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There’s always a trigger. And two years ago, it was cost.

Actually…it wasn’t even cost. It was the realization of cost. The realization that the number on the calculator reflected the cost of my hair appointments in a single year. Which meant my hair was worth insuring. And yet all I’d done with it was pretend every six weeks that I didn’t have any gray hair. And then I wore it in a pony tail.


Way lame.

And so I stopped. Spending dollars on my hair, that is.  And I entered Sally’s Beauty Supply store with the same percent of confidence I’d have if my husband dropped me off at Les Schwab to pick out my own tires. About three percent. What I did have, though, was my friend, who was mostly certain she could help me dye my hair in my kitchen. She had, at one time, wanted to learn hair. Which was something, I think.

But then we remembered youtube. At which time we sat for seven minutes in front of my computer screen and hung onto every word Kandy said. Then since we had the mantra, “how hard could it be?” coupled with, “how bad could it turn out?” we got started.

And we turned my hair black.


Which, I suppose, was kind of close to brown. And yet…holy cow…was not brown at all.

Six weeks later, and every six weeks after that, I opened the door to Sally’s and hemmed and hawed in aisle two about which color box to buy. I still wasn’t sure what the numbers with the letters on the bottom of the box meant. I only knew that even the colors called ‘sandy gold’ were turning my head to coal.

But if cost was the concern, well, then, I did it. I spent next to nothing on my hair for a whole year and had the Halloween locks to prove it.

At the end of January, I paid my hair dresser for a miracle. Brown hair, please. By the time he was done, my hair looked more like the stuff I’d been born with. Less dark, anyway.

I hadn’t meant to set a record on weeks between hair color. It’s just that my indecision turned into ten weeks–color it myself and save cash? or call Morris and look presentable?– and ten weeks left me with hair that looked like it’d been mowed down the middle. The same hair I was wearing pulled up on Easter and might have still been wearing pulled up today, if there hadn’t been another trigger.

My sister-in-law’s mother-in-law. Still with me? She says on Easter afternoon with cheese and cracker in her hand, “wow, you sure have a lot of gray hair.” Only I smile because I’m not sure what to say. And I nod because “thank you” seems kind of awkward. But I realize–even in the moment–that I am thankful. Thankful for unseemly words that gave peace about what to do.

And already…

It’s been worth every dollar.


One Response to “When Brown is the Prettiest Color”

  1. Bethany Grasley says:

    This is awesome!

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