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A Hairy Situation Adds Color to Our Lives

I had a bad feeling, which I ignored, so it’s my fault that everything went wrong.
My youngest daughter wanted to color her hair. Brown. Remember brown, it becomes important later. My oldest daughter volunteered to do the coloring. She’s good at that kind of thing. My bad feeling didn’t come from there, or from the history between those two, which is that any contact lasting more than half an hour leads to screaming, insults and thrown objects. I couldn’t identify where that deep feeling of impending doom came from, so I kept my mouth shut. Big mistake.
My oldest daughter’s fiancé conveniently disappeared not only for the hour the project should have taken, but for the two days it ended up taking. He’s not so dumb.
We picked up a box of coloring from a big honkin’ market, which I’ll call BHM (for Big Honkin’ Market). It had a beautiful woman on the front. (The coloring box, not the BHM.) Things were looking up.
Now, the thermostat in my house is set at 60 degrees. My kitchen is one of the smallest rooms, making it easier to keep warm, and has a pilot light, so that’s where we spend our time in the winter. The bathroom’s smaller, but doesn’t have a pilot light, not to mention there’s only one seat. The point is, I was in the same room as the kids while they worked on this project. I would have been hiding in the living room, but I could see my breath in there.
It didn’t start out badly. Nothing was thrown, no pinching, I didn’t have to guard the knife drawer. Charis did her job to perfection, her timing impeccable, and soon she freed her sister’s hair from the confines of plastic and foil –
And the room lit up, as if a natural gas explosion had engulfed the kitchen. Believe me, I know what those look like.
Remember, they were using brown coloring. The problem was, Jillian’s hair was now orange. Bright orange. Florescent orange. State highway worker vest orange. People from two blocks away were calling 911 to say my house was on fire. People two miles away were reporting UFO sightings. On the other side of the country, the psychic who inspired the TV show “Medium” woke up screaming.
Charis sucked in her breath so hard that her face actually disappeared into the back of her head.
Jillian headed for the bathroom to look in the mirror, then stumbled out again, temporarily blinded. She saw spots in front of her eyes for two days.
After several minutes of wailing and gnashing of teeth, we took stock of the situation and did the only logical thing: called their mother, who used to be a professional hairstylist. She lives twelve miles away, but already knew – she’d seen the reflection of my daughter’s hair in low hanging clouds. She informed us that we needed to bring a stripper home.
A stripper? All right! Things were really looking up.
She meant a product that strips color out of hair, which was a big disappointment to me, but made a heck of a lot more sense. The idea was that we would strip the orange out, possibly with the use of a nuclear accelerator, then put a different color in.
So back we went to BHM, to look for more coloring. There Charis discovered a box of the same stuff we’d used had been opened, as it lay on the shelf. Giving in to curiosity, she looked into the box, and discovered contents that were not the same as the one we’d gotten before. In other words, the reason the brown coloring hadn’t worked is that we didn’t have brown coloring. Just the box the brown coloring was supposed to be in.
Someone had been opening the boxes and trading the contents back and forth, no doubt thinking it was quite funny to imagine, say, someone dying their hair red and ending up with blonde. Ha. Ha.
We spoke to the people at the service desk; they were shocked – shocked, I say -- to discover someone had done such a thing, and promised quick retaliation in the form of automatic weapons and surface to air missiles, and a refund.
Having picked a new box with the seal firmly in place, Charis applied the stripper and the new, really brown this time, hair coloring. Soon – when I say soon, I’m talking in geological terms – she finished her work, and presented me with her sister’s new look.
Jillian makes a fine redhead. Problem is, her hair was supposed to be – say it together – brown.
Apparently only so much can be done to repair hair that once glowed with the same intensity as a red giant star. Still, I thought things worked out okay, even if the one hour job stretched out over a weekend. In the end her hair looked okay, and eventually it’ll grow out and be brown again. Besides, no one died.
I came pretty close to dying, when I admitted to that feeling of impending doom from earlier. Why, my daughters said, did I not tell them? Because they wouldn’t believe me, I explained, as they threw silverware my way – they’d have thought I just didn’t want to deal with the situation, which was true.
A quick postscript: Several days later I went to my regular stylist for a haircut, and related this story to her. She explained that BHM had been fighting this problem for some time. So much for the people at the service desk being shocked, huh?
Do you know what that means? It means that somewhere, some poor soul who wanted orange hair is very upset. And brown.


( 18 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 13th, 2006 10:16 am (UTC)
I like orange hair. But then I've always been baffled why anyone would dye their hair brown. If you're going to dye it, it should be blue or purple or green or something interesting. Brown is dull.
Jan. 13th, 2006 10:48 am (UTC)
Actually, she wanted to go back to her original color, which is brown; she's been blondish for awhile now. I'm with you, except you have to keep in mind she's fifteen, and her mother would kill her if she went with any "unnatural" color. So purple is out for the time being.

My preference with women is a natural red color. I fell in love with a redhead once, and never got over it.

Jan. 13th, 2006 10:45 am (UTC)
LOL!! I did this once with a new hairstylist. I'd had blonde hightlights put through my hair and she suggested I she used natural henna to make them a lovely auburn colour.

