I’ve never been able to understand people’s fears about their hair. Truly. In some cases, it seems the individual believes she is her hair — that without it, she wouldn’t be the same person. That she wouldn’t look attractive, or worse, that others wouldn’t find her so. In particular, their husbands. It’s interesting. And to be the ever present fair individual that is the bane of my existence, I’ll admit that it would concern me if the MoH showed up with purple hair and his head shaved on one side and sporting curls on the other. It isn’t that I would no longer find him to be the crazy intelligent and enticing person he is. It’d be more that I’d expect him to be fired, and then I’d have to get a real job. Okay?
I can remember being very anxious when I was young if my hair wasn’t symmetrically curled. It’s a wonder my mother didn’t whack me upside the head with the hair brush while admonishing me to get a grip. (Perhaps she did, and because I sustained brain damage, I lack the memory to recall the event…) God forbid that someone notice that things weren’t perfectly aligned. You know. Things. I can remember being being obsessed about my clothes then as well, hating a particular skirt because the pleats wouldn’t lie straight, or a collar was flat on one side. Everything had to be just right. This affliction wasn’t about hoping to gain attention from anyone. Absolutely not. The absolute horror of someone noticing me was something I never wanted. If I saw someone looking at me, I just knew that something had to be wrong. That things were not as they should be. My immediate reaction was one of intense embarrassment. The horror of it all. It was semi- debilitating for a very long time. Well, not quite. But I just don’t care anymore. Yes, I care about my appearance, I just choose to be free of the stifling restrictions I put on myself to appease everyone else (as if they actually had anything to do with it to begin with). Okay, I actually got a grip and deal with these less than earth-shattering issues in a realistic fashion.
So what does this all have to do with brown hair? Well…
Recently, my sister in law asked whether I’d be interested in being a model for a hair stylist class for a particular product line. I’d get free hair color out of it, and maybe a trim. Since it had already been a few months since I had my color done, I was sans gift certificate, and I’d thrashed my hair this summer in the sun and water, I told her I was game. Somehow, it slipped my mind. So I was surprised when she called to remind me that I said I was interested, and that two days would be involved: Sunday morning to do the hair color; and Monday to do the show. Two days. Two. And both in L.A. No hotel. Driving two days in a row.
Now, if you’ve been taking notes on my on-going blatherings (a redundancy, as the concept of blathering has evolved into a pastime denoting incessant verbosity…) you are completely aware that I not only less than love driving, but driving to L.A.? Well. But it was for free hair. And not only free hair, but free brown hair. Brown. Not blonde like everyone else in Paradise. B-R-O-W-N. Woot! I was sooooooo there.
But I had forgotten, so her reminder caused a bit of anxiety last week as the days approached. Anxiety about my hair? Are you kidding? Hell, no. I just don’t like having things on my calendar (I so do not own a calendar anymore…). Having items on my calendar disrupts the chaotic ebb and flow of life around here because I have to think about something concrete. I’m sort of out of practice, so then I have to apply myself in a more than unfocused way. Quite the challenge.
So, yes. Free brown hair.
You might be wondering why I bother? Well, I’ve wondered that a bit myself. The main reason is that growing out one’s hair is a less than attractive activity. One wanders around looking a bit like she’s sat in water up to here eyeballs for a while with one color emerging slowly on top as the other, older color fades and changes. Yes, one might schedule regular trims to speed the process. Or, one might even cut one’s hair very short, mightn’t one? One?
Okay, I have thought of cutting my hair very short to get to the root of things…Bwhahahahahaha...but have you ever seen a guinea pig’s hair? The type of guinea pig that has all the cowlicks with its hair going every which way? That would be me. Yes, I could get some Dep or something and swish things around a bit, then it would look intentional, but I doubt it. I will think on this, however. One never knows with me.
So until I figure all that out, I’m going for the free brown hair.
Besides, I got quite the education while on this little adventure:
I really can drive to L.A. by myself and be sane when I get there. I cannot, however, drive 65 or 70 m.p.h. because everyone else is driving 85-90 m.p.h. even on a Sunday morning at 7am. Who knew? What is the big freaking hurry?
