Hello there you gorgeous redhead. I'm glad you're back.

I have a long and complicated relationship with hair dye.

My natural hair color is somewhere between mousey brown and rabid-squirrel drab.

Me wearing the hair God gave me.  And coveralls.  And some dogs.

Exciting stuff.

Around the age of 14 or so, I started experimenting with Sun-In and lemon juice.

Oh, come on.  You know you did it, too.

This concoction often lightened my hair to blonde-ish, and as a teenager, that was ok, because everybody knows blondes have more fun, right?

Blonde-ish at 16ish.  Boy that kid looks familiar...  Family resemblance much?

When I went away to college, serious, intent on studying, mousey brown hair intact, hair dye wasn't high on my list of priorities.

Then... enter RJ.

As a known lover of redheads - his Grandma was Irish, it's in his genes - I let him help me choose my first "real" box of hair dye.

It turned out pretty close to this color:

So back to rabid-squirrel drab I went for a few years, until somewhere around the tender age of 23 or so, I began to notice some, ahem, gray hairs.  Not one or two, mind you, but hundreds.  Thousands, even. 

I shouldn't have been surprised.  My family, both close and extended, is known for prematurely gray hair.  I never knew my Daddy without shiny silver hair.  My sis B, who is 10 years older than me, has been 80% gray for 20 years.  Many of my cousins have the same thing going on.

But really?  At 23? 

So I made an appointment with a hairdresser I had never met.

He turned out to be an abnormally tall gay redneck man with no teeth and impeccable taste in hair.  His name was Will.  It was love at first sight.

He messed, fussed, and squealed around me for a few minutes, then decreed, "You're a redhead."

Um, ok?

I let him have his way with me, so to speak, and walked out of the salon with flaming red hair.

It was the prettiest I've ever felt in my life.

However, visits to Will were expensive, so over time I learned to dye my hair myself.

I've been every shade of red from strawberry to burgundy and back again.  My go-to color fell somewhere in the chestnut range, and I was ok with that.

My relationship with hair dye is even so complicated that it goes way past myself.

Once I got a call from my friend Natalie that went something like "Oh dead God can you please go to Walgreens and buy me some brown hair dye because I tried to bleach my hair blonde and now it's the color of a baby chick and I have to be at work in two hours and my scalp is bleeding and I can't go to work looking like something from an Easter basket and can you hurry PLEASE??!?!?!"

Another time I got hit by a car in the pouring rain in the Wal-Mart parking lot when I was there with another friend to buy hair dye in the middle of the night because apparently the need to dye one's hair is an EMERGENCY.

It's ok.  I totally understand.  Hair dye is IMPORTANT BUSINESS, y'all.

Then last year, I visited a new hairdresser - Will was hundreds of miles away at this point - and even though I pointed out several chestnut shades that I loved, she dyed my hair exactly the color she wanted to, which was definitely more chocolate than chestnut.  And I loved it.   

So for the past year, I've kept it.

I've chosen dark brown hair dye every time I go buy a box.  

It looked good on me.  It was serious and somber and it suited me.

Then the last time I went to buy hair dye, my eye kept going to the row of boxes that had the flaming red-haired ladies on the front.  They looked like they were having such a good time, not like those stuck-up ladies on the dark brown boxes who all suddenly looked like they belonged in the deepest darkest corners of a reference library.  On the night shift.


I'm baaaccckkk!

And I'm feeing feistier than ever.


  1. Hair coloring is of the UPMOST importance, especially if you started going gray at 20, or say...18. Love the red! I've recently discovered a mixture of hennas yields a good warm color.

  2. @That Uncomfortable Itch, I've heard good things about hennas, but have never tried it. Maybe next time. Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Oh, I thought you were talking to me. I just dyed my brown/blond hair red.

    I've always wanted to walk into a GOOD salon and let them have their way with me. Doing that at Great Clips is not a good idea.

  4. @Heidi, I didn't know there was any other way. Every time I've gone to a good salon (and I can count 'em on one hand) they've done whatever they've wanted, whether I said so or not. Maybe I'm just not forceful enough expressing my wishes... Sigh...


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