“There are no salons where you’re moving,” said my hair stylist of 10 years.

model hair

No salons?”

“No salons that carry our line of coloring,” she said.

“Oh, Lord, have mercy,” I said with all reverence.

Women spend more time finding a new hair stylist than they do finding a new gynecologist.

“Our line is pretty exclusive, but I couldn’t believe it,” she said. “There are no salons with our products anywhere near Wichita. None.”

“I think I’m going to be sick,” I said.

“There are other lines I can recommend,” she said and rattled off the secondary choices. Then she scurried away to pick my poison.

Ten years of successful haircuts and six years of spot-on color. All about to be sacrificed on the altar of corporate relocation.

pick your poison

She returned with my color in one hand and a small piece of paper in the other.

“This,” she said handing me the paper, “This is your recipe.”

“My recipe.” Cue Indiana Jones.

“And here’s my card,” she said. “Any good colorist should be able to translate your recipe. Have them call me if they have any questions.”

Whimper. What have I done?

“This is the last time I see you before you move, right?” she said.

“No!” I said. “I mean, no. I think I have another appointment in December. If I don’t, I’m making one. I must see you again before we move!”

“I’m sure we can work something out,” she said and slathered on the magic.

My mom colored her hair over the bathtub. She had her cosmetology license and her nursing license. All the bases were covered from peroxide to triage. She could bleach your hair, splint your sprain, curl, crimp, suture or stitch.

image from under creative commons license

The thought of me coloring my hair myself terrifies me more than going gray.

There would be no one to blame if I turned my brunette sherbet orange like an apricot poodle. Or platinum blonde like a towheaded surfer. Or jet black like a black, black sheep. Baa.

Look younger, longer,” reads a Clinique tagline.

Look younger, longer? So at what point after longer am I to concede it’s a lost cause? When do I give up and go gentle into that good night?

what happens at the salon stays at the salon, unless you blog about it

One of my friends is a decade older than I am. She’s in better shape and runs faster now than she did when she was my age.

Her hair color? Vibrant, luxurious auburn.

There’s hope for me yet.

Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. Luke 12:6-7 NIV

You gotta keep your head up, and you can let your hair down.

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Filed under humor, women's studies

18 Responses to Gray

  1. Hair colour is more important than some people would think. I remember the first time I spotted my first grey hair. All of a sudden I was overwhelmed by emotions I’d never expected to feel ever!

  2. Haha! OK, this made me laugh, but I totally get it. I finally have a colorist I’m happy with, and I’d be upset to lose her! But you’ll find someone, I’m sure…when you’re out and about in Wichita, look for girls with pretty hair and ask where they go.

  3. Carrie

    I can’t completely relate as my hair is still virgin to hair color, but my mom had the same issue when she moved from nevada to florida. Her hair dresser in nevada would mail her the exact recipe and she would have her new hair dresser apply it here. She even had me apply it sometimes, not sure T would be up for that yet! :-) In the end she allowed her new hair dresser here to use a new recipe and honestly her hair has never looked better. Sometimes change is good…

  4. Amy Howard

    I never could find someone good in Minneapolis (I’m sure there were good colorists there, but how many times do you pay a lot of $$ to let someone mess up your hair??), so I would get my hair done when I went home to High Point…I was longest distance client! Still go to her for color (though not as far to High Point from Hillsborough) Hope you find someone…

    • You were a long-distance client! However, I almost did that when we moved from Chicago to St. Louis. I LOVED my hair stylist Karen at Mario Tricoci. And I loved saying Mario Tricoci. Tricoci, Tricoci, Tricoci! Okay, enough. Eventually, I did find Shelly in St. Louis. So I have hope I’ll find someone new in Wichita…

      • I drove back to Effingham to get my hair cut and highlighted from 1995 (living at school) until 2007. Not even joking. For years it was easy to do it while we were home visiting, but eventually, it got to be a chore, so I FINALLY switched to someone here.

  5. After a month as a blonde (everyone should be blonde once!), but in anticipation of a new job for which I’d interviewed with auburn-colored hair, I spent yesterday morning at my beloved Aveda salon returning to a close approximation of that color. If all goes well, the next color and cut will be at a new salon (but one that carries Aveda color) and done by someone who might well become a new friend. Some changes are like highlights, some like low lights. When the Master Colorist is in charge, you can be assured his recipe is perfect for you and accentuates all of your best features — no matter where the road leads you.

  6. So now a guy’s perspective…

    Revel in your natural beauty. Vanity, vanity, all is vanity. Beauty after all is fleeting and what’s under the skin is far more important than on top of it.

    I looked forward to finding my first gray hair. Sure, I miss my mop of dirty blonde hair I had as a kid, but I’m not a kid anymore. Now I watch with interest as my hair recedes and that which is left turns from mousy brown to gray… and I’m not forty yet.

    My wife started graying in her late twenties. I love her graying hair – you can only see it if you’re right next to her. I find her graying hair beautiful (she also wears zero makeup). She wants to dye her hair once she stops nursing, but I keep urging her not to do so. That said, it’s her hair – I do draw the line however at her cropping her hair ultra short ( I like long hair).

    Personally, the only two people you should be impressing are your spouse/significant other and yourself. What other people think of your looks is irrelevant… as is mine (and this is as it should be).

    • And the man weighs in… Lots of truth in your comment, WA. My husband is like you. I don’t think he’d care if I went gray, or purple for that matter. But I prefer myself brunette, at least for now, so the color is all about me, myself and I :).

  7. Oh my, I can so relate to this. Before I moved here my stylist handed me a box of color, an applicator, instructions and a prayer of blessed hair days. I will be for ever grateful to her. Good luck and I am sending a pray for blessed hair days for you too.

  8. Maybe I could get the name of your hair stylist cause so far, I’ve been going to Memphis with the same fear! She’s family so she can’t really put me out though LOL. It is a long drive and I’ve loved not having to think about my hair at all, Nancy always did me right!

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