I have a blue haired teen. Her hair is beautiful – a blue, green, aqua mix that reminds me of a mermaid arising from the sea.
She gets comments from all kinds of people – random strangers young and old. Shy children ask their mothers if she was born that way or why she did that. More outgoing kids ask her directly. Women in their 60s and 70s let her know that they love it. Even the homeless call out comments to her like, “Great hair day!”
Fairies and mermaids are big in this house, even though we’re way past the stage where my kids knew, for a fact, they were real (because mommy said so). I even owned and eventually sold a company with the name “Yogafairy, LLC.
We’ve made and drawn mermaids with blue green hair for a good 10 years now, probably more. But somehow I never predicted I would live with one.
During my own life I’ve been through multiple cycles of “alternative” hair styles. My teen years in the ’80s were spent with big hair and the side of my head shaved. Colors weren’t popular at the time, but you can bet your first born that I would have dyed it if they had been. As I moved to college and then graduate school, I had super short hair worn with the requisite huge hoop earrings.
Since you start counseling clients pretty early on in graduate school, the emphasis was on looking respectable, particularly because most of us were so young. Over time the hair became a bit longer and the shoes a little less wild. I worked for several years after graduating and then stayed home with my kids in their early years. Since I wasn’t working, I decided that purple and pink hair would be wonderful.
My youngest’s first birthday pictures show her in pink and brown leggings and me with pink streaks in my hair. Later, pink bangs emerged.
When itsy bitsy, my blue haired teen loved my purple and pink and had a streaks of her own hair dyed.
It still somehow never occurred to me that my kids would do more than streaks when they hit the teen years. But then came the day in middle school when Mia asked for “Ombre.” The first time, the mom of one of Mia’s friends did the honors. I honestly felt relieved as to get it done in the salon took not just hours and hours but a good chunk of my paycheck too.
Then the Ombre started creeping up further and further until Mia said she wanted the whole thing a different color, well actually, two colors. She also didn’t want to have her friend’s mom do it. She wanted me to. Insert gulp of panic here.
We googled, we searched, we googled again. Then we YouTubed. I texted my own stylist endless questions late at night when the bleaching technique we tried didn’t exactly work and she was patient enough to answer them.
None of the articles and videos say the following:
- This will take you hours.
- This may even be a weekend project.
- Your feet will hurt.
- Your arms will hurt.
- You have to work quickly.
- You will lose faith.
- You will pray, even if you’re atheist.
- You will think a million times that you didn’t go to beauty school.
- You will have endless compassion for stylists.
- You will be convinced that you’re going to end up at the salon for a “fix.”
- You might fight some.
- You may cry.
- Your child might miss school if you don’t finish.
- Bright blue doesn’t come out of counter tops, no matter what you try.
- You need a membership at Sally’s for all the product you will buy.
- You will have to do this every couple of months.
Mia’s the artist in the house. Although I dabble here and there, more as an anxiety reduction strategy than anything else, she’s the one that draws daily and is in an art magnet program. When I start to freak out about mixing colors, she’s the one that says, “Mom, relax! This is going to work because I know the colors go well together!”
After having done it now for a couple of years, we have our whole routine down. Clear the bathroom . . . Put the cape on (I wish this was a magic cape, but really it’s just to protect her clothes and skin.) . . . Don my dye clothes, i.e., old clothes that can get ruined . . . Put everything needed onto the counter . . . Set up the music . . . Place hands into gloves . . . Prepare to cut the impossible to squeeze bottle open . . . . Argue just a little.
This is what the articles and videos Don’t say . . .
- You will laugh.
- You will talk and talk and talk.
- Your teen will tell you, “You can do this, Mom!”
- You will listen to music and catch up on your teen’s life.
- You will get to impart your limited wisdom to a captive audience.
- You will play podcasts that you hope are teaching her how to handle life.
- She will be thrilled if she gets to stay home from school because you didn’t finish.
- She will be thrilled with the color and love it and you will too.
Prediction is pretty much nobody’s forte, which is why we do it so much. About 90% of being a mother, I didn’t predict. You can read a million articles and books and still not have a clue about what’s going to happen. Children, people, are so unique that you can’t say that if you do x then z will happen despite our daily attempts to do just that.
When I was pregnant, I had fantasies of baking cookies (check), playing dress-up (check), and happy Christmas mornings (check). Dyeing hair as bonding time was not on the “things you will come to love” list. But it is now.
If you want your hair dyed multicolors, I can’t help you. Those skills are only reserved for my daughters. But if would like to transform like a mermaid with the magic of custom hypnosis and you live in Broward County and the Fort Lauderdale area, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Even if we’re not working together in therapy, I’d like us to stay in touch. That way I can keep you updated on any events I’m holding that you’d enjoy, and you’ll have all my information handy if you do need to schedule an appointment in the future. Join the Newsletter, “Conversations for Effective Living,” to stay updated and get good personal growth content.