I gazed at myself in the mirror and I don’t like what I see. I hate myself like this, I feel so…blah. I’m a limp, dull slob in need of a quick pick-me-up. I promised myself I wouldn’t do it anymore but one more time couldn’t hurt, could it? I always feel so good afterwards, so alive. I feel as if I can do anything and nothing in the world can hold me back. It’s a wonderful feeling and it’s a feeling that I crave. As much as I try to talk myself out of it I know that I will give in to the yearning that I feel. I dump out the contents of my purse hoping to scrounge enough money together and head downtown to the drugstore, praying I won’t run into anyone that I know. It’s my dirty little secret. Oh sure, a few people I’ve known for a long time know I do it. How could they not? The difference is so obvious. Sometimes they will say something but usually they just roll their eyes and mutter, “She’s at it again”. In the parking lot I see a group of teenage boys with their spiky, platinum hair. “Yeah”, I say to myself “they do it too”. One of them is standing next to the door. I try to hurry past him but for a split second our eyes meet and it’s obvious he knows why I’m there. I’m sure I can hear his thoughts “Poor girl, she looks horrible. I wonder how long since she last did it?” We give each other a knowing nod.
I’m home with my purchase and I try to run past my family, hoping they won’t see the brown bag. They do notice and I advert my eyes so not to see their disappointed looks. They know I’ve been doing this for quite some time. Hell, it was mom who got me started when I was 15. No one seemed to mind when I did it just once a month. But now I’m doing it way too much. Once I did it three times in one day, trying to reach perfection.
I take my bag upstairs and lock myself in the bathroom and set its contents on the vanity. I’m so excited, soon everything is going to be okay and I’m going to like myself again. I’m going to be beautiful. I remove the vials and carefully mix the liquids trying not to spill it. I don’t want to waste a single drop. I turn on the radio to drown out the voices coming from downstairs. “She is doing it again ?!” I take a deep breath. Soon I feel the tingling sensation hit my scalp and I don’t care about anything. Soon the roots will disappear under a blonde veil. Soon everything is going to be good again.
It’s not easy being a hair dye junkie. As with most addicts I want more and frankly I’m running out of colors. I’ve even dyed my hair pink. It was intentional. Mostly I stick with the “natural” colors and have been every shade of blonde and red I could get my hands on. I usually stay away from the darker colors but sometimes my addiction gets the best of me and I must have something different, something stronger. Being a do-it-yourself-er I’ve made a few mistakes and learned some valuable information. Never again will I put strawberry blonde over platinum blonde. The result is a strange pinkish color (this time it was not intentional). And I cringe to think of the time I tried to go from auburn to light blonde. I wound up with a sickly yellow-orange color that only a Muppet could love.
I have tried to break my addiction. I was going cold turkey and was very proud of myself. I had gone months without a dye job and my roots were very prominent. I had my hair cut super short (so I could start over with virgin hair) and vowed to never dye it again. On the way home from the salon I looked in the rearview mirror and thought “Hmmm, hair this short needs to be platinum”. I pulled into the next drugstore.
Lately I’ve been thinking of dying my hair back to its natural color. There’s something to be said about artificially going natural. Now, if I could only remember what color that is.