People who work in the “hair business” are in a completely different world than I have ever been. I suspected this and have had hairdressers I love tell me. So now I believe them. It’s fascinating to observe. They talk. A lot. They’re sort of bubbly, are completely unabashed about anything having to do with their bodies — starting with their hair, and eat, think, speak, and wax prolifically about hair. Okay? Hair. (It’s a bit like me and food…) And they love tattoos in interesting places… High-heeled shoes and platforms in zebra stripes and leopard patterns that cost $7 a pair, and do I want to know where the shop is so I, too, can stop before returning home.
It is possible to have hair that was maybe brown once upon a time, and then black, then white, then with rainbow colors all at the same time. And, it is possible to “lift” those colors if you use the correct sequence of products. Lift as in make them more intense. “Like, insanely intense.” And shiny. Like, you know?
It is possible to do all of that to your hair and still have it feel like hair. Not synthetic. Or have it stretch when it’s wet in the bowl. Stretch? Oh. My. Goodness.
A hairdresser’s scissors — a good pair — cost $750. Really. I was amazed. They are sharp enough to cut off a finger.
The owner of the company whose products were being featured clearly enjoys what he is doing (what a concept, huh?) really wants people in the business to understand the science behind the products they use every day (you know — actually think instead of just following directions), and was fascinating to listen to. Very.
There’s a conspiracy going on out there. The big skin and hair companies are buying up all the smaller brands (this is new information?) and the result is that most products are now all the same. Plus, they’re being marketed in the grocery stores now, so people can actually purchase them while buying groceries instead of having to purchase products at a salon. Okay, so maybe not a conspiracy, but clearly a problem for those in the industry who are told that selling products they use in their salons can pay for their overhead. Very interesting.
I have retained more than I thought I had about chemistry. High fives, anyone? Who knew that the reason you hair turns orange when you try to bleach it (remember Sun-In?) is because of iron oxide. And that the reason you have to use products in a particular order (facial care and hair care) is because of the size of the molecules (small first, working to large.) I could keep going, but I detect snoring in the room, so I’ll stop.
Being a hairdresser is a hard job. Hard. I’d have difficulty standing in one place all day (Wait. I forgot. That’s how I put myself through college.) and then having to do what they tell you to do instead of being able to create. It might be interesting, though. But without the tattoos and shoes. I don’t understand how they can work in those heels.
I still have big hair. You know, like in the ’80’s? Yes, that big. I thought I’d never see it again, but no. It’s still possible. Big. With curls.
When I got home Sunday, the MoH said he liked my brown hair several times throughout the evening. I’m thinking he was making some visual adjustments and the commentary was just processing exhaust. The RT reaction was more succinct. Interesting, was his only evaluation. Kind of like what I think about his hair, so that makes us even.
Monday, was a bit different, however. We had our hair styled (do you know how long it’s been since I had hairspray in my hair?) and make-up done for the show. Lots of make up — like as in, I had eyebrows. I had to get on the stage with all the other “models” and allow ourselves to be talked about under the bright lights and examined. Now, it was mentioned that we weren’t exactly the type of models they’d have on the runway. (Oh really?) No, we were the “you’d see these types of real people with real problems in your shops” set of models. We had our formulas pinned to our chests while sporting logo-bearing Tees that were quite a bit tighter than anything I’ve worn since birth. At least mine wasn’t a tube top, see-through, or one that said, “Enjoy your blow.” Ahem. We had to carry a “before” photo around, allowing professionals in the audience to touch our hair and take notes on our color. Very interesting.
As much as I can say that it’s easy to be in the spirit of things while at the show, at some point, I had to go out in the sunlight. My hair is a lovely color with barely a blonde streak in sight. But I had to see my made up face in my own bathroom mirror. I had to see the RT look at me and then look elsewhere just to be polite. At least he didn’t call me Groucho.
But I did take a photo. Of course. I had to.
Last Week’s Drudgery
Sadly, the fairy dust only lasts so long (my big hair deflated a bit on the way home…) But at least I now am the proud owner of brown hair.