Monday, September 21, 2015

I Guess You'd Call This Regression

This weekend I dyed my hair. You wouldn't think it would be that difficult a decision, but let me tell you, it was super difficult, and that's one of the biggest understatements of the year.

From the time I bought the dye, which was about a month ago, to the second I washed it out of my hair Saturday afternoon, I agonized over whether or not it should be done (and yes, I'm well aware that once I got to the point of washing the dye out of my hair, the agonizing was a total waste of time (or depending how you look at, I suppose, any time spent in agony is just one big waste of time)). Considering, though, that up until the August before the one that just passed, my hair pretty much ran the gamut of colors in a more than semi-regular rotation, the hemming and hawing doesn't seem to make much sense; after all, before I went blond and stayed there last year, at any given time, I could look like this

 or this
 or maybe possibly this
 unless I looked like this

 or this

or maybe even this
(um...I'm on the right)

and seriously? All of those cuts and colors? Decisions pretty much made at the drop of a hat. I mean, it's only hair, people. Hair. It grows right back.


this time, the decision was in no way easy. This time, I looked up picture after picture and I worried about work and I worried about skin tone and I worried about

(not being pretty)

hair condition and I worried about whether the dye would take right and I worried about

(people thinking I'm not cute)

fading and the little hairs at the nape of my neck and then finally after worrying about everything I could possible worry about, I decided I'd do it, but unlike the drastic way I usually do things, I decided I'd do it get-in-a-cold-swimming-pool style, starting with a few pieces in my bangs, maybe a curl or two in the back, nothing too dramatic, and if after a week or two I felt comfortable, I'd do more and then let things progress from there. 

And in the beginning, that's how the dye went down.

In the beginning, I really did put the color just on my bangs, albeit not just a few pieces, and I really did only paint it onto a few curls in the back, but it wasn't long until old habits took over, and before I knew it, my whole entire head was covered in color, saturated from front to back.

I looked in the mirror and thought to myself, great googly moogly, Kelly, what have you done?

And in those few hours that the dye was on my head, I was insanely nervous and tense. While I sat there, I thought about a conversation I had with some guy a million years ago, a guy who had gotten his lip pierced and was worried about how people would perceive him. At the time, I told him I was used to such things because when I was younger my hair was always colored in some way weird and the next week, I dyed it purple and blue, but Saturday as I sat there with dye in my hair, I wasn't feeling nearly as secure as I did when I'd had that talk. I was nervous and unsure and anything but secure, and as I washed my hair, right before I looked in the mirror, I was afraid--like seriously scared. What if I hated it? What if I got in trouble at work? What if any number of things from a list in my head came to pass?

And then I looked in the mirror and all the worry was gone, dissipated in a second, if it even took that much time. As I stood there looking in the mirror, fresh from the shower, hair a perfect combination of silver and lavender, I felt like I once again was the way I was supposed to be. I felt like yeah, the blond was fun, and hell yeah, guys seemed to like it, but it wasn't truly me, at least not the me that I'm supposed to be, and that got me thinking about life and about how no matter how long I stray from certain things--running, Stephen King, writing, certain friendships, the Ramones, to name just a few--and how awkward and tentative or just unsure I feel going back, when I get back to the things that are me, it's just so clear what's supposed to be. 

And clarity? I'm not gonna lie. 
It feels pretty good.