Thursday, March 31, 2011

Roots (The White Girl's Version)

I'm currently growing out the dyed portion of my hair.  Frankly, it looks kind of stupid right now.  If I were vain and insecure about my looks, this might make me nervous.  Oh, wait...

OK, I'm growing out my hair, and because I'm vain and insecure about my looks, this is making me nervous.  There we go. 

I've been coloring my hair off and on since high school.  I've gone years with my natural color, and I've gone years without ever seeing more than a half-inch of my real hair at the roots.  At various times I've been a redhead, a brunette, and just about every shade of blonde that can be bottled and sold. 

If there were truth in advertising, several of the bottles
would have been called this.
 Even after I learned the Most Important  Beauty Lesson in the World - which is "You with a different hair color is still you, only with a different hair color" - I continued experimenting.  As many of you will know from experience, there are three reasons for this:

1.  It's fun.
2.  My real color leaves something to be desired.
3.  I have no idea how to gracefully grow it out.

When I was younger, during those periods when I would go back to my natural shade, it was easier.  I'd throw on a box of color that was reasonably close to what God gave me, and it would grow out subtly, with minimal rootage. 

Well, as you age, nothing gets easier, except getting out of the liquor store without being carded.  (Sometimes I ask the guy at the liquor store if he wants to see my ID, just to see him smirk.)  If I wanted to find a dye that reasonably matches my real hair, I'd have to shop at whatever store sells Mousy 40-Something Used-to-Be-Kind-of-Blonde-But-Not-Since-the-70s No. 12.  Now with added gray highlights.

Those bits of gray piss me off, by the way.  See, prior to a few months ago when I started this project, I had been coloring my hair for at least 10 years straight.  When I had Precocious Daughter, my hair was the color of a Malibu sunbeam. (I used Sun-In while I was pregnant, because I didn't want to be around all those chemicals and because all the pre-natal websites had me scared to do anything but eat organic sprouts and meditate for nine months).  I don't think she's ever seen my actual hair until now.  But I'll tell you one thing:  Back then, when my roots would make their appearance every six or eight weeks, there were no strands of glistening silver in that shit.

So imagine my surprise when my dishwater-blah hair started to come in kind of...shimmery.  Looking at myself in the mirror was like seeing candlelight flickering out of the corner of your eye. What's that? A spark? A flame? Tinkerbell's wand?  No, it's just me, with the start of gray hair.

It's taken quite a bit of willpower to keep letting my roots show.  I've now got three or four inches of the real me showing, seguing none too tastefully into the fading remnants of my last dye job, which has gone from golden to sort of strawberry-blorange from neglect.  To young children and dwarfs, viewing me from below, I I think I still look OK.  But for the majority of the adult population that is taller than me, I probably look like an aerial photo of lava flowing over a mud flat.

Type my name into Google Earth, and this is what you see.
I figure that between color fade and regular haircuts, by Christmas I'll sport almost entirely my natural hair.  And then I'll immediately start looking for a new color to dye it, because I am not ready to look like my mother - who, after she stopped coloring her own head and let it go natural, now sports very pretty silver hair.  But at no stage of my life so far have I been ready to look like my mother, and I'm not going to start now.

Really, I'd love to have hair to match PDaughter's. Wish me luck finding Pre-Adolescent Naturally-Highlighted Gorgeous Caramelly Blonde No. 6.  Preferably in the smirk-free formula.

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