Saturday, August 05, 2006


I found myself at a crossroads the other day - at a place that I have never been before. I found myself in the hair products aisle at the local grocery store, more specifically, I found myself in the hair dye section. This is a place I had passed many times before, but never dwelt in previously. I am only 26 years old, but find myself with an extreme amount of wizened, grey hair…so much so that my coworkers have commented on the amount of it. Apparently it is nothing to worry about - if only I was 49 years of age! So the other today with this comment rolling around in my head, I decided to peruse the selection of hair dyes that might lessen my semi-elderly appearance.

Do you know that there are a hundred and one different hair dyes you can purchase?! How do you subjugate your hair to a mere number and ridiculous name? I could have been No. 4, Sun kissed Melon or a No. 26 Cinnamon Twist, or No. 36, Smooth Ebony. How do you choose? Do you choose according to your personality? If you are a bit silly, do you choose the melon, or if you are spicy do you have to go with the cinnamon? I found this so confusing! Since they didn't have a color named "Donloree", which would have been preferential, I decided to go with no. 21, Burnt Almond. After all, I am a bit nutty and have been burnt a few times in my life, I thought this hair color was truly descriptive of who I am! Besides, the cover had a peppy-looking woman on it that appeared to be really enjoying the hair dye experience. How could I forgo such an exhilarating experience??!?

The little boxes promise so much, but how can I be sure that what they promise will really happen? One of the boxes was out right away - they promised to chase away all my grey hair! I mean, I don't really like them, but if they all get chased away I won't have any hair left! Having no hair left would be a bad choice for me, worse that keeping the grey hair I currently have. I also decided that the grey hair is giving me more volume since they are much thicker than my normal hair and have a tendancy to stick out past my normal hair. I suffer from limp, straight hair, so this is really changing the landscape of my hair - one positive in world of negatives. Many of the boxes promised thicker and healthier hair after dying it, which seems to be an extreme contradiction to me. You glop who knows what kinds of odd smelling chemicals on your head and at the end of this your hair is supposed to be healthier? Uh, huh...If my luck holds true, all of my hair will fall out and then grow back lime colored!

King Solomon tells us that "Gray hair is a crown of splendor; it is attained by a righteous life". I don't know about this....when I look in the mirror, I don't seen any splendor, just gravity and stress hard at work on my body from living the busy life. Let's be honest here, King Solomon was a man. All men look good with some grey hair - also he was rich and the ruler of the land, he set the trends back then! Of course it was a crown of splendor....he was the king! I would like to know what he would say about it if he were a 26 year old woman just trying to appear only 26. Somehow, I think he would be singing a different tune...

After finally selecting a number and color, I still was unsure if I should purchase the hair dye. What does this mean about who I am? Does this officially make me old? Is this the next step before menopause...if so I don't want to take it!! What does this say about how I feel about my "crown of splendor"? Since I was feeling indecisive and old looking I plopped the little box into my cart and promptly hid it beneath my carrots and potatoes. Unfortunately it didn't stay hidden for long, the moment of truth looked me square in the face when I arrived at the cash register. I had to decide whether or not purchase the "No. 21, Burnt Almond" to help me look more my age and lessen my elderly appearance.

In a moment of sheer boldness, I purchased the hair dye. Then I proceeded to let it collect dust in my bathroom, constantly goading my conscience and reminding me about how I appear to be way older than I actually am. Some days I would take it out and muse on whether or not that was the day to cover up my very coveted "crown of splendor" or continue to pretend that it doesn't exist.

After much contemplation, I decided that I should go for it and commit my hair to a new color. So I took a deep breath, glopped on the No. 21, Burnt Almond and spent 20 nervous minutes desperately trying not to drip all over my cream bathroom floor. After putting myself through such mental anguish, no one really noticed! Can you imagine the nerve of these people not to notice - my husband included??!? And to top it all off, it gave my hair an odd orange-like quality.

Since I had already taken the plunge and gotten my feet wet, I jumped in all the way to my armpits! I decided to try it again and went to the next darkest color - this woman looked a bit more subdued, perhaps more like me. I put it in the other my hair is super duper dark! Yikes! I looked a bit like Cher, and that's not a good would be good for Cher, just not for me. Also, it appears as though I have a bruise at my left temple, but it's just dye that I can't seem to remove from my head! I felt like a freak show at work, constantly trying to cover up my new "crown of non-splendor"! After all of this, I might just go back to letting the grey roam wild and free on my head. Perhaps "Au Naturale" is the best way to go... who really knows?

If you don't have grey hair yet, be relieved that you don't have to contemplate the deeper question of life, "To dye, or not to dye...that is the question."

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