I can remember seeing my first gray hairs when I was 18. A few gray hairs in a blonde head of hair is no big deal. Fast forward to age 30 and the realization that among the siblings, my oldest brother and I had received the "early gray hair" gene. It was then I decided to start dyeing my hair on a regular basis.
I usually have a box of Preference by Loreal (because I'm worth it) on my bathroom cabinet shelf. Usually light ash blonde but occassionally I would stray for a bit of adventure. I once wandered as far as dark ash blonde. The excitement was too much to handle and a few weeks later I went back to my old standby, light ash blonde. (I need to get a life!)
On occassion I will let my hair grow out until it gets to the "I can't stand this hair anymore!" poochy stage or the first 100 degree summer day, whichever comes first. It's then I'll run to Fantastic Sams and get it cut very short. This is usually an opportunity to check in on the "real" hair color. In other words, "how gray is it now?" Fast forward to age 42 and this last hair reality check was rather frightening. I am now 85% gray except for a strange half circle area over my brain stem at the back of my head which is light brown. Maybe it's my brain putting up a valiant last stand in the gray hair war. Or maybe it's my hair yelling "I'm not as old as I look!" within that last patch of color. I've kept it "au-naturale" for the past few months.
I was at Target yesterday and I decided it was time to leave the reality check behind and was time to pick up a box of Preference. I was feeling adventurous. I wondered what the warm blonde would be like. After much deliberation and a few sighs from women trying to get to the same shelf space, the warm blonde found it's way in my basket. (Note to self, don't shop on Saturday afternoons anymore.)
Last night I went into the bathroom and opened up the box. I mixed the color and worked it into my hair. Usually you leave it in 25 minutes but since I am gray, I get an additional 20 minute sentence. With towel wrapped around my shoulders, I went into the living room and sat down next to hubby. He looked at me and asked if I was going red this time. I thought that was a funny comment and told him "no, warm blonde." I wasn't interested in what he was watching so I got up and went into the kitchen and washed some dishes. Looking at the clock, waiting patiently, washing dishes and wishing I was that guy on the new tv show "Heroes" that can speed up time. I was excited! (again, I need to get a life!) Finally, the 45 minutes were up.
When I walked in to the bathroom and looked at my gooey hair in the mirror, I was shocked. The goo had turned a very definite red over the past 45 minutes. I now realized why hubby had asked if I was going red. While washing out the coloring, I convinced myself it was going to be OK and it just looked like that to add the "warm" into the blonde. All rinsed out and conditioned I brought my wet head up to the mirror. I said to myself "It will look less red and get lighter when I dry it." I dried it. There was definitely a "more red than blonde" now adorning my crown. All I could think of was Clay Aitkins...my hair looks like Clay Aitkins new mane. I walked into the living room to show hubby. "I like it!" he said enthusiastically. Good enough for me! He's the one who has to look at it the most and it's rare I get an enthusiastic response to my hair color. After 24 hours it's kind of growing on me. So I'm now a very berry blonde. Until the next reality check anyways.