Ruminations

Opinions, thoughts, & recommendations.

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Name: Dave Leigh
Location: Union, South Carolina, United States

I was born too young. And when I die, I'll still be too young.

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Saturday, May 26, 2007

I've been bleached

It's been a long time since I last posted. I've been swamped with work for a number of clients, which means that my workday typically lasts from early morning to between 11pm and 1am daily. Recently I've been approaching the end of a project, so I was looking forward to some time to devote to improvements to VIC CRM.

Not yet. I got a call from Boogaloo. They needed someone to fill in for an injured actor for a part in their latest production, In Good Company. Since the part is for a much older person, it would require getting gray. Well, since I am, as I said, really busy right now, I can't afford the time to make it look good between the end of work and the beginning of each show. So I thought I'd go ahead and get my hair greyed at the hair salon. If only it were that easy.

Seems pretty straightforward, doesn't it? You get your hair bleached white, then add color back in to make it grey. Now, like many guys, I've never actually had that done before. Here's the process. They wrap your head in shrink-wrap cellophane like a head of lettuce. Then they use a crochet hook to pull bits of your hair through the plastic. Then they apply toxic waste to your head, cover it with more plastic so you don't cause collateral damage to the eyeballs of innocent bystanders, and you sit there looking like a burn victim for 15 minutes (or in my case, an hour). The idea here is that the plastic will protect your scalp from the ammonia and other noxious chemicals they apply to bleach your head. In actuality, I think it's to prolong the torture. The process of having the hair pulled through the plastic feels not at all unlike having your head punctured several hundred times. And having tufts of hair yanked from your head several hundred times as well.

As you can tell from my picture, I have really dark hair, though, so it doesn't quite work that way for me. We couldn't get it white. Go figure. Halle Berry can have white hair, but not me. Even with three times the normal amount of chemicals and all the time in the world, the best we could do was bright yellow. In fact, the more we bleached it, the yellower it got. I don't mean blond, either. I'm talking about traffic light yellow. Pacman yellow. The kind of yellow you mix with blue to make green. And despite all the precautions I mentioned earlier, some of this stuff seeps through to the scalp and burns so badly that machismo prevents mentioning it at all. Thank God for Lanacane.

So at some point you have to admit defeat and just move along. So we had to add the color back in on the yellow. Silver toned it down a little, but the result was still yellow. Grey just made it a slightly darker yellow. Turns out it's as hard to put color into my hair as it is to take it out. Finally we resorted to slate... a LOT of slate... which just made the hair on my head the same reddish color my beard used to be before it went naturally grey. And there it is.

Fortunately, what wouldn't have worked with dark hair does work with this lighter color. A head full of powder (which just looks stupid and fake over my natural color) simulates a nice head of grey. In the meantime, I get to live with this for the next three weeks.

The interesting bit is that if your hair is short like mine you never actually see it and can't tell the difference (once the Lanacane is on). But I can tell you this: the old saying is a lie. Unless they're natural, blondes don't have any fun at all.