It was bound to happen.
I killed my hair.
Since I've been working from home, my husband and I have been experimenting with hair dye.
"What color shall I go this month?"
Glurp glurp glurp. Applause. Next month, next hair color. I went from a sunny blond all the way through the reds and purples, then to black.
"When are you going to dye your hair red again?" John asked.
"Um... now," I shrugged. The sunny weather was making it difficult to keep the roots dark. Plus I tended to slop the dye all over, leaving funky blue patches on the carpet. And my neck.
That was when it happened.
There, right beside the hair dyes, was a box of hair color remover. "Hmm," we looked at the box.
"Why not?" I said.
"What's the worst that can happen?" John said.
We took it home.
"Want some help?" John asked.
"Sure!" I said. Fateful last words.
The color stripper lightened some strips to bright copper, some to screaming platinum blond and left some completely black. Part of that is due to my hair, which even au natural tends to go from very dark brown to almost white blonde. Part of that was due to dye abuse, I'm sure. And part of it was...
"Well... I thought black streaks would look cool."
"John," I said, lifting up a flap of red and black horizontally striped locks to reveal a circular patch of yellow-white burn that looked like a bleach stain on laundry or maybe a crop circle, "You add black streaks after you strip your hair and redye it."
"You know," he sidled up to me. "I think it looks kinda hot, actually."
I socked him and made an appointment at the salon.
Walking into the salon was like the scene where the Phantom of the Opera took off his mask. I think one of the stylists actually fainted before the brave soul who elected to fix my hair ushered me hurriedly to the back.
"It's not that bad," I pointed out, a little irritated.
"There, there, hon, we'll fix you up, I promise," the stylist soothed, then turned away to shout anxiously, "Clara-a-a! I need a consult!!"
Three hours and five stylists later, I was staring in shock at the gorgeous hair in the mirror. Glamorous. Perfectly cut, perfectly dyed, perfectly highlighted, perfectly styled.
But it was not my hair.
That night when I turned out the lights, I knew something was wrong. "Straight up now tell me do ya really wanna love me forever? (Oh oh oh)..."
I flipped on the light switch and sat up. Beside me, John rolled over, then jumped. "Oh my god," he said. "For a second there, I thought you were Paula Abdul."
"Did you... hear music just now?" I asked him.
"No," he said, but he didn't seem certain. The next day, the American Idol scandal hit the newspapers.
Over the next few days, the Hair changed. Some times it looked like Kirstie Alley's hair. Sometimes it looked like Linda Hamilton's hair from Terminator 2. Occasionally it resembled Gillian Anderson.
"It's obvious what has happened," my stylist said, when I went back in and told her about it. "Your hair died. We brought it back, but the crossover to The Other Side has... changed it. Your hair is now a medium." "Medium brown?" I asked, slightly confused.
"No, a spiritual medium! Your hair is channeling the hair of other people."
"None of those people are dead," I frowned.
She rolled her eyes. "You think any of those stars still have their natural hair?"
So I'm channeling the dead hair of living celebrities. It has its uses. My friend Monique was around when my hair took on the semblance of Jennifer Anniston's do, and she quickly lit a candle and picked up a lock from either side of my head.
"Tell me, oh wise hair. What's the real story behind this whole Brad-Jennifer-Angelina thing?"
My husband kind of likes it, too, though I ended up smacking him again when he fluttered his eyes and asked me if my hair could channel Adrienne Barbeau.
Still, I'm afraid of this strange new power my hair possesses, because I don't want to have another night like last night. I was awakened at three a.m. when John screamed and pointed at my hair.
"What, what??" I cried, flipping on the light. "Who is it now?"
Comments and hair home exorcism kits to Alex.Queen@gmail.com.
This article first appeared in the June 5th, 2005 issue of the Manteca (Calif.) Bulletin.
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