Early onset grayness runs deep on my mother's side of the family. My uncle Mark was entirely white by the time he was 27, my mother was gray by 30. For my uncle it was the stunning sort of silver beauty only men seem to get with gray hair, as a small girl in the 70's I remember his amazing afro coupled with piercing blue eyes. I also recall a large assortment of women in his company. My mother took the route of frosting, dying and tinting her hair until the late 90's when she let it go and it became a gorgeous silver bob that still sits upon her head today.
I was sitting in a figure drawing class when I got my first gray hair. I was 18 and more than horrified to realize I was a recipient of the family curse. Were I blonde it might not be so bad, but dark haired and young it was not a welcome find for me. Since then I have been coloring my hair on a far too regular basis, and lately it's been taking a toll on my hair. In all fairness I have to say it isn't just the harsh store bought hair coloring kits, after Devon was born I had a tubal ligation -because I believed my contribution of three spawn to this earth was more than sufficient, if not overly so. Since that procedure my body has kicked into to peri-menopause and things just aren't quite the same. First there was that wheat thing where I itched for two years straight. There has been weight gain. And my skin and hair are aging at an alarming rate. Not really a great plate of fun but at least I can't get knocked up ever again. So suffice it to say my hair has been an issue for me lately, among so many issues....
I have contemplated whacking it all off, sort of a la angry, power woman pixie style, I totally would if I had the face to carry it off. I'd pretty much buzz it, stop coloring it and get a diamond stud for my nose. Sadly that sort of carefree look isn't for me. Though perhaps if I were to get a full facial reconstruction....probably not practical. So I have recently been considering henna. Why not? It's natural, seems harmless enough.
Yesterday I went to Vitamin Cottage, picked out a couple of brownish/reddish packets and took them home. After I put Devon to bed I figured I'd mix them up, slap the color on and let nature's goodness pamper me with the color my hair ought to be rather than the old lady hag color it wants to be. Not to be. First there is boiling of water to be done, though NOT in a metal container, then the goop is mixed and it has to cure for up to three hours. The mixture stank like a rank combo of skunk and ass, basic hippie scent if one were to ask me. After an hour I started putting the stuff in my hair, it was both the color and consistency of green baby poo. I was super tired at this point so I gloved up and started coating my head in liquid ass. SO GROSS. Really. Occasionally some would fall on the floor and I had flashbacks to my children potty training and not quite making it to the toilet. After an hour of having ten pounds of clay on my head and heating it every five minutes or so I stepped into the shower to rinse it out. Again, not so simple. It had hardened in some places, flaking off in big gritty poo chunks.
By the time I was finished I was out of energy and truly considering shaving the whole damn mess. Instead I wrapped my head in a towel and went to say goodnight to Cassidy. As I tucked her in she wrinkled her pretty nose and said, "Ew, Mommy, your head smells like ass." Yes, she's my tender one.
This morning things are better. My head still stinks but the color isn't too bizarre. We'll just have to see if it holds for longer than the store bought dyes. If so I might be able to endure a bit off hippie stank every six weeks in return for non-hag hair.