Monday, October 01, 2012

For Nancy W. and Patti P./Hair Color, If, and Canada

My series on Trust and related aspects is ongoing. Offshoots are sprouting like new growth and I'm having to slow down and organize my thoughts and process a little before posting. 

So today I decided to write something for fun. I asked my Facebook crowd to throw out a topic and I'd write on it. I'm giving myself three hours, so we'll see what springs half-baked tonight. 

Unbeknowst to them, I added in an arbitrary challenge of incorporating something random that I come across in my wanderings. Whatever it is I'm reading about when the suggestion on Facebook is posted, is what I will incorporate into this blog post.

Nancy W. suggested "hair color." At that time, I was in the middle of reading a link from a Tweet from OMG Facts. Excerpt follows:

As Philip II of Macedon, the father of Alexander the Great, conquered all of Greece he sent a very clear message to the Spartans. “If I enter Laconia, I will raze Sparta,” meaning he would steal, rape, or kill anything that was left in the city. And faced with the most powerful army of the time the Spartans had only one word, “If.” 
Read more at 
I had to read that a couple of times, but the gist is the general of the most powerful army of that time threatened to destroy Sparta if he entered their region, and Sparta's answer was "IF." How I less-than-three (love) that! Operative word, "if." 

My hair began turning white at about age sixteen. By my mid-twenties, I had enough white hair that I felt compelled to color it. Instead of going to a professional, I bought a box of Lady Clairol and did it myself. I chose some strawberry-red shade in hopes of emphasizing the chestnut red hue of my natural color. Silly me.

The hair color latched onto the white hairs, which are resistant to dye, and turned out pink. Brilliant fluorescent pink. The darker hairs absorbed the strawberry-red dye and the overall effect was dark brown hair with a decidedly pink glow. I remember the top I wore to work that day. It was red and white calico (scrub top) for my nurses uniform. I imagine it served to emphasize the pinkness of my hair color.

Since then, I have experimented with an entire rainbow of shades ranging from medium ash brown (which ends up with a green tinge) to deep dark brown (which ends up looking way too dark and weird now that my hair is thinner), with many shades and tints in between. 

Once I even went blonde for a brief time right before I knew my hair would fall out from chemotherapy. Blonde, or at least that shade of it, is not my best color. I did notice people treated me differently while I was blonde. I distinctly felt dismissed in a "little lady" sensibility during those weeks by more than one person. Strange because I had never experienced that before (or since). 

I've also had several shades of red/auburn. I think of myself as sort of a reddish-brown-haired lady. In my younger days, BC (before color), I had fairly dark brown hair with a striking chestnut red tinge. The ends of my hair which had absorbed years of sun exposure were brilliant copper like a new penny. Invariably, if I try to downplay the red tones, I fail miserably and end up with either red tones anyway or else green tinges. One time I did manage a totally flat unicolor tone that I hated. It was unnatural.

Right now, it's way too dark with roots exactly the color I want the rest of it to be. I am working on getting back to a color I like. My elder daughter touches up my roots for me, and she does a great job. She rocks! 

So *if* I were to give advice on hair color, I'd say that my experience has been nightmarish both doing it at home and having it done at a salon. The only really competent colorist I had was a woman named Carla back in the early 1980s, and she was wonderful. But I lost track of her and have been unable to replace her expertise since. *If* I found her or a reasonable facsimile again, I'd pay any price to keep my hair colored the shades I want it to be. I'm not holding my breath. 

I did let it grow out to its natural color, twice. It's pretty but I don't like how I feel when my hair is white. *If* I had a different skin tone, I'd look better -- maybe even good. And *if* I had to let it grow out and go white/natural, I could deal with it.

Oh, and Patti P.? My perception of Canada is that it is a progressive intelligent relatively well governed nation with an open-minded populace for the most part. And it's cold. And y'all like hockey and beer. And moose products. And so far, everyone I've gotten to know from there over the past twenty years, I've liked. Regardless of hair color. *If* that means anything. And I'd love to go to British Columbia but especially Nova Scotia. And maybe Newfoundland. B.C. to meet you and Bailey Hunter. Nova Scotia for various reasons, same with Newfoundland. 

Stay tuned for tomorrow when I promise to get back to my series. And thanks for reading. ~GHC

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