When I was a teen I changed my hair every month. From cutting it, to the unfortunate perm to coloring it, it was the one thing in my life at that time that I had control over.
And it always seemed to cause problems for someone else in my family. Funny how my hair could cause so much grief for someone whose head it did not sit on.
The unfortunate perm, as it will always be remembered by me, started with my very odd desire to have spiral curls. Like Shirley Temple. Because when you were a teen didn't you want to look like Shirley Temple? Wait... no? Well what's wrong with you then? Whatever. I did want them and I bugged the hell out of my dad for weeks about it. Having a step mom who owned her own beauty salon would make one think that this would be an easy enough request to fulfill. Except that I was a teenager and we didn't like each other very much back then.
Then my mom decided to take me to her stylist and give me the perm as a birthday present. This was a huge deal and should have sent the alarm bells ringing in my head. Especially since my birthday had passed several months before and I had thought that the phone call was my birthday present. But my desire to have those curls outweighed my natural suspicion of anything involving my mother so I agreed.
I had really long hair at the time (which the stylist managed to burn quite a bit of it off as she was burning my neck with those damn chemicals) and my mother repeatedly mentioned how this was costing her a fortune and I had better appreciate it. Other than that, nothing was said in regards to my hair. Not even a roll of the eyes or a snort from my stepmother when she saw it.
A few weeks passed and I grew annoyed with the constant poof in the back and I began to get that itch to do something odd to my hair. I thought that I had better show restraint though since my mother had spent a 'damn fortune and a little appreciation would be nice'. So I only shaved off the lower half of the back. Something that would not be noticeable to anyone unless I wore my hair up and that was something I only did when my best friend and I were sneaking off to a club an hour away where all the other little freaks hung out.
Except that I did wear my hair in a ponytail one day when I was painting. I paused to get a drink and my stepbrother saw my hair.
It took exactly 2 days for him to rat me out (bastard).
My mother waited for Thanksgiving to pounce.
As soon as I walked in her door and went to give her a hug, I knew. She crossed her arms and took a step back. She demanded to see what her ungrateful daughter had done and then proceeded to chew me out for 20 minutes for ruining the gift she had given me. Then she decided that we wouldn't discuss it further because she didn't want her holiday ruined. Naturally the rest of dinner was spent discussing my hair and how ungrateful I was.
I think it was 6 months before we started speaking again.
I started coloring my hair when I was 13. I always did it myself, never made a mess and as long as I wasn't wrecking the house I guess my dad figured it wasn't the worst thing in the world. I was blond for about a week once (I look terrible as a blond), varying shades of red or brunette. Black hair a few times but it was such a pain to get rid of that I stopped using the permanent color for that one. When I was 17, I died my hair pink.
My dad had a bit of a meltdown over that one. Not really because it was pink but because it was right before we were to go over to my aunt's house and she already had a rather low opinion of me. He kept asking 'why?' over and over again.
My answer of 'they were out of blue' didn't seem to satisfy.
Through all those years of hair damage, the one thing I learned was that black hair dye is bad. Very bad. Especially when you are as white as me. I earned the nickname 'snow white' during that time which was then a compliment but not so much now. My hair held that black dye like it was it's true love. The last time, I had to have my hair stripped and even then it clung to my hair in patches.
3 years later the black was finally all gone and I felt certain that that was the last I had seen of it.
And then I decided to dye my hair this weekend. A perfectly harmless dark brown.