My boy's first Steampunk convention is coming up. It has been a big rush to finish up the fabulous costume he has been building, yes building, for our first day at the convention. Oddly enough, I was able to find my outfits for day one and two from among my own possessions.
The boys insisted that I dye my hair "Amy Pond Red" to complete my Steampunk Victorian look. No way! Not gonna do it, not no way, not no how, never gonna happen. I love her hair color but I could never purposely go so bold. I still found myself a few weeks later, however, standing in a beauty supply shop in the center of a double 25+ ft. long aisle of hair color products looking at different shades of red, wondering if I had the guts to go for it.
The store clerk with the lavender purple hair assured me that if I tried a temporary color it would wash out in only a few days of shampooing, a semi-permanent in only four to twelve. I immediately shied away from the temp. colors as all five or six of them that were available were in the bright, daring versions of her own hue, and started looking at the red/browns.
Fortunately, the few pesky strands of gray hair that are showing up with more frequency over the last few years in my own hair haven't been bothersome enough to have me considering covering them, and with the exception of toying with color a bit, years ago, I have no experience with such things.
My natural hair color is brown with the subtle red highlights that are prevalent among the members of my father's side of the family, so in the color aisle, I looked at color samples that were redder than my hair has ever been.
I'm not a shopper or browser. I am the kind of person, for the most part, who runs into a store to buy what I need and then out as quickly as possible. The twenty minutes it took me to decide on a color, or if I even wanted to color my hair, still standing in that one aisle was beyond frustrating. I finally, after hounding the poor violet haired girl with more questions, decided to choose a color that would wash out in four to twelve shampoos, figuring that I could stay home and wash it that many times before I would be seen in public or by anyone I know if it turned out to be one of those horrific hair disasters I am always hearing about. "Amy Pond Red" was definitely out. I'm not the kind of person who can pull that off, so I settled on a reddish brown that looked more red than brown, and that was that.
All week I hemmed and hawed and had nearly decided that "I didn't have time" to try out the new hair color. Then there was the strict warnings on the bottle instructions about allergic reactions and this test patch on the inside of my elbow that I was supposed to perform to see if I would have a reaction to the dye. There were also the lumps that remain from what I suspect was a spider bite I received a few weeks ago to worry about. Not broken skin, but still hanging around at the nape of my neck, nonetheless. Too much trouble and worry and so much else to do this week.
Well, I did the test patch and nearly 24 hrs. later got up and decided to go for it, but...no gloves. You are supposed to wear gloves to apply the color. Oh well, there goes that, I thought. Then I remembered my stash of plastic grocery bags. I wonder... I found one with no store logo on it and thought that I should choose it rather than taking the chance that I would be adding the color from a store's logo to my dye job. But could I do it one-handed and keep the toxic chemicals from getting into my eyes as the bottle also cautioned against?
I did and after 25 nerve-wracking minutes of sitting with extremely red goop all over my head, the job was done. I rinsed and rinsed, so nervous to see all of that red, RED water going down the drain, wondering if I had done something really really dumb, until the water finally ran clear, at least another 25 minutes later.
After blow drying it into place I popped out of the bathroom, ta da! style to see if my husband would have the same reaction to the change as I had when I saw the first dried strands in the glow of the bathroom vanity lights. He did. He peered closer, squinting his eyes to detect any difference from my natural color whatsoever. Like myself, he saw none. I was trying not to laugh as I dragged him into the bathroom behind me and stood on tiptoe as close to the overhead lights as I could.
"Now can you tell? It's like the color of Cherry Coke when you hold a two-liter up to the light, you know, like it was before I colored it."
"Oh yeah", he finally said, still wrinkling his nose."
About an hour later, with a lot of hinting from me, my kids finally saw "the change". One said he noticed that my hair was shinier.
Oh well. I'm comfortable, at least, not totally freaking and washing my hair until it falls out as I'd imagined could happen. Those 20 to 30 pesky gray hairs? Gone. Washed away like the money I just sent swirling down the drain by buying a bottle of hair dye the exact stinkin' shade of my own. Dummy.