Hair Affair

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.



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12 responses to “Hair Affair

  1. wilmahatcher

    It always looks great (welllll, maybee, I didn’t see it the time you did it on Saturday). It looks really nice now; I wouldn’t worry too much about the gray hairs. My mother-in-law was completely white hair in her thirties. I think it was a family trait. You look beautiful, no matter what, even in pj’s.

  2. I’m turning 30 in August and I also have enough gray hair that I should seriously consider coloring it. The thing is I always told myself I wouldn’t. But of course I thought I’d be in my 40s when the gray hit!!

    I’m trying the fork thing tomorrow. I want crimpy looking hair. And Meg Ryan’s so adorable.

  3. Lucinda

    While I agree with you that a mother should not have gray hairs in her head when she is changing a poopy diaper, I admit that my hair and head did not follow that rule. I am going tomorrow to have someone do the job for me, because I do not trust myself to do anything near as good as your “worst”. It has gotten so bad that the last time I had a haircut the girl asked when I could come for her to do the color. She said that if it was not for growing it out, I would be very much gray. Now, I can not have that! Thanks for the fun read.

  4. Your hair turned out great!

    I am almost 46. I switched to the kind of hair dye that promises to cover color resistant grays. 😦

  5. Julie, I’ll be there in 10 years. Color-resistant grays.

  6. Julie A.

    Loved this post. It is no secret that I have been coloring my own hair since my freshman year in high school. I would have to be in the same “fickle with my hair” club. While I have changed from short to long, and back again- the color has pretty much remained the same. Just various shades of blonde. You go girl

    • WV Grammy

      Julie, I remember when you were going to go back to your original color and Jeff didn’t like it because he could not find you in a crowd. : )

  7. its beautiful!! And I loved all the pics you showed us. I, on the other hand, cut my hair all the way off every 3 or 4 years, then grow it all the way out doing NOTHING with it until one day, I do it again!!

  8. Martha

    I absolutely LOVED this, Jenn! (And I do remember that college cut and that boy…) I was laughing out loud and poor Jim couldn’t get any work done on his Cuban Missile Crisis paper, so I just took the time to read some sections out loud, but I’m not sure how much he could understand because I was still laughing so much while I read!

    Thank you for sharing the real stories from your life: the tears and the laughs–(and I really think many of these posts you could get published….:) )
    Love you!

  9. Martha, I love you. And tell Jim I’m sorry I interrupted his classwork. If he doesn’t get a PhD, I’ll feel guilty.

    Do you remember how I would come interrupt your studying and call myself the Study Inhibitor? I guess I can even do that inadvertently.

    • Martha

      I had forgotten! What a wonderful memory…you can be my Study Inhibitor anytime, friend.

      I, too, have discovered gray hairs and I still have an untrained still-diapered 3-year-old.

      I have not tried to color my own hair. Maybe when you come visit I’ll ask you to do mine.

  10. Luci

    I loved reading your story. Hope that things are going well for you and your family. I too have been very fickle with my haircuts from demi moore’s “ghost” cut, to all sorts of lengths and styles down to the middle of my back. . I’ve tried to keep my hair color as close as I can to the natural dark brown (almost black)it started greying while I was a freshman in high school. So now I have freshly colored hair (I color it myself using colorsilk 20)and I don’t like the length and lack of style. I’m also wanting the French Kiss haircut and wondering if I can pull it off….How many pics did you bring to your stylist? Thanks for the fork tip, if I get the haircut, I’ll keep it in mind 🙂

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