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Heat Wave 2020

Hair Story

I don’t need to dye my hair. It’s been a choice for me, a preference, for at least a couple of decades, to change my natural shade of dishwater blonde (in the summer) or dirty blonde (in the winter, what I used to call the winter darkies) to what has been glowingly described to me as VERY natural, more natural than my natural hair tone.

I’ve got the Scots red undertone in my Dutch blonde locks, and so I have to be very careful about the warm vs. cool undertones in any hair dye. Any color labeled “warm” or “golden” will turn my hair flammable and brassy. The descriptors, “cool” and “ash”, neutralize the red-hot in my hair to subtle strawberry blonde nuances. It’s not an exact science, but I have worked hard to perfect it, after long and horrific experiences!

About fifteen years ago, I went to a hairdresser who assured me that a warm blonde choice she’d picked out would be better than the ash-blonde I’d chosen. Twenty minutes later, my hair was carrot orange. The hairdresser immediately plopped a gallon of toner on my once-healthy hair, and then it was ash, very ash, blonde. In fact, it was dead. (Although technically speaking, the structural protein known as hair keratin is already dead.)

The mere sight of it so traumatized the secretary at my husband’s office that, for years to come, she checked and double-checked with him to make sure that She didn’t go and do that again to her hair.

I then began to do the At-Home Hair Dye, with excellent results. Copper Penny returned to my life. I say “returned” because I first used that wonderful shade in the mid-1990s, when I lived in the Suburbs. The results were fantastic.

Unfortunately, some of the goop dropped onto the rug in the master bathroom. Excellent result there too! I’d always thought that wall-to-wall carpeting in the bath was very impractical, anyway, and so that area became tiled, in alternating ivory and dark green squares. Added a lot to the selling features and price!

I did return to a hair dresser for a few years, until my hairdresser moved away, out of California. I then drifted around, from one salon to another during the early 2000s. Dear Daughter sometimes accompanied me, perhaps to protect Mom! As an adolescent, she was willing to try new styles, along with her coiffure-experimental Mom.

The junkyard-dog salon, in a strip mall along State Highway 49, nearly put an end to the Mother-Daughter hair salon duo. The hair of teenaged Dear Daughter got chopped into a pixie-style that I found chic, but she found hair-raising!

I quickly returned to the self-hair-beautification route, a path to loveliness that went fairly smoothly until about 2010.  Then I tried a burgundy shade, thinking it would turn out like the shade on the box, a lustrous dark auburn. No, it was not dark auburn!

Dear Daughter thought that “eggplant” looked great on me. It was a unique change that really brought out the blue in my eyes. I told her that I refuse to go out in public, at my age, looking like a 20-something. A wonderful product named “Oops” got applied to the aubergine tresses, and, after 40 minutes in the shower, my hair was returned to its natural sandy-blonde shade, and my skin was super-soft!

I finally settled on a Medium Cool Blonde hue, sold by one of the major conglomerates. Every 4-6 months, I freshened up my look, once in a while opting for a Medium-Toned auburn. I had “my look” down. Life was good. What could possibly go wrong?!

Nothing is nice and easy anymore.

During the summer of 2015 or so, I began to experience enormous difficulty in finding my “hair color” in any brand, stocked in a brick-and-mortar store. Online, it was not available, and, if it was, it could not be shipped to California. Proposition Warnings, you know, because, until COVID-19 came into the Golden State, Californians were going to live forever.

I figured there were security concerns attached to that abundance of caution, leading to an abundance of non-existent merchandise, which, if available, still could not be purchased in the Paradise of California.

When our President took office in 2017, I opined that he was taking care of a lot of the major crises, but he needed to get to work on re-stocking 7.5A Medium Cool Blonde in the stores or even online. For whatever reason, that shade had vanished, and, to this day, it has not returned.

Hair dyes (and highlighting products) in pink, green, blue, violet and neon tones had taken the place of the humdrum traditional female hair spectrum in the mid-tone range. Morticia-black and White-Peroxide Blonde pretty much sum up the choices for those females (girls, as well as women) who do not want flaming red or eggplant.

Nuanced hues are just not done! Nuances are not selling! The holes in the Hair Color Chart correspond with the perceived hole in the Ozone Layer.

Men are not experiencing this hair debacle. For the guys, Just for Men, from what I understand, is still just for men. At present, pink moustaches are not “in” and the Guy-Fieri bleached goatee does not seem to have taken off. A Samoan colleague of Dear Husband says that he goes through a lot of Just for Men.

I therefore attempted the perilous path of buying the separate chemical components at a local beauty supply store. Coppery-Blonde (as seen in my “American Exceptionalism” essay of November 2018) looked terrific, until it quickly faded to carrot-blonde. Clearly, the quality of the product is not what it used to be. Last winter, I chose the demi-permanent option, with a corn-mealy granular concoction, a medium auburn tint that looked good but swiftly turned my hair crunchy.

The mix-it-yourself highway ended early this year, in a near collision with the Millennial at the Cash Register. This sales - “girl” with the 3 nose rings and full-body tattoo could not take the time to find a shade of reddish-blonde that did not make a social statement. On the other hand, perhaps the store really didn’t stock such traditional products.

