Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Does This Hair Color Make My Butt Look Big?

Somewhere in my mid-forties, I had an awakening. I realized I was becoming my mother. It happened innocently enough. The bathroom was steamy from the shower and I turned to dry my hair sans clothing. At a glance, I could see that certain things were distorted, and not where they used to be. Thinking it was an optical illusion caused by the cloud on the mirror, I grabbed a towel and wiped at the glass. Unfortunately, this only brought things into clearer focus. It's shocking when that first revelation hits that you are--or at least your body is--aging. It was like sliding down a muddy hillside after a hard rain and trying to gain purchase to get back to the top.

And, so, the mad scramble to hang onto my all-too-quickly fleeting youth began. Now, we all know that without the benefits of silicone, botox, and other potentially poisonous pick-me-ups, there's not much we can do to change our shifting landscape. So I seized on the one thing I could most easily control--the grey beginning to show in my hair. I tried three or four different shades of do-it-yourself hair color before settling on one that, at least to my aging eyes, looked 'natural.' And then I religiously shampooed my youth back into my hair once a month. Then once every three weeks. Then... Well, too much of a good thing might not be such a good thing afterall.

This summer as I was preparing for a vacation on Dauphin Island, I studied my hair closely. I rationalized that (a) I didn't really care much how my hair looked while vacationing on an island where I wouldn't be sunbathing anyway and didn't know a soul, and (b) the sun would only wash out the color. I decided to forego my feeble attempts to hold back the hands of time and go au naturale. Heck, in a few weeks I'd know what color my hair truly is.

Fast forward six weeks. Now I know. Let's just say I have more 'natural highlights' than my once-natural ash brown tresses. My own jury is still out on the to-color-or-not-to-color question. But I keep getting compliments from other people on my hair. The best argument for leaving it alone came when I made a recent trip to Pittsburgh and ran into a woman I'd not seen for a year or two. We chatted and she gave me a once over, starting with my hair, then said, "You've lost weight."

I haven't. My conclusion: The hair color was making my butt look big! They really should include that in the warning label.



Julie Eberhart Painter said...

I love your observations. My husband worked in a Helene Curtis Lab (making roof coating). His neighbor made the hair dyes and I was the lucky recipient of the opened bottles. Hubby dared me at age 25 to try blonding up. Fifty-one years later, I am still coloring behind the lines and it hasn't caused cancer -- a warning we all got in those days.

Rhobin said...

Too funny. I'm laughing at your conclusion.

After a couple unfortunate attempts at hair coloring, I gave up. Luckily my grey came in silver. I can live with that because I've come to the conclusion I'm totally inept at anything to do with hair.

Unknown said...

LOL So all I've got to do is stop coloring up my grey hairs? Forget the gym membership! Who knew?

Carol McPhee said...

I've colored my hair for years so imagine my surprise when I looked in the mirror this week and scared myself. I really should wear my glasses when picking the shade I want.

linda_rettstatt said...

Yes, it's the cruel joke of aging. The eyes go along with everything else. Maybe it's intended to make the 'everything else' look just a little hazy so we don't see the truth. Picking out hair color and eye glass frames are a challenge.

Rosemary Gemmell said...

Brilliant, Linda! It's something I'm questioning at the moment and you're not the first person who says they've had more compliments since going natural!