I tend to be rather fickle with my hair. Cut if off. Let it grow. Get a perm. Straighten it. Color it. Style it. Put it in a ponytail. No, I am definitely not one of those girls who has the same hair style for 20 years. I had 6 children in 7 1/2 years, and I have a different hairstyle in each picture of me in the hospital. I can tell what baby it was by the way my hair was styled! (This was #6!)
I have been known to say, “I don’t have anything to do tonight. Mom, do you want to highlight my hair?” I made a long-distance call to my OB/GYN when I was visiting my parents for Thanksgiving and I was pregnant with our third child so I could ask him if it would be OK to get a perm. I had woken up that morning and decided I wanted curly hair.
I’ve had diagonally-cut hair, wedged hair, bobbed hair, and old-lady curls all over your head hair. I’ve had hair as short as an inch or two from my head and hair to my waist.
I did the whole permed hair and teased bangs in high school. In college, a boy told me he liked another girl’s hair cut and it would look good on me. Her body size and build and the shape of her face were completely different! Her hair color and texture were different. That hairstyle looked horrible on me! Why would I listen to a boy?
I have had bangs and no bangs. Layers and no layers. Red hair. Brown hair. Highlights. Lowlights.
I went through a whole Meg Ryan in the movie French Kiss phase and actually used a fork — yes, a FORK — to twist my hair while I blew it dry. That’s what the girl at the salon told me to do. Twirl the little pieces of hair like spaghetti while blowing it dry. I did it, and it worked. I had beautifully messy hair, just like Meg, only much browner. But I still think that salon girl must have had a good laugh with her girlfriends, “These people will do anything you say! I actually got a college graduate to twirl her hair on a fork! People are stupid!”
I have learned some lessons the hard way. Like you can’t really fix a haircut you hate by coloring your hair yourself. And you shouldn’t really color your hair on a Saturday night. The next day is Sunday, and if you end up with, say, maroon hair then you can’t get some professional to help you before church. I’ve also learned that if you do end up with maroon hair late on a Saturday night, you can’t make it all better by using some herbal hair highlighting mix that has been in your medicine cabinet for a couple years. ‘Cause then your hair will turn orange.
I’ve also learned that highlighting my own hair never really ends well. I just lack the skill or the coordination or maybe it’s just that I can’t really see my hair all around my head, so I have no idea where I’m brushing those highlights. I always end up looking like somebody accidentally spilled some bleach randomly around my head.
Once a hairdresser in the mall actually mocked my home highlights. She smirked and asked, “Did you do this yourself?” I was self-deprecating and totally blew it off. But I hadn’t thought it was THAT obvious until she said something! And it must have been bad because this woman had that whole 2 inches of black roots with spiky platinum ends thing going on. So if she thought her hair was good, then mine must have been really bad! By the way, I guess if you’re doing the black roots on purpose it looks cooler than if you just haven’t had time to get in for touch-ups.
So, it was with a bit of trepidation that I colored my own hair on Monday. But I really had no choice. In the past couple months, I have found several white hairs in my head. Gray hairs! On me! I’m chalking it all up to the stress of my husband almost dying in January. That could turn a girl’s hair gray, right? Yeah, it must be the stress of that because I’m far too young to have gray hair.
Anyway, so I found these gray hairs, but I still have a child who is not potty-trained so I can’t go gray. I think that’s a rule. If you’re young enough to change your own child’s poopy pull-ups, you’re too young for gray hair. And my husband doesn’t exactly think the color wash with highlights and lowlights from the salon is in our missionary budget. So I bought the box of Loreal hair coloring (because I’m worth it) and decided to do it myself.
I am happy to report that my hair is a beautiful, normal rich brown color. Gone are the home highlights the mall salon girl scoffed at. Gone are the wiry gray hairs my husband’s near-death experience caused. My hair did not turn orange or maroon. It does not look like somebody closed her eyes and colored on my head with a Clorox bleach pen.
So, for now it’s brown, long, layered, no bangs. But I did watch that Meg Ryan movie again, and I have plenty of forks in the drawer. I am fickle when it comes to my hair.