“This piece looks close to the color you wanted” isn’t something you want to hear after sitting in a salon chair for seven hours.
I couldn’t help but laugh … pretty maniacally. I was laughing so much and so hard that the woman who said the phrase looked at me like I was possessed. She didn’t understand.
“Oh, well, that’s good. At least one piece came out right,” I said still bursting with laughter.
Not long before this, I expected to cry. Now I was crying, but not from sadness.
Realizing that the only comforting thing that the hairdresser could say to me – the only glimmer of hope, trace of positivity or crumb for me to savor – was that this ONE piece was the color I asked for. Well, I found that to be hilarious.
Let me go back to the beginning.
When I was a little girl, my favorite color was yellow “like the sun.” Because of this, I had yellow dresses, yellow shoes and an admiration for blondes, particularly Jenny McCarthy (inappropriate for a 7-year-old but she was cute and funny as the co-host of MTV’s “Singled Out,” a dating game show that was also not age-appropriate).
As a kindergartner, I drew myself over and over again with yellow hair. My teacher, Ms. Knecht (like “Connect the dots”), repeatedly told me that my hair was not blonde – that I was wrong. When she took her concern to my mom, my mom told her that I could have any color hair that I wanted. After all, it was my life and my drawing (go, mom!).
The battle for the blonde was won, but as I grew older reality set in and I knew I was a brunette. I became accepting, and even proud, of my brunette status although my curiosity about colors never ceased. In high school, I, at one point, had a black streak in my hair as well as some wash-in purples and reds. In college I tried a series of streaks – white (I was Rogue from “X-Men” one year for Halloween), turquoise, purple and pink.
My junior year of college, I went all red and never went back. In North Carolina, they only know me as a redhead, and I even was called “Red” by a beloved sports editor from my previous paper. That nickname could’ve had me committed to red hair for life, but then (as you know) I went west.
I’ve resisted dyeing my hair since January in hopes to grow it out enough to do what women do when they move to California in movies – go blonde.
Knowing that I might have some pesky red refusing to leave my hair, I asked for “rose gold.” I thought it would be a pretty, professional and trendy compromise. I thought I was making life easier for my hairdresser (Don’t worry, this wasn’t in Napa).
I was scheduled to be there all day, 10 a.m. until 5 p.m., to remove my former color and get as light as I could. Everyone was confident I would leave with strands of pink champagne.
But there was no bubbly, just a burning scalp and a hungry stomach. Instead they expected me to leave with hair resembling the insides of a tangerine – someone mixed the colors incorrectly, it seemed.
Multiple hairdressers pulled and tugged at my hair, slapping on paste after paste, trying to achieve the color I asked for (and get me away from orange). By the end, three of them were drying my hair, giving me the “model” treatment.
Even though I had a bunch of hands in my hair and hadn’t eaten all day, I wasn’t feeling much like a model. My hair is now pink with some orange undertones. I keep getting compliments, but I don’t know if I believe them. For me, the verdict is still out (and my scalp is still healing).
Still not blonde.