I decided I wanted to have platinum blonde hair for my 46th birthday celebration. I was in bed over Thanksgiving recovering from back to back reconstructive surgeries, and I was craving social interactions with my friends in person. Joe showed me a picture of the actress Morena Baccarin with a pixie cut colored platinum and I was immediately hooked. She looked amazing with her dark eyes, dark brows, platinum hair and dark roots. I wanted to see if I could achieve that same look, and Joe was in love with the idea. My natural hair color is somewhere between dark brown and grey, so, I normally color my hair a very dark shade of brown. After being bald from chemotherapy, I have a pretty good sense of humor about my existing hair. I figured if it turned out bad, it was no big deal, it was just hair and I could cut it off, and it would grow back, and that was the agreement that I had with my hair anyway.
Joe was on his way to the drug store and offered to pick up a box of blonde hair color for me. I also took him up on his to offer to apply it. We had a good laugh doing this but in the end my hair merely had an auburn tinged look to it, it was far from platinum blonde. The next day I went to the beauty supply store and the helpful clerk set me up with bleach, toner, and a plastic mixing bowl. I set up the bathroom with a tall chair from the kitchen and lots of towels. Joe again applied the color to my hair, this time it turned bright orange; think the Heat Miser from the holiday cartoon “The Year without a Santa Claus.” We did the toner step, which turned my hair purple, kind of like Kelly Osbourne. I didn’t have the energy to pick up the camera for that shot. Several hours later, my hair was still orange with a platinum outline. I mentally went through the appointments I had scheduled for the next day, knowing that I would have to go out in public with orange hair. I took a picture of myself and posted it on Facebook asking my friends for help. I got some great advice for the do it yourself girl in me, but when a friend who is a professional offered to give me an appointment within 36 hours, I took it.
Before then, I had to see my surgeon and have that dreadful drain removed that I had been dragging around with me for the past two weeks. There was no way I was going to miss that appointment so I went. The look on his face as he entered the exam room and saw my orange hair was priceless. I was so distracted telling him the story about coloring my hair that I didn’t even feel it when he removed the drain. I definitely felt it later though…surgical pain…the gift that keeps on giving.
My friend works in the fanciest salon in downtown San Luis Obispo, and I could feel the stares of the well-dressed, well-coiffed stylist and customers as I walked the length of the shop to where her station was. To top it off, my former husband’s former girlfriend works there, and she did a walk-by stare, (it’s a small-town thing I suppose). The sexy Asian stylist next to my friend’s booth asked me who did that to my hair. When I replied “my boyfriend” she wanted to know if he was an aspiring hair dresser. Good thing I have that sense of humor about my hair working for me, otherwise I would have been a little self-conscious. Thankfully my friend and I had a lot to catch up on so we chatted intently for the three hours that it took her to get my hair to almost platinum blonde and I completely forgot about the stares.
Since I still wasn’t completely platinum blonde, she set up another appointment for the following week to do another process. I like the way my almost platinum blonde hair looks, but I want to go all the way to full platinum. After that, I won’t maintain it, too much work, too many chemicals that I can’t afford to process through my delicate immune system, and too much time to process this naturally dark/grey hair. I’m glad I did it though; it is an outward reflection of my inner creativity.
The next day my friend Reina and I were in TJ Maxx buying candles when a random woman came up to me and told me she had seen me at the fancy pants salon the day before and that she liked the way my hair had turned out. I smiled a big smile in honor of her validation of my almost platinum blonde hair, and grinned at the knowledge that people just want to be seen and this stranger saw me and then took the time and energy to say hello.