22 May 2012

Lighten up, Ken.

Today I dyed my hair.

As I drove to my salon this morning, I second-guessed my decision to go back to my preferred non-natural colour. It would have been brave, and kind of classy, to embrace my real hair. Some of my friends have resolved to grow out their roots, and I admire their commitment to authenticity. I could have followed their lead, and now that I’d ditched the wig, used this as an opportunity to forego the expensive salons and allow gray into my life. A fresh start, with the real me.

But the real me is quite shallow. And the real me doesn’t want to look like an extra from Cocoon, which is why the real me hides under hats. The real me wants brown hair! But - the real me also wants to avoid toxins, so I looked around until I found a stylist who uses the ‘greenest’ products; those that don’t burn your scalp and make your eyes water. (Her products come from Europe, where unlike Canada, they have banned certain chemicals found in colours, bleaches and tints).

 But one of the challenges of a new stylist is they have to figure out how well your hair will ‘take’ to the color. Miranda, my new ‘green’ gal, slapped on a bunch of dye and wrapped my head in clear plastic for twenty minutes. I was concerned that my 4-month-old hair would resist the dye, but I needn’t have worried, as it absorbed every iota of the colour. In fact it was freakishly dark. After it was rinsed, and sculpted, I looked like a Ken Doll.

It struck me as rather unfair that my hair has been such an issue. First I looked like grandpa, and then I looked I had my hair painted on by one of the talented artists at the Mattel corporation in 1958.  My new stylist smiled down at me reassuringly. ‘Don’t worry,’ she said, ‘It will lighten up’.

I think she was talking about my hair, but it’s possible she may have been talking about life.  So in the spirit of lightening & brightening, and with nothing on my head but a pair of sunglasses, the new real me into my Big Jim Sports Camper, and sped away.

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