Well, I paid a visit to the lovely Rumiko-san today so you KNOW there's a story. Why? Because
1. there's always a story when I see Rumiko
2. my hair and I have a long history of strange events
3. I live in Japan, yet still try to get American-style hair
4. I am a glutton for punishment
5. I am not a quick study
6. I have not embraced the "picture is worth a thousand words" approach and instead rely on my vast, articulate vocabulary to help me communicate
7. the squadron hair emergency of 2005 (Leslie, I hope you're laughing right now!) has faded into the deep recesses of my brain and wanted another go at it.
You might remember that the last time I saw Rumiko, I left a little blonder than I intended due to her assumption that lighter would be better for summer. So today, two months post-blonding and still not thrilled with being so blond, I told her "not as light as last time, a few lowlights but not too many." My goal was only to not have such a freaking. big. line. between. light. and. dark. on. my. scalp. Is that really so much to ask? Apparently....yes. Kind of a big request.
Only here's the thing! She gave me the "ahhhh, so, so, so" and led me to believe she totally understood! She suggested a subtle highlight, same color as last time, a little bit of a lowlight to help bring my natural (how did it get so dark?) color through and some caramel - her word, not mine - color blended throughout. Doesn't that sound pretty? Yeah, I thought so, too.
It would seem that Rumiko has been eating some funky caramel. Last time I checked, caramel was closer in color to honey than it is to, oh, let's see.....a magenta crayon? I kid you not, there was a lovely rosy hue to my tresses. Even she noticed and immediately said, "maybe too bright?" to which I replied, "ah, yes. too red." She said, "no problem, I fix." Okay, great. So, she fixed. I sat for 10 more minutes with a few foils in, she washed, conditioned, dried, smoothed and handed me the mirror. Um, not so fixed. Big chunks of funky caramel and hey, look! Some white blond bangs! What the heck? So we go for fix #2. More foils, more sitting, my blood pressure is whatever over whatever would equal high blood pressure because Wyatt is at a friend's house who probably didn't think she was taking my kid for a three hour chunk of her afternoon. One more wash, one more dry, one more smooth and here I am. Decidedly NOT blond anymore. And maybe just a little pink around the edges. On the upside: I don't have that line anymore. It's all just dark. And rosy.
So many things were running through my mind. Things like "it's just hair it's just hair it's just hair it's just yeah but it's my hair and I have to see people like this but breathe because it's just hair" and "those $400 highlights I've read about might really be worth it" and "I wonder if this would help my quest to be on What Not To Wear? I could tell them that living in Japan was murder on my wardrobe and my appearance! I bet Nick Arrojo could fix this" and all the while I was trying to keep a pleasant expression on my face because Rumiko is just so nice. Which is why, yes, I will most likely be returning to her. Besides, we ran out of time for a cut today (and, quite frankly, I wasn't sure my heart could take the pressure) so I'll have to go back sooner than later. And I also wondered if I was preying on her Japanese sensibilities - you know, the part where they are so prideful that they never want to show any sort of inability - because I really can't imagine telling an American stylist not once, but twice, that what they just did to my hair is not good.
And obviously the old adage, "fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me" applies here. I mean, I'm not young. I've been coloring my hair for many moons and I need to take some responsibility in the process. I guess I need to start a file of hairstyles and colors I like, even though I don't think I'll ever really abandon the dream of having a stylist who knows my hair so well that s/he gives me the perfect cut and color every time. Does that actually exist? (That's a rhetorical question, by the way. If you have a stylist who fulfills that dream for you, I don't actually want to hear about it because I'm pretty sure that you don't live where I do and therefore it will just frustrate me more. Unless you live in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia, then I'm all ears because THAT is something to look forward to!)
But then I think back on all my favorite hair "disasters" and honestly, they make me laugh. And there have been a lot of them. Most of them I've recognized when they happened, but there have been a few that only became clear in photographic retrospect, some "what was I thinking?" looks. So who knows...maybe my judgment is clouded and Rumiko-san really is that hairdresser who knows me better than I know myself. And maybe pink hair is all the rage and I'm just not cool enough to know. I guess I missed my chance!