Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Lessons from the Blue Hair

I have had brown hair for a few weeks now. My experience with the blue hair has been one of constant rediscovery and wonder. As I look forward to my blessed future and drift from my dark and mysterious past I am filled with a sense of accomplishment. No more will I fail to see the fairies that hide beneath every fallen leaf. No longer will I shy from that which is new and terrifying, for there are always wonders to behold. I shall kiss the dew of the sun-

You know, I can’t pull that off. Pretend I didn’t write that.

I don’t remember where I got the idea to dye my hair, but it’s something everyone should do once in their life, like a man growing a beard or a woman making out with another woman in front of her husband.

At first, I was going to have my hair dyed green (so I could claim I “went green” for the environment) but my son, having once had a Happymeal Lego Batman toy, was worried I’d look like The Joker.

I told my stylist, and she was disturbingly excited. When I told her I was putting it off for my fortieth birthday (I didn’t want to switch to blue hair in the middle of teaching a stuffy English Composition class) she was crushed, but then talked about it for a full year: “Blue or green? How about stripes? Light blue or dark blue? You want to do your eyebrows?”

If you decide to dye, here’s what you’ll go through:

Doing It
Unless you have blonde hair, they have to bleach you first. They cover your skin with Vaseline (so they don’t bleach it, too) and then put this white paste over your head. You have cloths over your shirt to protect your clothes, or so they say. They also say they have to put a plastic bag over your head, or sit you in front of the open door while people walk by, and make you hold up a sign that says “I’m a dork.” I’m sure there’s some good reason for it.

When the bleaching is over, you look a bit like Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Yeah, I looked exactly like that.

Then they wash the bleach out, which is a relief because the stuff itches like hell, and comb in the blue dye. The blue dye looks like white goop when it goes on, so don’t accuse your stylist of putting in the wrong color, or threaten not to tip her, or make disparaging comments about her race. Not that anyone would do that; I’m just saying...

Anyway, after the blue dye is in, your stylist will pull your hair into a Mohawk shape and put you in front of the open door again, this time with a sign that says “I’m a racist with a small penis.” At that point, a woman who came into the shop to have her purple hair turned back to brown will look at you pityingly as she leaves and say something like “Don’t worry, you’ll love it.” You may cry at that point. Not that you would.

Immediate Aftermath
Your hair will stick together. I don’t know if it’s the bleaching or the coloring or both, but when you wash your hair, it will turn into glue and you won’t be able to get your fingers through it. Your shower floor will turn blue. Your towels will turn blue. You will find blue threads all over the floor and wonder if one of your shirts is falling apart. You won’t be able to wear red, since it will clash.

All that aside, you will look pretty damned good.

Social Reactions
The secretary at your work may stare at you intensely while telling you how much she likes your hair. However, that will be the last time any young woman makes a positive comment; they’ll be too afraid of their own sudden, powerful carnal desires your hair evokes in them. Still, some of them will smile at you. That one woman you know who has those bad highlights will shout “Did he have blue hair?!” when you leave the room. Children will approach you and you and tell you about every time they saw you in the last three weeks. Strangers will say “Nice hair” and ask if you’re in a play.  Your grandmother will freak out and ask you to hide it if you visit so her friends don't see it.

Eventually, the color will fade to a combination of the bleached yellow and pale blue: a kind of sickly grey-green. Your roots will come in, but not fast enough to hide the fading. The strangers will still say “Nice hair,” but with contempt. Beautiful women will stop offering you sex, but they’ll do it retroactively back to the day you were born, so you won’t remember them offering in the first place. Celebrities such as Katy Perry and Julia Lewis will steal your idea, making it seem like you were copying them instead of vice versa.

Back to Brown
Going back is much easier; your stylist just combs this white stuff into your hair. Again, remember not to suggest she gave you the wrong color, or chase her around the salon, trying to brain her with a curling iron. People will stop commenting on your hair, but you may notice they still stare at you from time to time and you won’t know why. Pale blue shades will re-emerge, taunting you with your sordid past.

After it was all done, I realized just how much I’m not a “people person.” A people person would have used his blue hair to make new friends and climb the social ladder. I just made the same joke again and again. I guess it just made me uncomfortable, more than anything. I can only imagine what my life would have been like if I was an actor with fans and detractors accosting me on the street. A least with a hair color I can turn it back and become anonymous again.

Well, anonymous until I do it again next year.


KB said...

oh wow you are getting funnier with each passing day.... as usual, I only believe 50% of it... what color next year?? Don't copy celebrities!!! Be ORIGINAL.

M. A. Kagle said...

I didn't copy THEM. THEY copied ME! THEY COPIED ME!!!!