Sebastian the crab was right when he said,
“Ya want something done, ya gat to do it yoself”
All of Sunday I stayed indoors; that’s how traumatised I was about my hair. Krys kept saying it wasn’t that bad, but after his wise crack about something leaking onto my head (fume!), I wasn’t taking any chances with my looks.
I always knew there’s a reason us women keep clothes we bought years ago, wore once and crammed in the back of the wardrobe, ‘in case I need it one day’. Well, I found myself a pretty snazzy hat that I bought three years ago with the intention of wearing to one of my salsa outings and, yelling a delighted,
decided that that would be my head gear of the day. But there’s usually a reason we dumped any items in the back of the wardrobe isn’t there? Within two minutes I remembered that I hate the brim of a hat touching my forehead and back it went into the wardrobe. I had to be content with hiding the worst of the dye job in a ponytail with a headband for extra measure.
Monday morning and I couldn’t wait to get out of the house and get to that hair salon. It’s only ten minutes walk from here so I was early and ringing the doorbell at 10:28. I have this thing for being punctual. I actually hyperventilate if I’m late for something. It’s courtesy of my dad, who was a real Nazi when it came to timeliness. Anyhoo, I digress!
So, this was my very first time in a non-black hair salon and as I said, I was a bit nervous about them even touching my hair, never mind them trying to do anything with it. We just treat our frizzy mass of curls in such different ways that it’s difficult to just walk in and even say,
“I want a trim and a blow dry”
I’ve never cut my hair wet; I’ve certainly never used a tiny pair of scissors to cut it with. I’ve never used a volumiser to blow dry it, never layered or tapered my hair. Damn! It’s just different. But in fairness to the girl at reception she didn’t blink when I said I was there to try and repair a botched home hair styling. She led m to the little waiting area, offered me a tea, which I gladly accepted, took my coat and said someone would be with me in a few minutes.
I waited about ten minutes, burying my head in the recent copy of Hello! Magazine. I rarely read magazines and buy one every blue moon, but any time I’m in a waiting room, my eyes wander over to the magazine rack and I find myself poring over z-list celebrities’ lives, wondering who they are, and how much money they got paid to tell the whole world the secrets that one would be too embarrassed to tell the neighbours! There was a time when I used to save up and buy Cosmo and Vogue but these days, I couldn’t give a toss what I wear, what make up is en vogue nor whether if he kisses me on the cheek it means he’s like so into me! It’s completely true that reading beauty magazines make me feel ugly when I know I’m not. But there’s just something about those glossy pages and those perfumed strips in the pages that draw women, and especially susceptible teenagers and early twenty-somethings like moths to flames. So when the hairdresser came to get me, I was glad I could leave the magazine behind.
She sat me behind this huge, brightly lit mirror that made me feel so tiny. Wow! I’m used to the market salons at home that specialise in dreadlocks and the best you get is a huge hand mirror. Cheapskate me, but the markets have the best dreaders…is that a word?
I told her what happened and asked if she would either fix my hair by dyeing it properly for me, or by just dyeing it black. It was as I feared. She said, ever so nicely, that she was afraid the dye they had would not be able to do anything to my dreads. That it wasn’t strong enough for black hair and that I’d be wasting my time and money.
Black hair, she informed me, is so different to all other hair that even in their classes, they didn’t really learn about it. She wriggled one of my dreads in front of my face and said,
“I’d have to use a special dye to get it to change colour you see”
“Even the black dye?” I asked, too shocked to think straight.
“yeah, cos Revlon and dem wouldn’t work. And anyway, we’d have to do a patch test first and you’d have to come back tomorrow then. I’ll ring the manufacturers of our dyes and ask them if it’s okay to use it on your hair in the meantime and I’ll give you a ring in an hour if that’s okay?”
Patch test? Patch test! Oh, ye gods! I tried lying and saying I’d never ever reacted to any dyes but she was adamant. For insurance purposes, she had to do a twenty four hour patch test, but she assured me that if it went well, she could possibly dye my hair back to black.
Crestfallen and a little shocked, I allowed her to smear the dye behind my ears and nodded as she gave me some sort of instruction about not washing it off. But I’d already made up my mind. I left, went into the pharmacy next door and bought some black dye.
Two hours this morning et voila! Back to luscious black locks. I feel myself again, but the conversation we had really got me thinking about one or two things that I find quite puzzling…
If I get a chance, I’ll let you in on it this weekend.