I’ve witnessed a lot of chaos in my lifetime - from sheer panic when a cell phone dies to my near mental breakdown when my mother’s dog’s tail got jammed in a paper shredder. But the most “impressive” chaotic scene I had the pleasure of enduring occurred last week. And it was all about hair.
My hair is short and I’ve been coloring it forever. Years ago I convinced myself that as long as it’s short I could fry those dead shafts with no harm done. And with that self-absorbed mentality, my locks have seen the color gambit from flaming orange to muddy water brown. But last month I crossed the line, going from platinum to purple in one fell swoop. That’s what happens when you drowned the entire bush, instead of only soaking the roots.
My only recourse was to collapse at the split-end covered shoes of my stylist and beg for redemption.
“Forgive me sister, for I have singed,” I confessed. The next two days would push her to the limits of coiffure excellence and reveal a chemist capable of resurrecting the dead (hair shaft).
The first day went well enough. I had to undergo a complete bleaching to rid myself of the noxious stain then a toner to calm down the resulting baby duck yellow. Oh, but that wasn’t enough for me. I longed for the near-nothing platinum look I once had so I was back the next morning - begging, whimpering, and whatever else to get me into that barber chair. As luck would have it, she had an opening.
What followed was truly amazing. Gripping my head in an attempt to stabilize my trembling body, she preceded to load a glob of gray tinted matter onto her brush then made a single prodding stroke across the base of my neck. Then she watched - in silence - scrutinizing the chemical reaction of peroxide and what ever else is mixed into hair dye as it developed - digging, (pulling, scratching), as she searched for any hint of that impetuous shade before it could destroy what was left of my brittle, moister-starved tresses.
Her steeley eyed diligence paid off. The monster of mulberry began to spread faster than the Andromeda Strain and before I could say, “Leave this place, infernal invader!” she was dragging me to the shampoo area.
The spray nozzle spewed jets of cold water against my tingling neck. “No time to warm it up, sugar,” she said as I gasp from the icy shock. At that very moment I knew I was in deep purple trouble. Would she save me from peroxide perdition or would I walk out a bald beast?
When it was over, my ears were crackling from shampoo bubbles and my makeup was slightly smeared but my hair remained intact. Against all odds, my contessa of the tonsorium saved my hair and in the process (no pun intended) allowed me to walk out with what little dignity I had left. I left that beauty salon with a sense of awe.
My stylist will never be considered just a purveyor of curls. No - she is an artist - a chemist - a genius.