Decided I wanted to do something fun with my hair for the last day of school. I was in the store with my 20-something son and asked his advice.
"Pink?" I said, holding up a jar of hot pink hair mask. "It says it's vegan and fights animal cruelty."
"Purple is more your thing."
There were a couple of shades of purple to choose from. He suggested and I went for the darker one.
While my kids are playing some version of Mario on the Switch, I decided to dye my hair. When I'm using a semi-permanent dye to brighten up my natural mousiness and cover the silver in my hair that make me look like I have bald patches when it catches the light, I get my oldest son to help me. Since I was going for a funkier, streaky look, I went it alone.
The stuff comes in a jar with a security seal under the twist cap. I couldn't get a grip on it so I used my teeth. Now I had blue on my lips. I wiped it off, unworried because hair dyes often don't look like they are going to turn out. Even so, the bright blue splatter that I accidentally flicked onto the bathroom wall should have been a clue.
Since I forgot to get vinyl gloves, I made do with a plastic bag over one hand. This is fine at first, but then it starts dripping dye.I managed to limit the blue splashes on the floor and counter by using my bare hands to maintain control of the goop. Vigorous scrubbing reduces the blue on my hands to a inky wash. Now I have to wait thirty minutes and hope I don't leak.
The water is like ink when I rinse my hair. When I'm done, my hair is the colour of Lois Lane's in the comic books. My kids try not to laugh when they see me.
I took my inky-blue hair to the corner where I work as a crossing guard. Despite the sun, I left my baseball cap off for the morning. Only one person commented and that's only because of my blue hands. The kids didn't notice a thing...or maybe they were just being kind and not laughing at me.
That evening, my son reported that dish detergent is supposed to be good for removing temporary dye. I washed my hair in lemon-fresh Dove three times. I gave up because the water was getting cold, not because it's running clear yet. However, the dish soap and a scrubbing brush cleaned up my hands in one session.
I got too much sun the day before so I was feeling tired and head-achy. After three more shampoos, I was also still a bit blue, especially where my hair is grey. Peevishly I declared that the colour swatch in front of the jar was misleading. That dye was definitely blue not purple.
"It would have been purple if you bleached your hair first," said my helpful twenty-something son.
"My hair is red. It should be more purple not less."
"Yeah, but it's dark."
This is true. Lately my unnatural hair colour has been a dark auburn.
"I still say the colour was misnamed."
After returning to regular shampoo, I noticed the towel I've been using for a week has a blue stain on it.
"Hah! Proof it was blue." Just before taking the evidence to my son, I took another look at the dye container: SHOCK BLUE.
The jar wasn't mislabelled, but it had been misplaced on the shelf. I read everything on the label at the store EXCEPT the name of the colour.
Next time I'll try the non-vegan, cruelty-free (not cruelty-fighting) dye. I will read ALL of the label, especially the colour.
And I think I'll go pink.