Natural? Instincts?

Let’s just hope that this is rock bottom for me.

“Great-great-Aunt Ruth, how bad did it get for you back in The Recession of oh-nine?”

“Caroline,” (she’ll be named after our first female president), “It’s hard to imagine, but I had to stop going to my hairdresser to hide my gray. I had to . . . I had to . . . I had to do it myself.”

It wasn’t my idea. Several weeks ago, one of my dearest, oldest friends – who, without competition is easily also my richest friend – gifted me with a box of “natural instincts” #35 Ebony Mocha. She dyes her own hair because Clairol products give her the healthy shine and glow she’s never experienced from salon color. Yes, women actually talk about this stuff. Thank god she spared me the experience of having to choose my own brand because I have trouble deciding which pasta to buy. 

The first time I read these instructions was last night in bed and it’s a wonder I didn’t have nightmares:

You will need: scissors, tape and a clock.

Do not leave the mixture in a closed bottle (bottle may expand or burst). 

Watch for skin rash, swelling to the eyes/face, blistering and/or skin or scalp weeping.

So there’s s Skin Allergy Test where I’m supposed to apply this “mixture” the size of a quarter “in the bend of [my] elbow”. I don’t know about the scientists at Clairol, but my elbow is the bony part of the outside of my arm. The inside part “in the bend” is not my elbow. It’s not. I don’t know what you call it, but it’s something other than an elbow. Neighbor to the elbow, yes? Any part of the elbow? No. So it took me a while to decide exactly where to put the quarter sized blob of mixture.

Once the test patch is applied, the subject (that’s me) must allow it to dry and “not wash . . . for 48 hours.” Seriously? On what planet would I actually go to work with this brown patch on my arm? Two days in a row! “During washing, protect with an adhesive bandage and remove it immediately after washing.” Meanwhile, I’m to keep an eye out for “rash, redness, burning or itching . . . dizziness or faintness, shortness of breath and/or . . . [yeah, I said it before] . . . swelling to the eyes/face”.   

Time out: define “itching”. Yeah, there was a slight itch at about minute six, but it’s subsiding now that I’m deep into the “strand test”. 

Holy Mother of . . . Christmas. I’m determined to have my white roots darkened in time for Christmas. Onward.

Dining with Miss Healthy Shine this week. I’m not sure if I’ve got it in me to keep my inner-elbow brown until then.

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