Ask most women what they do after a break up and usually the answer lies in your hair. It's fun being a woman, only because your hair is such a creative medium, you can do almost anything with it. You could if you were a guy too, I suppose, but then you get called "metrosexual".
Of course it's a total myth that men aren't obsessed with their hair as well. I swear I know guys who check themselves out more than women do, who obsess about receding hairlines and so on. And then there are the guys on the road with a comb in their backpocket. (A little note to my male friends who read this and who I KNOW check their hair every five seconds: YOU'RE NOT THAT FAR BEHIND).
Anyhoo. Remember when K and I broke up? Here's a little reminder. Then there was this other dude who I liked and that also ended, when I had my hair ironed straight for the first time ever. I remember looking in the mirror and going, Woaaaaaaaah. They can do that? Not having long hair for the longest time meant that each time something new ended I had to find different ways to make myself feel better. But now, my hair looks like hair again, and it was about time I did something "different". It's in an awkward sort of stage, sticking out in ducktails behind my ears when I push it back, sort of poofing around my neck and generally being very uncooperative and thick and sticking to the back of my neck in this weather.
So I was wandering past the Lakme Hair Salon accidentally on purpose yesterday and I decided to go in and do something drastic. Just a pick-me-up. I was contemplating having it rebonded. (Okay, for the one male who DIDN'T follow my warning title and is still here: using chemicals to straighten your hair). But then it's awfully muggy and my hair is of the frizzy variety and then it could start raining soon, plus, Dennis-the-hairdresser told me it was still too short to bond it. Instead, I sat down with a colour wheel and picked out a shade of red that looked fairly mellow and yet not too subtle, my hair's very very very black, so if I chose burgundy or something, I might as well have not done anything. And he trimmed my hair for me and then mixed the colour with something out of a large white bottle--I'm assuming peroxide?--which looked exactly, but exactly like semen. I kid you not. I'm looking at that and then looking at Dennis-the-hairdresser to see if he's giggling even a little bit, but he was completely straight faced while he mixed it and ew, put it in my hair.
It's a long complicated process, as those of you who have done it know. It takes at least an hour and a half to go through all the layers of your hair, then another fortyfive minutes sitting under the dryer and the girl next to you going very snottily "Excuse me, your cigarette smoke is blowing in my face," which you pretend not to hear because Dennis-the-hairdresser has told you you're allowed to smoke, only her hairdresser mouths the words to you and then since it's nearly done anyway, you stub it out. And read Femina which says according to a survey done in the UK, smart women are 16 per cent less likely to get married. Oh dear. This does not bode well.
So finally it's closing time, and I had been sitting with aluminium foil in my hair for quite some time, so I was happy when Dennis-the-hairdresser pronounced me done and then rinsed out my hair. And then I looked at it and well, here's the tricky part. I can't tell if I love it or hate it. It's the first time I've ever coloured my hair, and it's red all right, but I'm undecided about whether it's rock star red or malnourished child on the road red. And I can't tell whether it does anything for my skin tone. But then I'm always full of self doubt. Even the first time I cut off all my hair, I agonised for like a week. And then I got used to it. And so far the two pronouncements I've gotten about my hair have been, "Did you do something to your hair?" and "I can barely see it in this light, oh wait, there it is, it's quite subtle really." Oh, and Sharktooth this morning, "It's not weird, I don't know, I guess it'll just take some getting used to, I have Opinions about Colouring." Clearly, I will have to wait till I meet a woman to get what it really looks like. One is reminded of the scene from The Inscrutable Americans where Gopal goes, "Are redheaded women red all over?"
In spirit, totally.