I like M as a person, but she let me down. I very, very carefully described what I wanted, but there was some sort of cock-up in the dye/tinfoil tiara application process, and when the tiara was removed all my hair looked red. M started over and added more of the dark brown shade. After the second tiara was removed, there was nearly no trace of the red left.

Hoover Dam!

So I spent a lot of money (and time) and, now that my hair’s dark and not at all earth shattering, I’m pretty much stuck with it unless I want to enter the bleach, strip, and recolor danger zone where, worst-case scenario: my hair really will start falling out, or best-case scenario: my hair will remain rooted in my scalp but it will be all frizzle-frazzled and the color of pond scum.

What to do? I mean, clearly, it’s not the end of the world. But it is disappointing when I’ve decided, yeah, I’ve made up my mind, I’m going to try something a little out of my comfort zone and then I end up with the same old ho-hum hair and there’s no way to remedy it without doing something radical and potentially destructive.

So do I dump M? I would, if any of my friends could recommend their stylists, but their opinions of their stylists range from lukewarm to disenchanted. And picking someone at random is way too risky. What if the randomly selected person botches the job? Then what? Run, crying, back to M? How do I explain the lousy scissorwork/dyework I want her to fix? I'm not good at lying. In fact, I’ve thought of ditching M before—this isn’t the first time I haven’t been happy with her work—but for the above reasons, I haven’t done it. In addition, I've cut her some slack for a few haircuts that weren’t all that they should have been, because she’s had a lot of personal shit to deal with recently (a divorce, a remarriage, her mother dying). Plus, I like her, and she’s a nice person. And I’m a champion conflict avoider, so even when I'm not happy with her work, I, of course, smile and say I like (or even love) the cut or the color or whatever and hand over a check and a big fat tip. Why is it I can manage to lie to avoid hurting someone else’s feelings but can’t do it to protect my own interests?

Gah! I can’t believe I’ve just written a huge blog entry about something so trivial.


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