Home > Uncategorized > A Hairy Situation (that makes me see red)

A Hairy Situation (that makes me see red)

My daughter recently turned thirteen, which means she is now officially a teenager, of course, which means she is contractually obligated to test me.  She is, in general, a great kid.  She’s funny and optimistic and she talks to me about stuff, which is never to be taken for granted when you’re dealing with a teenager.  But last night…last night she did something that broke my heart.  She did it with my permission, in fact, I helped her with it.  She colored her beautiful golden locks a bright, screaming red.  Be still my heart.  It makes me want to cry.

This girl has beautiful hair.  She has the kind of hair that people pay salons fortunes to try to duplicate.  It’s blond, with natural highlights.  Long, straight and lovely.  The kind of hair that could make a person sick with envy.  And, as you might expect, she absolutely abhors it.  She tells me on a regular basis how much she hates her hair.  It’s boring.  Sure, if consistently gorgeous equals boring, then yes.  It’s boring.  But, since I’m a hip mom with more than a few hair-related transgressions in my past, I’ll work with her on this.  I’ve always been a firm believer that you should do whatever you want with your hair.  It will grow back.  As long as you’re prepared to possibly hate your hair even more for a little while, go for it.  A couple of years ago I put purple streaks into this very child’s hair.  They were, in theory, temporary, but all that lovely blond hair holds onto color like a tick on a hound dog.  She lived with faded pinkish streaks for a long, long time, so I guess she’s ready to live with the results of some real color.

We started out thinking Amy Pond… photo via emersonsalon.com

So, I agreed to it and we head to the hair color section of our local Wal-Mart and quickly pick out a shade of light auburn and we’re ready to carry on with our shopping when her father chimes in.  (If you believe that a girl’s hair should be the domain of her slightly manipulative mother alone, please give me a “hell, yeah!”)  He points out that the auburn isn’t really that red and maybe she would prefer one of the Feria Burn-your-mother’s-eyes-right-out-of-her-face shades.  And as it turns out, she would much prefer that!  I didn’t object, exactly, because this isn’t my first rodeo.  I know that saying no is the fastest way to guarantee that the kid MUST have that item.  I just shook my head and said, “You’re going to regret that.”  Nice, right?  And it would have worked, too, if it weren’t for that meddling Hubs.  She was thinking hard and leaning toward my choice, when he took her away from me and had the YOLO talk.  “You only live once, do what you want to do, be who you are, do what’s right for you and don’t let anyone tell you any different.”  Sometimes I could hit him right in his eye.  Not that I object to that speech, not at all, but it did not apply!  The point is that I wasn’t trying to stifle her.  I was trying to caution her.  Perhaps it would be better to start with a color that is actually found in nature, then if you like that, we can consider burning your mother’s eyes out in a month or so.  So not only did he win, but he made me look like a big old party pooper who wants to repress this child’s artistic and creative individualism.  Then, then!  He said he would color his the same color with her.  Talk about winning the battle!  He’s just lucky I like him, that’s all I can say.

So we ended up with two boxes of hair color, and I use the term loosely, because God never made hair that color.  I applied it for both of them and I swear I am not exaggerating when I tell you it went on looking like ketchup and they both looked like victims of a horrible accident while it percolated on their heads.  They’re both pleased, Hubs a bit more than the girl, but I think she’ll come around when she gets used to it.  She wanted something different, and by God, she got it.

Now I’m going to say to you what I cannot say to my daughter.  I hate it.  I hate it beyond all reason.  It’s hard for me to look at it.  I won’t say this to her, because it is her hair and if she’s happy, then that’s what matters and my opinion isn’t helpful.  But.  I made this child.  I have brushed and braided and curled and pigtailed that beautiful blond hair for thirteen years.  I loved it, it was the most beautiful hair ever and now it’s an extremely harsh maroonish red that makes me squint.  I hate it and I just pray that she decides to go back to blond sooner rather than later.  I am prepared to offer all manner of highlights and hair accessories to make this happen.

…we ended up with Ariel. photo via fanpop.com

I would also like to take this opportunity to apologize to my parents for all the ridiculous hair colors I sported in my youth.  I understand now that being a parent includes a not-so-pretty, but very real, feeling of ownership and it’s really, really hard to watch your child tamper with what you have made, when everything about them is perfect already.  So, I’m sorry to have burned your eyes out of your face, but thank you for letting me do my thing.  Not only did I learn about all the weird hair colors that don’t suit me, but I also learned that sometimes I need to shut my mouth and let my kid do her thing.

More importantly, I have learned that Hubs isn’t invited hair color shopping anymore.

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  1. Barb Strimple
    November 18, 2012 at 9:02 am

    Thank you for the apology. And as this is hard like you said remember it will grow back, not as hard as when your child wants a tatoo!!! 🙂

    • November 18, 2012 at 9:20 am

      In my defense, I waited until I was thirty to spring that one on you. Sorry about that, but I’m sure my day will come…

  2. November 19, 2012 at 12:56 pm

    My sister went through a similar phase. Blue, red, purple, green… her hair was always a mystery. She loved doing it, but when she got a job and life settled in, she gave it up. Her eyes still glitter when she talks about how people made bets as to what hair color she’d have day to day 🙂

    As for me, no thanks. I have a mix of all my grandmother’s hair… black, brown, red, and blonde. I’m terrified to cut it, let alone dye it!

    Like you said, hair grows back. It’ll even out again and one day she might not want to mess with it. In the meantime, get tons of pictures to use as blackmail. My sister never crosses me now!!!

    • November 19, 2012 at 1:12 pm

      I’m happy to say that it’s fading fast…a mother’s prayers answered. 😉 Thank you for the comment and the reminder that some girls can’t leave their hair alone! (I was one of those…)

  3. November 19, 2012 at 10:36 pm

    I had an unfortunate color blond that I could never match after I colored it and I always tried to get back to. Now I’ll take any color blond over the gray that’s coming in and my middle daughter (14) has brown hair with the underneath Ariel color. Looks cute and will fade and grow out. Better than something permanent.

    • November 20, 2012 at 7:08 am

      You’re right…it’s actually starting to grow on me a little. It’s good for her to experiment a little, I guess it’s part of growing up. (for me, too!) Thanks for your comment!

  4. November 29, 2012 at 8:28 pm

    shelbur10, I have nominated you for a “Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award” ~ http://travelgardeneat.com/2012/11/29/you-flatter-me-blogger-friends/ (for the “rules” :-)) — however, whether you participate in the awards process or not, thank you for sharing and know you are appreciated! ~ Kat

    • December 22, 2012 at 8:21 am

      Please forgive me for being so long in responding. I’ve been absent from the blogging world for a bit. I thank you for the nomination, I am truly honored. It means a lot to me. 🙂

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