Hair

4 12 2010

All I could do was stare: the tandem performance opposite me in reflection, my long hair painted at the root, falling awkwardly to my shoulders; how did it get so long? Evident years of peroxide processing made her question the health of my hair, which I have been slowly destroying with each color treatment. Coloring hair blond involves stripping the pigment, a very damaging, heat sensitive ordeal. The result, a forever summer, artificial doll head of color. In the past I have jokingly called it porn star blond, because like porn stars-who happen to be notoriously bleached-the hair looks best in photographs and from a distance. To touch it, or to be close to it, especially in the critical light of the salon, exposes the spilt-end of fake that defines all brunettes who pretend they enjoy murdering the same hair that we affectionately can’t stand being messed with. This feeling is delicate, the relationship woman have with hair is almost as intense as those with lovers. A  great haircut can mean the confidence that wins a job. A dye disaster can feel worse than a messy break up. And like romance, sometimes we take chances.

My hair was the color of tangerine. If there is one thing I know about blond, it’s that orange aint it. I started to sweat. The young professional’s Konglish seemed so confident, how could this happen? She stood tall in heels over my chair, her red wine colored bangs parted deep on one side. She smiled at me in the reflection; the corners of her eyes not lifting. Her even younger male assistant was shaking as they brushed through the tangled wet mess of fiery kaleidoscope.”Come back in a week and I’ll bleach it again.” A wrinkle between her eyebrows, “I’m afraid your hair will fall out if we color it again today.”

I tired to play it cool, but it was impossible to fake indifference. Then, just like a good girl friend, like the ones who never says I told you so, she understood my pain, and went for the bleach. They worked faster the second time, her glancing up only to shimmy down a watch from her slender forearm to note the time. She asked me if I felt any burning, I was relieved that the answer was no, but on the verge of hyperventilating. I mean, what if the answer was yes? Yes, would be too late. Over electronic music busting through speakers, I could almost hear the words of Nothing Compares to You, by Sinead O’conner.

I don’t know who was more relieved: her because my hair didn’t fall out, or me, because I could now breath. It wasn’t blond. Maybe to a Korean, because black is notably more difficult to lighten than brown; but it wasn’t blond. And like a blind date I made the best of it. I was promised a Matthew Maconahey and got a Toby Maguire. Whatever. But I’m learning to like it, radioactive color treated hair could be the next big thing in Korea.

 

 

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2 responses

4 12 2010
joe

hahaha oh man im sorry whitney, thats rough man. awesome story though! jake gyllenhall lol

11 12 2010
Sebastian

Ouch! So, when are we gonna see some actual pics? The question is will you go back to this place, try your luck elsewhere, or opt for the hair color in a bottle you can order online (for a premium shipping fee I’m sure).

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