Your scalp sure is red

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 12, 2003

&uot;Your sister has red hair,&uot; my mother told me this week. &uot;I went away for a few days and came back and she now has red hair.&uot;

Mother, with her natural dark brown hair, was upset. I wasn’t.

&uot;It will wash out,&uot; I said.

My sister is 17 and has a crop of curls. Normally, they are brown. Now, apparently, they are red.

&uot;I should have known you would say that,&uot; my mother said. &uot;We’ve all forgotten your natural hair color.&uot;

She’s right, although there is something bad about your own mother not knowing your hair color. She should be excused, of course, since my hair has not been its natural color since I was about 15.

It was at that age that I decided my mousy light brown locks should become blonde. A bottle of Sun-In and two hairdryers later, I was blonde, or at least some semblance thereof. After that, it was a constant whirl of hair colors.

Some days, I would be light blonde. Other days, it would be dark blonde or strawberry blonde. If there was a dye, I was willing to try it.

This all came to a head, so to speak, one summer day when my friend Heather and I decided to dye my hair red. I didn’t bother to tell anyone or ask for someone’s opinion, we just headed to the store and purchased a box of dye. We mixed it up and dumped it on my head.

We waited the advised 30 minutes and then rinsed the concoction out of my hair. My wet head looked like a young peach.

My hair wasn’t red. It was pink, about the color of cotton candy.

I never missed a beat.

&uot;Oh, well,&uot; I said. &uot;That didn’t work. Let’s go back to the store.&uot;

We bought another box – this time blonde – and repeated the whole process again. It got us about halfway there. I ended up going back to the store a third time, purchasing another box of color, and dying my hair for the third time in one day. The result was a pale blonde mop of brittle hair.

It’s a miracle I had a hair left in my head.

When I got home that day, my mother noticed something had changed.

&uot;Your scalp is really red,&uot; she said. &uot;Are you OK? Did you get sunburned?&uot;

Hair-dying accident, I replied, not bothering to explain that I had gone through three different hair colors in one day.

This whole scene was repeated a few months ago. My sister and I went to the store, grabbed a box of some paint-on highlights and proceeded to paint streaks in her hair.

&uot;What did you do to your sister’s hair?&uot; my mother asked. &uot;It’s striped.&uot;

&uot;It will wash out,&uot; I replied.

Leada DeVaney is the publisher of the Hartselle Enquirer and the Madison County Record. She is the former managing editor of the Shelby County Reporter