Then there were the “red” years. This was way before red hair was all the rage. I have been all shades of red…some on purpose and some not. Two instances stand out in my mind…both happened after I had had my hair frosted. Now anyone who dyes their hair knows that when you add any color to hair that has been bleached, you are just asking for disaster. When it comes to my hair, I am fearless. It’s only hair, it will either grow back or I can dye it again…no big whoop. So box of “Ruby Red” in hand, I take the plunge. Oy. I have multiple colors of red hair. Some are great, others are “vivid” to say the least. This was also many years before Kool Aid dying was in so to say I stood out from the crowd would be an understatement! I actually screamed in shock (nowadays I would just think it uber cool). My daughter was so taken aback by the color and my reaction to it, she memorialized the moment by making me a soft-sculpture doll with wild red hair. I remember being somewhat embarrassed to be seen out in public until it toned down a bit and those of you that know me well know I am not easily embarrassed . But did it teach me a lesson? Pa-leez, as you will see as I continue this story, I never learn my lesson.
Second story happened a few years after the above. I had frosted hair only now it’s called, “foiled” and it costs much more but there is no pain (other than when you go to pay for it!) And I had the “red” bug, so I got “Copper Penny” this time. How many of you remember Bozo the Clown and his shock of bright orange-red hair? Ya, well multiply it by a dozen and then you will have some idea of the color it turned. My husband loved it (I gotta blog someday about him and his long-suffering patience with me and my hair), I wasn’t quite sure how I felt about it. I had dyed it on a Saturday night and when I walked into church the next day I was wondering what kind of comments I would get. Mind you, these loving folks had known me for years by this time, and everyone would wonder what color hair I would have each Sunday but the comment I got from our eldest member and a dear friend kinda said it all. “THAT BETTER BE A WIG”, were her exact words.
I have been blessed with hair that grows really fast which if you want long hair is great but I am a gal that loves it short and so by the next week after a cut, it is no longer what I like. So to save money, I bought my self a home clipper. Can anyone see where this is going? I have found that clipping my hair has become a catharsis of sort. Feeling fat? Clip your hair. Feeling old? Clip your hair. Feeling in a rut? Clip your hair. You get the drift. You should know right here and now, I have never taken any hair dressing classes and do not possess a natural ability to do hair like my mom and grandma. I have a “what’s the worst that can happen” attitude. Mix that with a pair of hair clippers and this is what can happen. I was happily clipping my hair with the 1/4 inch guard on the clipper and finished up and removed the hair guard when my daughter asked if she could go skiing with some friends. She had never skied in her life and being the overprotective mom that I was, I kinda freaked. So to calm myself, I picked up the clippers and was going to give myself one last calming pass over the back of my head. No sooner had I done a buzz up the back when I realized…….wait for it……I had taken the guard off and I had buzzed a 5 inch long by 1 1/2 in. wide bald spot! I screamed in shock and said daughter came running. By now I was hysterically laughing cause what the heck else are you gonna do? My daughter said, ” What is dad gonna say?” and that kinda brought me up short. I should preface this with the fact that this was not the first time I had done something like this and in fact, the next story is going to be about the first time I really threw him for a loop with my hairdo. Since my husband was due home any minute, I called my regular hair dresser and said, “Help me” and as soon as she could quit laughing, she told me to get down to see her as fast as possible. Now I live 35 minutes away from town and was in my jammies so “as fast as possible” was not all that quick. Just as I had gotten dressed, I heard the car drive up and I flew to our bedroom to sit on the bed so when my husband saw me, it would be from the front. He walked into the bedroom, took one look at my face and said, “Ok, what did you do now?”. I told him the story and I turned around not quite sure what his reaction would be. Relief flooded through me as his laughter rang out. First thing he did is call his mother! By the time I got to the hairdresser, my mom was there and my sister had closed the dental office she works in to run over to see and there was a crowd of women all waiting to see what kind of woman would give herself a buzz cut bald spot. My magician of a hairdresser cut what ever hair I had left as short as possible and then gave me this giant brown dye stick that I could color in the bald spot….somewhat. I must mention that the next day I was to be down at the DECC as a vendor for the giant craft show they have. Now you would think I would think twice about clipping my hair after that but nooooo. I still love a good buzz!!!!!
The next incident is known as the “Moe” cut. I had just seen the movie, “Ghost” and had loved Demi Moore’s hair. So I dyed mine black. Ok but now I needed it cut. Not one to wait, I asked my sister-in-law who was up visiting to take her large scissors that she was cutting fabric with, to just cut my hair from ear tip to ear tip. Even tho I had been in the family for years and they were all quite used to my odd hair styles, this was beyond her comfort level. I had to persuade her that she could do it and not to be afraid since “what is the worst that can happen?”. So she bravely took her shears and cut from ear to ear. Perfect. Just like Demi’s. Except for the bottom. Her nape of her neck was cut really close. This was before I had my clippers so I took my husbands electric shaver and had her use the sideburn clipper. When she got done, I took the mirror to look and lo and behold it looked like I had mange. Hmmm, now what? Maybe we should just use the sideburn clipper to clip the whole nape. Who wants to guess what happened next? I was bald from the tips of my ears down. Not just buzzed, but right down to the flesh bald. Not only was I bald, but the black dye had left little rivulets running down my scalp. Ok, now what? It is Saturday night so there could be no frantic call to my magician beautician. Hubby due home soon so I did what any red-blooded American woman does when faced with a potentially angry husband. I got all made up….jewelry…the works. When said hubby got home, he saw this gorgeous raven-haired beauty and said, “OH, I LIKE IT”. So I whipped around for him to get the full effect and there was dead silence. “THAT’S NOT FUNNY”, said he. I won’t bore you with the ensuing conversation but suffice it to say one of us was in tears and one of us slept on the couch. The next day being Sunday, I was in a quandary as to how I was going to disguise my “MoeDo”. We had just started at a new church and knew practically no one so it wasn’t like they would just see me and say, “Oh that Robyn, what has she done now?” and laugh along with me. No, these were strangers and it was a smallish church so I couldn’t just slip in unnoticed. (OK, unless I was going to the church of The Three Stooges, I guess I couldn’t have slipped in unnoticed no matter what size the congregation was!). So I found a black cotton headband which I placed on my head and then pulled a black straw hat over that. From far away the black head band kinda looked like hair but get within 20 feet and you would see that under that headband was baldness. If that wasn’t bad enough, I was going to a new dentist weekly and there was no way I could wear that straw hat in the dental chair! Let’s just say I have been great fodder for lots of folks. I like to think of myself as a legend of what not to do or say.
Another quick story….a few years ago I decided that I wanted long, multi-colored hair extensions. So I sought out a gal who does them and spent hundreds of dollars getting these wild colors glued onto my own hair. I loved the look but it was like having my mom frost my hair 24/7….never ending pain. I’m not sure that this is normal or if I just have a super sensitive head (how could that be…it has to be like leather from all the perms and hair dyes over the years). And this was about the time I started having hot flashes…and it was in the summer. They lasted for three months, then I had my daughter cut them out….$800 down the drain….but did I learn a lesson? Nope. I have dreams of having multi-colored wool dread locks put in my hair…perhaps after the hot flashes stop or I will felt the wool with my sweat. I’m sure there are more hair stories that I have forgotten (please let me know if you remember one) but even at the ripe old age of 57 I am always game for some wild hair.