As many of you may know, I am down in Naples, Florida right now helping to care for my friend’s mother. Because of this, I do not have access to my usual hairstylist. That poses a problem. Do you wait to get back to your regular hairdresser or do you go with Plan B; trying to get some decent color at a new salon?
I opted for the latter.
If you are trying a new stylist, you go in with the best of intentions. You cross your fingers, and hope that you don’t come out looking like some sort of a cartoon character. That’s what happened to me today.
My hair has gotten very dark over the last few months, so that now I look like my mother. Flecks of gray interweave the almost black roots. After looking at a few photos from a few months ago, I decided that I looked a little bit better with lighter hair around my face.
I showed my stylist a photo of what I’d like to look like. It seemed like a no-brainer, especially since she had owned two salons in a previous life. I presumed she knew what she was doing.
I loved the way they pampered me as they applied the color. They even gave me a neck massage when I was under the dryer, I didn’t feel like I was being cooked in the microwave.
At the end she put in some toner.
“This will keep your hair from going yellow,” she promised.
As she was rinsing my hair, I had visions of my hair resembling my L.A. stylist’s talents. But it seemed the color looked a bit different.
“Maybe it’s the fluorescent lights,” I said to myself.
What I got was a Bozo The Clown color, and although I’m Irish, I really didn’t want to have red hair. The only redhead I want to emulate is Lucille Ball.
I didn’t want to complain right then. Perhaps the color would calm down as the day progressed. It didn’t. My partner said it didn’t look too bad. She was lying.
I have had other hair fiascoes over the years. I once went to a hair salon and my hair came out maroon. This is when maroon was not in fashion.
Another time they stuck me under the dryer too long and while the stylist was gossiping in the corner, I wondered why I was still under the cooker for over an hour. Patches of white hair stuck out from the sides of my head. My hair was usually a chocolate brown.
You can always tell when your hair looks lousy when the other stylists at the salon look at you and give you an over-zealous compliment.
“Your hair looks great,” they exclaim, with their faces slightly contorted.
You know that they’re just trying to sell you on a bad dye job, hoping that you will scurry away and not complain.
Well today, I did complain, as I looked at my hair and I thought that it looked like a vegetable that a UFO had landed on my head, leaving a bright orange crop circle. Clearly, I was ready for the circus.
There were no blonde highlights. I was clearly a Bozo in the making.
Tomorrow I am going back to the salon and hope that she can create some magic. I am not a picky person. I don’t complain. But this time, I am not ready to be Bozo all the time. Just in my Improv class.
We’ll see what happens tomorrow.
If I’m wearing a hat, you’ll know.Read More From Mary
Mary McGrath is a freelance writer based in Los Angeles. Her work has appeared in a number of publications including:Chicken Soup for the Soul (Jan. 2019), Newsweek, Wall St. Journal, Betterafter50.com, Purpleclover.com, LANG Newspaper Group, and Good Housekeeping, Please find her work at www.marymcgrathphotography.com