Friday, April 15, 2011

The Uber-Blonde!

“Are you…”

“Still a lesbian? Yes.”

This snatch of dialogue is from the monstrously successful hit TV show from the ‘90s called Friends. One of the characters’ wives suddenly discovered, much to his chagrin that she is a lesbian, so she left him. He pined for her and mourned the demise of his marriage; it was fodder for at least two seasons of this show. This particular bit came up when the wife found out she was pregnant. She had apparently gotten that way while still married to Ross, the character in question. She went by his work to inform him of such. Needless to say, he was suitably shocked.

And no, she did not go back to him because she was pregnant.

If we were to use that bit of dialogue for a conversation between us, it might sound something like:

“Are you…”

“Still blond? Yes.”

As you know from the My Word but She’s Blond entry, I am in despair over my blond hair. Not that I mind being blond, it is being Uber-blond that gets to me. So blond that my hair actually appears white.

I don’t blame the salon stylists. Well, I used to not blame them; now I blame them a little bit. A lot. Completely, actually.

It all started because I came here with blond hair. When it started growing out I went to the salon to have it touched up. I expected there would be challenges, such as language barrier and hair type, and I was right to expect those things. While I was in the States, it was a simple matter of purchasing the next carton of Ms. Clairol #103 and spending some quality time with the shower spray, rinsing it off. I know, baby-fine as my hair is, to not leave the color in for longer than 15 minutes. I’ve written about all this before.

In an attempt to match the color I came here with, the stylist mixed up some blond coloring and applied it. Even though I cautioned him to not leave it on too long, he left it on for a whopping 40 minutes and PRESTO! Uber-Blonde emerges! I slunk around, trying to hide this excessive blond-ness. Impossible feat.

The next time I went for a root touch up, I spoke a little better Chinese, so I explained that I did not want to be that blond anymore. I went by myself, fully confident that I could make myself understood. They set to, applying dye all over my head. When I asked to have it washed out because A. the maximum 20 minutes my fine hair should be exposed to dye had elapsed and B. my head was itching like mad. A sure sign that dye should be washed out.

The kindly stylist scratched my head for me and, 20 minutes later rinsed the dye out of my hair. Uber-Blond, Part II!

I’ve had enough of this uber-blond look. One gets used to certain things if they have to, but if there can be better days, then that is what one strives for. I was looking for better hair.

So, when Lancy, one of my students volunteered to go to the salon with me and stick around until the job was done, I nearly wept with gratitude and explained that I no longer wanted to be Uber-Blonde. As a matter of fact, I wanted to select a nice, light brown color and change my look completely.

True to my request, the stylist presented me with a book of hair color shades. Right there, in the third column was a lovely light brown shade that I just know would look darling on my head. Lancy and Maggie, another student that accompanied us, agreed that that would be a good shade. Much more complimentary than the whitish-blond look I had sported till now. Lancy gave him detailed instructions that the hair color should be changed completely, from blond to brown. She showed him the desired shade. Could he do that? Certainly, he averred. He would just have to be careful mixing the dyes. I’m beginning to get scared again, because no one is talking about the length of time the dye should be left in. but that’s OK, Lancy is here to wipe out my fear. She told him, at my insistence, to not leave the dye in a long time because my hair is so fine.

So the stylist went in the back and mixed, and then he reappeared and applied. He applied first at the roots, and then the rest of the length. My head started itching, a sure sign that it is time to rinse the dye out. He came and scratched my head for me.

Why am I getting that nightmare feeling again?

Forty minutes later, I emerged from the rinse cycle and parked myself in front of the mirror again.

There is no brown in my hair. My hair is blond. Not quite so blond that it appears white but it is blond. VERY blond. Nearly as blond, under the sun we now enjoy, as it has been all winter.

One of these days, one of two things will happen: the stylist will either listen to me when I say it is time to rinse the color out, or I will simply figure out a way to do my hair myself.

Going to a different salon is not an option. I will have the same difficulties at another salon as I do at this one. However, if I used bottled water to rinse my hair, Ms. Clairol is a distinct possibility. Now: to buy Ms. Clairol over here. Everything is tailored to the Asian head. I will have to buy it when I get Stateside and bring it back.

In the meantime, it is Uber-Blond, Part III. Do you think I could turn myself into a cartoon character?

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