I learnt the hard way when I was seventeen that “Tunisian Blonde” essentially meant “pink hair”. You’d think the ensuing weeks of walking around looking like Stephanie from Lazy Town might have put me off dying my hair for life, but alas, no.
Last weekend I found myself unexpectedly alone in the house for twenty hours and got a bit carried away. I had been the Walking Wall of Beige for so long now that it was time to be bold and to make a change. I went to the supermarket and purchased a packet of hair dye called “Bordeaux Chocolate Brown”, partly because the colour looked rich and lustrous, but mostly because it was on sale.
As I applied it to my head, the fact that “Bordeaux” was a region known more for its red wine than its chocolate began to worry me. It looked very, uh, purple. I grew deeply concerned that I was going to look like some kind of mid-life crisis Barney The Dinosaur. Result.
Nervously, I waited the requisite 30 minutes and rinsed it out. Wet, it didn’t look too bad. It certainly didn’t look purple. Maybe I wouldn’t look too bad after all?
After a while, however, I became concerned again. Surely my hair would have dried by now? I put my hand to my head and realised it was bone dry.
I rang KT. “I seem to have made a terrible mistake! I’ve put a colour through my hair and it’s come out black!”
“That sounds great!” KT enthused.
“No, it isn’t. It’s accentuated every single blemish and wrinkle on my face. I look like one of those old Italian women who can’t let go of their youth!” I wailed.
“All you need is some make up!” KT reassured me.
“Makeup??” I was horrified. The only time I had really worn makeup in the last twenty years was my wedding day and even then I had run screaming from the eye shadow. “Oh, god. What have I done…”
“Don’t worry, it’ll wash out. I mean, it wasn’t permanent, was it?” KT asked.
“I don’t know. I’ll check…” I said, grabbing the box. “OH. MY. SWEET. FUCK… It’s not only permanent but it’s “salon-tested fade-proof”. I mean, if it says it on the box it must be true. Oh god! The regrowth! I’ll have a beige-coloured skunk stripe along my part in a matter of weeks! WEEKS!”
I rang my husband, who had taken the kids to Blinkton for the night.
“Um, I’m not sure you should leave me alone in the house again,” I said. “You could say the freedom has gone to my head… literally…”
And I confessed to the fact that I now officially looked like Liberace but without the diamontes and jewelery and how I now understood why he wore all that sparkly crap – it was to take the focus off his goddamn hair. And how, instead of enjoying my child-free time, I was just wandering from room to room and exclaiming “GAH!” every time I caught sight of my reflection.
My husband was philosophical.
“I’ll still love you,” he said. “In any case, I’ve got the hair clippers.”
I can see where all this is heading. If I cut all my hair off, rather than looking like Sinead O’Connor or even Britney Spears mid-nervous breakdown, I’ll look like Jabba The Fucking Hutt. (*Sigh*).
It’s really hard to know which way to go with this.