Nope - it went bright red with even brighter orange hightlights. It was.... interesting, and took forever to fade back to my regular colour!!

I never did go back to that hair stylist!

Hope your daughter is pleased with her hair at the end of the whole process?
Jan. 13th, 2006 10:55 am (UTC)
It took her a couple of days -- and the praise of her friends when she went back to school -- to get used to it, and after that she liked it except for the more orange areas near the roots.

Men are so lucky! No hair coloring, no makeup, no huge choices in underwear, not nearly as much hair removal ... we don't know how well we have it.
Jan. 13th, 2006 11:07 am (UTC)
I've just realised how many spelling errors I made in that post... clearly my fingers aren't working today! I wish you could edit comments - then I could get away with it.

Ah - but one of the pleasures of underwear is the vast array surrounding women in the lingerie section! LOL!

And of course grey hair on a man looks "distinguished", wrinkles "add character" and beards hide double chins... it's not fair */whine*
Jan. 14th, 2006 10:44 pm (UTC)
I've got a heavy-duty thing for lingerie -- only on women, not on me. These days, I guess I should make that clear. Thigh-high's and garter belts are especially drool worthy in my book. I don't know how I'd feel about that if I was female ... probably upset that it's more uncomfortable to wear and more difficult to put on than briefs or boxers.

I've noticed a few grey hairs popping up. I don't think "distinguished", I think "Grecian Formula!" I'd try the beard, but my brother's only a few years older than me and his beard looks like somebody sprayed white paint over him.

p.s. We all have bad typing days!
Jan. 13th, 2006 01:06 pm (UTC)
Poor lass! i'v always had the opposite problem - mine is inclined to ignore most attempts to colour it - I would wait with excitement for it to be a new and exciting colour, and after hours it would be... very dark brown, where it started!

My mother says when she was younger she once went to wash her hair at the kitchen sink, and accidentally washed it with Ajax liquid (powerful chemical cleaner stuff) - her naturally black hair turned green - and this was in the early 1950's before punk was an in look!
Jan. 14th, 2006 10:47 pm (UTC)
Huh -- do they still make Ajax? My mom used to have it in her cupboard. At the time, I didn't have a clue what it was for. Maybe something like that started the whole wild color hair craze to begin with.

Even though I don't really understand the desire to color hair (although I'm getting greys, so maybe I'll understand soon), I feel for you. Jillian loves a good new hair color -- just not a bad one.
Jan. 13th, 2006 01:07 pm (UTC)
Oops - but I'm glad it turned out OK in the end. I bet they make sure they double check the seals on the boxes in future. Charis - what a pretty name.

Shame about the stripper for you though.
Jan. 13th, 2006 01:35 pm (UTC)
Thank you!
Jan. 14th, 2006 10:49 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I was really looking forward to that stripper, too. How was I to know it was for hair? I thought it was some kind of stress relieving thing. :-)

Charis is a great name, but it has the disadvantage that you can never find it in the stores. Not on pencils, license plates, stickers, anything. I think that frustrates her, because her sister's name is everywhere.
Jan. 15th, 2006 12:30 pm (UTC)
but it has the disadvantage that you can never find it in the stores

Mine have the same problem with their names - very little merchandise has Bethan or Ellen (plenty of Bethany's and Ellie's though).
Jan. 15th, 2006 10:17 pm (UTC)
Bethan, that's unusual. If she went by Beth, you could cheat ...
I'm a little surprised that you can't find any Ellen's, though.
Jan. 15th, 2006 04:04 am (UTC)
haha, I've done that.

make sure she gets some "Deep conditioner" she'll need it... as I dyed my hair twice in one day and FRIED it... so yah, deep conditioner (I use Aussi personally, and LOVE it, haha)

I totally know where your daughter's coming from though. 3 cheers for her being brave, lmao. :)
Jan. 15th, 2006 06:31 am (UTC)
She handled it well, better than I do. And she's always been careful about conditioner and stuff; also, she's elected not to do any more coloring, or anything of that sort, until it grows out again, to avoid damage.
Jeez, hair is so hard for girls! All guys need are a comb and ... well, that's about it. :-)
Jan. 15th, 2006 05:42 pm (UTC)

Yah, I was dying mine about once every 2 or 3 months. NOW, I haven't dyed it in over a year, w00t. :-D
Feb. 9th, 2007 11:40 am (UTC)
wheeee! OMG, I almost forgot how hard your humour make me laugh!
The whole time in-between I didn't have a chance to read you old columns - big mistake, cos they make me feel better than my meds.
I actually even have a feeling that I want to get up, go upstairs and see the sun shining.

People from two blocks away were calling 911 to say my house was on fire. People two miles away were reporting UFO sightings. On the other side of the country, the psychic who inspired the TV show “Medium” woke up screaming.

A stripper? All right! Things were really looking up.

Feb. 9th, 2007 10:44 pm (UTC)
The sun's shining? Cool!

I'm happy to be of service. Actually, *I* haven't been in much of a mood to want to get up lately, so getting comments like yours surely helps me out a lot. *hugs*
( 18 comments — Leave a comment )

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