Hair coloring is now a social protest statement. The concept of tweaking a shade or two of your natural hair tone, or beautifying your appearance is so passé, so Western Civ! And The Corporate Blob, on this very day, is far too busy with much weightier matters. They are racing to change their just-recently-changed product labels, along with any “socially offensive” packaging, to slavishly appeal to the consumers who probably still will not buy their products. Or who might Label The Corporate Pigs as the corporate pigs they are!

Hair-dye-nightmares of my past pale in comparison to the online review-horrors of the ghastly cheap stuff being peddled here and abroad to the broads who really do deserve much better beauty products.

As for me, I’ve already been cutting my own hair for almost a year now. I was ahead-of-flattening-the-curve on that one. That curve got clobbered here in my locale by the hiring of the very inept loudmouths in all kinds of service sectors. Evidently, “sales” is not for marketing or merchandise anymore. It’s all about peddling puritanical hypocrisy.

Boredom and the need for a refreshing change are the major drivers of my more frou-frou purchases. And I will undoubtedly become sufficiently bored with my natural-born hair tone that I’ll boldly venture forth, seeking out a Surviving Hair Salon in the Sierra Nevada foothills of Northern California.

With hope unabated, I can mosey on into one of those Botox and Bubbles menageries that might still offer a swipe of the overpriced shears on the overgrown hair follicles.

I shall enter, unmasked, to enhance the unadorned appearance of this lover of liberty. Maybe come November! From what I am seeing out there on the un-policed streets of America, ash blondes might soon go to ashes!

Mid-July 2020

Hair Story Update

The Nanny State war on beauticians continues . . . Governor Pompadour has, yet again, closed down the non-essential service of shearing locks. And I’d located a swell salon just up the road! Her notice, NOT OPEN, is quite the cutting jibe!

I own a complete set of professional-grade cutting shears and hair-thinners, of a quality that my hairdresser of yore, Donna, coveted as better than her own! My scissors date back to a time when the adults were put in charge of the children, and not the other way around.

So, while I clip and trim and thin and even chop my locks without fear, Dear Husband will not let me get near him with my sharpened blades. It’s that Samson fear, although I certainly am not a Delilah.

Just in case the Kiddies-in-Control of the toggle switch for powering-on and powering-off the State, have not noticed (and the toggle switch is getting worn out), there are many amongst the hairy rabble, and I am one — who do notice that the legally-protected but nonetheless receding hairs of the Governor are compulsively cropped. They are longer, yes — but obsessively trimmed with maniacal care. Not a single hair out of place! (Hairspray, methinks.)

As for the dye-jobs on the midnight-brown manes (all-out black would look too harsh against that rapidly maturing skin) of the Severely Star-Struck Female Politicians: those blunt-cut mops appear to have been newly colored cosmetically — and their roots very recently tinted. Those Marie Antoinettes could be wearing wigs, though.

Even so, — their fascist roots are showing.

May 2021 Update

Liberated Hair

My mop of locks feels very liberated, now that I have completely abandoned any false hope, or even realistic hope, of finding a highly skilled hairdresser in my County in California.

I’m sure first-rate beauticians still exist, in the ever-growing underground economy in anti-capitalist California. The art of cutting hair has transitioned to the home-business model. I wish all of the clever cutters the best of luck. The Karens of the COVID farce-and-fraud are presently and desperately in search of a new way to prove their petty importance of snitching on thy neighbor. Beware the I-care-hype.

I have to say that California did not lead the way on this black-market sector of making money the old-fashioned European way. As a teenager, I knew a wonderful lady in New Jersey (I believe her name was Tanya) who worked-at-home and away from the grabby fists of the fiscal overlords. In New Jersey, the citizenry and black-marketry have gotten along quite well, almost from colonial days.

To further improve my own coiffeuse talents, I’ve purchased another professional pair of Solingen shears. From Germany.

The German business model is, not surprisingly, direct and efficient. The shipping notification lays to rest any concerns, and all ambiguities, about the legality of the financial transaction. By purchasing this humble pair of hair-cutting scissors, I was informed, via a very lengthy e-mail of:

General terms and conditions of business. By confirming your order, you accept our Terms and Conditions.

  1. Scope and definitions.
  2. Conclusions of a contract. Storage of contract data.

The list of legal provisions, for myself and for the Solingen company, extended, all the way down several screen-loads, to Item #9, The Right of Withdrawal and the Effect of Withdrawal.

As the extremely informed buying customer, I have “the right to withdraw from this contract within 14 days without giving any reason.”

I am almost afraid to ask what “withdrawal” means. Perhaps returning the item for a refund?

The boilerplate shipping notice does not detail, or even mention, the precise model of professional-grade haircutting shears that I have purchased. With anticipation, I await their arrival. My best guess, and memory, tell me the pair is the 6-1/2 inch stainless steel, with the finger rest forged on. Since I did not create an account with this business, I’m out on a limb for access to my order history.

Ah, well, freedom has its cost. That undeniable truth is being learned by the hair-cutters in California.

And the best hair-dye in the world also comes from Germany. A brand I’ve experienced (with fantastic results) in hair salons of my past is called Schwarzkopf. This product works best for those nuanced and iconic blonde tones. The red shades, well, the American multinational still does red best. I might even try the burgundy buttercream come autumn!