Monday, February 15, 2010

Now for Something Completely Frivolous

My eldest niece, who has just turned 39, has always been a blonde. Not a bottle blonde; not a medium-ash-blonde-verging-on-dishwater-brown like me; but a real blonde, like her father. But a month or so ago, Micki* got a bee in her bonnet and decided to go brunette.

Really dark brunette, actually. Nearly black, with bluish highlights.

I'm not 100% crazy about it . . . not that it's awful . . . it's rather striking, in fact. I just wish she'd picked a warmer shade. The bluish highlights match her gray-blue eyes a little too well. Makes her look monochromatic. The bright red lipstick she's taken to wearing with the look is very effective, however. And overall, Micki carries it off. It's not like I agree with my mom (Micki's grandmother) who has told her categorically to Never Ever Do That Again.

And that's a good thing, or I'm the biggest hypocrite in the Western Hemisphere.

Because when I saw the pictures Micki sent me of her new look, I was impressed with her guts. And I remembered the fantasies I had in high school about me being a mysterious, glamourous brunette, instead of a verging-on-dishwater-brown-medium-ash-blonde. I never had the courage to act on that; indeed, I never colored my hair at all till eight and a half years ago when I saw how dull and greenish-brownish-gray it looked in a video of me preaching at a friend's church. And since then I'd always gone a shade or two lighter than my best summertime natural color.

But now I studied Micki's photos and thought, "If my niece can do it, why can't I? And if not now, when?"

Somebody's fashion blog I read recently said be sure to redo your color when you start seeing a "landing strip" on the top of your head . . . . Yep, there it was. Signal the blue runway lights and the guys with the long red flashlights! And, God willing and nothing getting in the way, I have a preaching audition (we call it a neutral pulpit in the PCUSA) scheduled for the 14th of March. I'd definitely have to redo my color before then . . . but if I redo the ash blonde, I'll probably lose my nerve and never try the brunette. Besides, if the committee meets me as a blonde and I suddenly go darker, won't that look frivolous? And if I did the brunette and didn't like it, there'd be time for my hair to settle down and I could redo the blonde before the 14th.

So . . . A week or so ago, I went to Wally World and bought the Box. Revlon "Colorsilk" No. 30 Dark Brown. Got it home, all ready to use last weekend when everybody was snowed in. But I kept looking at the picture and thought, No . . . bluish-gray highlights. What was it, again, that I thought about the shade my niece used? And I'm about to do the same? No.

So I took it back. And ended up with a (much more expensive) box of Clairol's "Perfect Ten" No. 5 Medium Brown.

And nearly took it back, when I got to wondering if it were dark enough. Maybe I'd not end up brunette, just brown!

But I didn't. And this evening, taking advantage of a choir practice cut short due to the threat of more snow, I took the plunge.

Not sure why, but the Clairol product seemed a lot messier than the Revlon. Maybe because it was for a darker shade? All I know is, I consumed most of the ten minutes you leave it on wiping dark brown splotches off the sink, walls, floor, faucets, and various other surfaces in my bathroom. I still haven't got it all out of the grout.

But how does it look, you ask?

Pretty good, I think. Natural enough on me that when I look in the mirror I think, "Ye gods, I have to do something about those bangs!" rather than "Oh my gosh, my hair's been possessed, That's Not MEEEE!!!!"

No pictures tonight, I'm sorry. I tried, but my camera made them over-light, even without the flash. Going by them, you wouldn't be able to tell much difference at all.

But there is a difference, and we'll wait and see who notices and what people think. And as soon as I get somebody to take some decent photos, I'll post a new profile shot on Facebook. And send some to Micki. Because really, it's all her fault!

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