I’ve noticed, while staying at home for the past three weeks, that my hair is getting grayer, mostly at the roots. In fact, if the stripe of light gray down the center of my head gets any wider, I’ll begin to resemble a skunk.
Sure, I've considered going all gray (or white) at some point and allowing my long, reddish-brown hair (compliments of Clairol) to grow out so I'll never have to bother coloring it again. But as much as this would be the perfect time to take that plunge, I just can’t bring myself to do it yet. First of all, the thought of having so much white on top of my head I’ll resemble a bald eagle, really doesn’t appeal to me. Also, I fear that if I allow my lengthy hair to go completely gray, I’ll end up looking like the Wicked Witch of the West.
My cousin's hair was gray by the time she reached her 30s.
"I'm never going to dye it," she proclaimed. "I earned every one of these gray hairs and I'm going to proudly display them, not hide them!"
I wish I had her courage. I figure I’ll probably still have reddish-brown hair when I'm 95 and my face is saggier than a basset hound's.
I used Clairol’s Loving Care for many years…until the company discontinued it. I then started using Nice ‘n Easy hair coloring…which they also stopped making. So now I have to buy my Nice ‘n Easy from England where, for some reason, they have it in abundance. I guess the British prefer the natural look.
Either that, or they don’t want to go through all of the bother of dyeing their hair at home, the way I do. It might be a bother, but I figure it’s cheaper than going to a hairdresser (a.k.a. a professional who, unlike me, actually knows the proper way to color hair without causing irreparable damage to it).
The most difficult part of coloring my hair when I first started years ago, was finding a color that actually was close to my original color. No matter how the color looked in the photo on the box, it always came out four shades darker on my hair, for some reason. Light brown came out dark brunette. And medium brown gave me such jet-black hair, I looked like a cross between Cher and Morticia Addams.
“There must be something wrong with my body chemistry,” I complained to one of my friends. “No matter which color I try, it comes out really dark on me. I’ll bet even if I bought platinum blonde, it would come out dark brown on me.”
She laughed and gave me a “duh” look.
“The pictures on the boxes are how the colors look on hair that is colorless to begin with – like white hair,” she said, “to give you the true shade. But if you’re applying the coloring to hair that’s already mostly brown, then of course it’s going to come out darker.”
She made sense. So I finally settled on Loving Care’s number 75, light ash brown, which I used for years. Then it was announced that Loving Care was being discontinued, but Nice ‘n Easy would replace it. Everything about it, they promised, including the color/shade numbers, still would be the same.
The first thing I noticed on the new Nice ‘n Easy box was the color of the hair on the model. It looked about three shades darker than the original number 75. The second thing I noticed was the Loving Care box always said the color wouldlast for 6-12 shampoos. Nice ‘n Easy said eight. No leeway, just plain eight.
No matter how many times I’ve colored my hair, I’ve never failed to make a mess. Light ash brown has ended up on the walls, the towels, my clothes, and worst of all, on the tips of my ears. In fact, having brown ears has become pretty commonplace for me. The back of my neck also has been known to display various shades of brown on a regular basis. People must think I have no soap or water at my house. Either that, or I'm a real crud.
Anyway, I see no reason why I should waste the only precious box of Nice ‘n Easy I currently have left and color my hair during this stay-at-home period, because no one is going to see me other than my dogs. Therefore, I have vowed not to dye anything until life returns to normal and people once again are free to come and go as they please.
However, I’m already envisioning myself emerging from my house looking something like this…
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Sally Breslin is an award-winning humor columnist and the author of “There’s a Tick in my Underwear!” “Heed the Predictor” and “The Common-Sense Approach to Dream Interpretation." Contact her at: firstname.lastname@example.org.