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Claire Thinking
A Non-Blonde Moment

I have a splitting headache. I think it's the aftermath of bad hair.

My body has obviously gone into some kind of shock after my trip to the hairdresser and is expressing its displeasure in the only way it knows how. The excessive trips to the bathroom must not have been from consuming expired milk or too many jalapenos as I had originally suspected.

I know that my stylist was only doing what he thought best. Let's go with a classy 'do, he said. Tone down the blonde bombshell look. Why did I think this was a good idea? The bombshell look was working for me.

I'm not a natural blonde anymore, as my gynecologist and a select few others can attest. I was born blonde though and I cling to that Olan Mills baby photo as my true color. My Mom is still blonde at 80 without any artificial enhancement, so I feel truly cheated that I can't even claim that at 45 for myself.

My oldest sister has taken the same route as I and is chemically dependent on Natural Blonde #9. She is lucky enough that now instead of brown roots she only has white, which blend so much better. Don't tell her I said that. She's a little sensitive about the white hair. Being her baby sister and not having white hair myself, I find it impossible not to point out.

Anyway, it was roots that spurred me into the colorist's chair. As I already said, I am not yet at the stage where my hair grows out lighter than the color I put in it. OK, well there might be one or two strands that pop up here and there, but they have yet to group and force the other hair to surrender their pigment en masse.

I have a feeling that it's kind of like that game Othello. Eventually white surrounds the remaining hair and then they all have to flip to match.

I can only take bad hair for so long before I am tempted to take matters into my own hands. When I found myself drawn toward the hair color aisle at the grocery, I knew that I had to do something and fast. Instant gratification girl and instant hair color can only spell disaster.

I immediately sought professional help. I called the salon and made my appointment for the following afternoon. Avoiding mirrors all the next morning, I was able to make it to my appointment without succumbing to the seductive pull of peroxide and ammonia.

I have to say that my stylist was almost as gleeful as I at the prospect of getting rid of my roots. He kept mumbling something about prom and updos and his hands shook in that shell-shocked, teenager overload kind of way. He practically ran into the back room to grab the hair color board.

Ok, so, prom week probably wasn't the best time to have a hair crisis, but what's a girl to do? I crossed my fingers and hoped for the best. Damn the peroxide! Color ahead! Full speed!

Sadly, my colorist's ideas about hair color and mine just didn't coalesce. I was thinking half a head of highlights with some reds and browns thrown in as a nod to the season change. He was thinking all over color. We compromised with an all over color about the shade of my natural hair, with a few foils on top to jazz it up. It sounded good at the time.

Big mistake!! A few foils do not a jazzy hairdo make. Why did I let him talk me into it? It must be something in the shampoo they use that temporarily weakens the mind and leaves you susceptible to the evil whims of a man who runs with scissors.

It was quite a shock when my hair was thoroughly dried and he spun me around to face the mirror. I'm not sure whom that girl was staring back at me but she definitely wasn't me. That girl had dark almost red hair and looked downright…dare I say it…plain! Aack! What had I done?

I went from bombshell to bland hell in 30 minutes flat. Of course, my hairdresser loved it. He called it "subtle," which is another way of saying that it didn't turn out like it was supposed to. Think of The Emperor's New Clothes and you'll get the idea.

This was worse than the time I tried to put a copper rinse over color treated hair. Bozo spotted hair was nothing compared to this. At least my red spots drew some attention. With this color, I would be practically invisible.

I had been transformed from Marilyn Monroe into Marian the Librarian. I might as well wrap my hair into a bun, trade my contacts for horn-rimmed glasses and adopt a dozen cats.

Why must that look haunt me? Being a librarian, I have fought hard to avoid that stereotype of the meek, mild-mannered, mousy looking spinster. I prefer to think of myself more like Xena, but with books. Alas, I look more like someone's third grade teacher. It's a look that just doesn't work when you are dating.

Nothing against librarians or teachers, but it's hard to be sexy and alluring when the man sitting across from you is probably picturing you in one of those shapeless jumpers with the Disney characters on the front. I realize that for some men that might be a turn on, but I get a queasy, headachy feeling just imagining it.

Fortunately, I'm not afraid to take matters into my own hands. A quick trip to the hair products aisle and the blonde is back. Identity restored.

Well, actually, it wasn't that quick if you count the time I spent online to find the color I wanted, then the time in the store picking out something completely different, and then my botched attempt to color and highlight, followed closely by another trip to the store (scarf on head) for a different color to cover up my mistakes…well, you get the idea. All that really matters is that eventually I made it to a color that I can live with and that makes me smile when I look in the mirror.

I guess I'm safe for now, but hair grows and you know what that means. By the end of the month the roots will be back and the siren call of the peroxide bottle will be drawing me near. This time I will willingly follow.

Bottle blonde beats bland any day. Goodbye, Marian. Hello, Info Hottie!

Now if only I hadn't bought those hair scissors when I was picking out my color.


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