So, one of the adventures submitted for consideration was for me to dye my hair brown. HA! I scoffed at that one immediately. Not gonna happen. I’m blonde. I’ve always been blonde. I’ll always be blonde (except someday we may call it silver). It’s pretty much the only committed relationship I’ve maintained throughout my life. It’s part of who I am. Dye my hair brown? Riiiiiiigggghhhht. Nice try. And then, about an hour before my hair appointment, I started thinking “Why Not?” Isn’t this year about getting out of my comfort zone? Maybe Kris was right…
In truth I’ve always kind of wondered what it would be like to have beautifully rich mahogany hair. A full brown with warm red highlights that shine when the sun catches them… Ahh, gorgeous. In fact… I once tried to achieve the look myself.
Sometime during my senior year of college I bought a box of hair dye — the much fantasized mahogany. Based on the picture on the box it was the dramatic change I was seeking… but, I just couldn’t find the nerve to ever try it. Fast forward to winter break my first year teaching…
Break was almost over and I was getting a bit stir-crazy. So, one night a couple days before school was to start back up, I found the old box (key word here: OLD) of hair dye I’d never quite been brave enough to use and I just went for it. No test strand, just full on makeover mode — ain’t skir’d.
Until I rinsed it out. Then I was horrified. I burst into tears. What was I going to do? School started up in two days and here I was with not just pink hair, but every shade of pink from fuchsia to magenta to burgundy… OH. MY. GOD. And, to make matters worse, the middle school I taught at was pretty strict about the students not being allowed to dye their hair “unnatural colors”. Shit.
Fortunately, early 20’s Jean was nothing if not resourceful. Still in tears, at 9 o’clock at night, I called up the mother of a student from my homeroom whom I remembered was a hair dresser. She was so sweet and offered to see me the very next morning.
The next day I walked into her salon, took my baseball cap off and, after a surprised gasp, she said “Oh wow, it REALLY is pink. And all kinds of pinks at that. How in the world did you manage this?” Talent I guess.
After stripping my hair of color twice (think really bad chemicals) it still appeared to be pale pink all over. I had to keep it that way for two weeks before she’d put more blonde in afraid my hair would all fall out. Suffice it to say my one attempt to explore my interest in being a brunette was not a successful endeavor.
Fourteen years later I tried again. And by “I” I really mean my most amazing hair stylist Nicole Davis (seriously, she’s amazing — like I’m 87% certain she has wizard blood coursing through her veins because what she can do with color is nothing short of magical). I have to say, this time was a smashing success.
I still need to get a makeover and play with colors in my wardrobe (I totally think I can pull off citrine now — holla!), but overall I am LOVING it! It’s fun to make a drastic change. The reactions are priceless — from excited to stunned to disappointed to unnerved, it’s amazing how something like one’s hair color can have such an affect on people.
For me the biggest challenge has been seeing the hair in the sink. I’ve always been quite the hairy beast (we’ve already established my nose is like staring up into a gorilla pen) but the abundance of shedding hair has always been blonde. I don’t know if it’s because I’m not used to it yet and keep thinking it’s someone else’s hair, or if it really is just that much more visible, but a sink full of dark hair is kinda gross. I never noticed how much there really was before now. In fact, I’m turning a wee bit OCD with cleaning the bathroom sink every morning… about three times. At this rate I’m going to have to add a line item in my budget for Clorox wipes, but… I suppose it’s a small price to pay for adventure.
I’ve wondered what I’d look like with dark hair for a good 25 years. It feels good to know. If there’s something you’ve always wondered about, big or small, find out. Stop wondering. Go for it. I’m glad I did. Plus, I’m like WAY smarter now that I have brown hair. True Story.
XOXO Awkward (Hairy) Jean