Hair is an amazing thing. It’s one of the few things about yourself that you can change over and over without psychoanalysis or surgical procedures. It can be any color, any length, any style. If you don’t have enough of it there’s extensions and weaves. And if you’ve got none at all, there’s always wigs.
I’ve tried all sorts of things with my hair. I was born a strawberry blond that darkened to auburn as I grew. It was an absolutely lovely color but of course, when I hit adolesence, it was imperative that it have blond streaks. My mother insisted that I was too young to dye my hair, so I followed teenage girl lore and used lemon juice to lighten it up. Nothing much happened except that I smelled like a freshly polished dining room table. Then came Sun-In. It promised to give you “that sun-streaked look!” My mother couldn’t object because it wasn’t a dye, it was only a highlighter. I used gallons of the stuff. I sprayed it on everyday. I even took strands of hair and snaked them into the bottle and tried soaking them. All I got was a slightly orange cast that looked more Clowny than a Beach Bunny.
My senior year, my mother decided that she wanted to have her hair frosted. For those of you who don’t know what frosting is, it’s a technique for highlighting hair that involves tying a plastic cap with dozen of holes in it on your head and then pulling strands of hair through the holes with a crochet hook. Then you apply bleach to the hair that’s been pulled through. You look like a cross between Phyllis Diller and a horror movie baby doll.
Before taking the plunge, she bought a short frosted wig to see how she would look. The wig eventually became mine and started me down the long road of changing hair styles. I would put it on to go to school dances. I thought it made me look dangerous. Right after graduation, I cut my hair and had frosting done for real. Then I let it grow out and went natural for a few years. (Looked better with hanging earrings and peasant blouses.) Next, blond. I have pictures of me looking like Miss Piggy. Then semi-natural with henna. Henna is this green mud made from henna leaves that smells like – well like henna. You pack it on your head and leave it there for awhile and it turns your hair henna color. (Which is a dark red.) Then I cut it shoulder length and died it plum. That’s right – plum. Then it was short-short and dark brown. Then longer with blond streaks. Then strawberry blond. (You keeping up with me here?) One time I went punk and had it chopped and chunked. (If you don’t know what that is, you’ll have to look it up.) My husband’s reaction was “What have you done!!!”
Lately, I’ve tried to go back to my roots. (Get it? Back to my roots.) Well, not really. My actual roots are sort of silver now. So I’ve chosen a red that most closely resembles my own color as I remember it. And I’ve let it grow because my husband likes it that way.
But my dream has been (I’m talking from back in the 70’s) to have blue hair. I have no idea why. I just always thought it looked fabulous. And on someone like Katy Perry, it does. I’m too cautious now though. I’ve lost my edge. I’m not close enough to that “I don’t give a damn what you think” phase of life that happens when you are very young or very old. But I see it coming on the horizon. Unfortunately, by that time, my dream to have blue hair won’t have quite the cool vibe I was hoping for.