Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Kool-Aid Man and Hair Hindsight

I am one of those people who admittedly don’t adapt well to change.

I mean sure, change is good, I get it. But I have always been nostalgic and comfortable, even when unhappy at times. Because you know that they say the Devil you know is better than the Devil you don't and blah blah blah.

Bearing that in mind, I however have changed my hair more than anyone I know over the last decade and beyond. Color after color, style after style. For someone who has such a take on change, I really run the gamut on that one.

It started when I was in high school. I would color random colored streaks in the underside of my hair. I did this with Kool-aid.

You heard right, Kool-aid. The big, fat pitcher coming through the wall kid of Kool-aid. I would boil a packet of the non-sugared variety (healthier somehow?) and I would stand over the stove in my mother's kitchen with my hair lying in the pot of boiling water.

How the hell I heard of this method I now have no idea, but I would have random streaks of bright red, green, blue etc. that would last until I cut my hair. Some faded out with washes, but the red somehow stayed for many, many months, leaving me to wonder if it did that to my hair, what was it doing to my insides? (Yeah I haven't drank Kool-aid since the 90's because of it)

I soon went back to my blackish natural locks and then finished out high school. That summer I opted to have blonde highlights put in my hair, and a love affair was born.

Of course.

The later that summer my cousin who was in hairdressing school came to stay with us. I was lucky enough to play guinea pig to a lot of her learning process. I figured, hey why go with highlights when I can me all the way blonde right?

So off we went to Sally Beauty Supply. An adventure in and of itself as we cruised the ailes looking for the right bleach. Oh yes, the novices in an aisle filled with varying bottles of miscellaneous volumes of bleach and zero guidance.

We found what looked good and off we went to the register. Home and giddy, we holed up in the second floor bathroom of my parent’s house for hours as she coated my hair with bleach.

What I thought at the time was blonde, in hindsight (and thanks to photo's I somehow allowed to be taken at the time...) it was actually more an orange color, but to my normally deep colored hair it was blonde to me.

Of course, I also then chopped my hair off and went to college. Yet another change from the long tendrils I held all through high school. (Of course in the years prior, I had been a victim to the hair trend of the 80's and early 90's which obviously included bad spiral perms and poufy bangs)

But naturally, a trend was born to me and I felt the need, or more the desire, to constantly change my hair.

Varying shades of blonde over the years, different reds and browns. I seemed to be more experimental with color when it was shorter. And from time to time it was. And I mean short.

Just a couple of years ago I lopped off my hair, which at the time was just about waist length in favor of a choppy, to the nape of my neck Beckham bob (which apparently everyone hated). It was blonde in the front, and darker in the back (due to not having had the underside of my hair colored in quite some time). I later went for a dark red, then a lighter red, and eventually back to blonde as it grew out.

Of course, I am lucky that my hair grows as though some sort of bizarre growth agent had been applied to my scalp. With all the miscellaneous dyes and products my hair has seen over the years, it any wonder I have hair at all.

So it took no time at all for that short cut to get back to a manageable length, and of course in the midst I cut bangs. You know those thick bangs that were "in" a couple years back? I HAD to do something different, even in the process of going back to the same old thing.

I've had side bangs, I've had layers, and I’ve done all one length. I've had short hair, long hair, red hair, blonde hair, and black hair. (Hidden beneath it all is grey hair, but shh we don't talk about that.)

But now that I am older, even though I still change things up, I know more now what I prefer.

I like my hair long, and I like being blonde.

Is it a crime against nature that I bleach the bejeesus out of my naturally dark tresses? Maybe.

Am I being punished by it breaking and falling out in spots from trying to get it blonde again after a brief tryst this fall with a dark brown color? Most likely.

But damnit I WILL be blonde again.

(For now...)

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