Adventures in Hair Coloring

I have a confession to make. I’m not a natural redhead. At least, not fully. My natural hair color has always been a bit of a melange: blond, brown, and red. Fearing comparisons to I Love Lucy, for decades, I used to try to tone the red down in my hair. Try as I might, the red always peeked through. See? This was me attempting to be a brunette in the early 90s:


Notice how there’s still plenty of red in those tresses. Finally, one brave salon owner convinced me to embrace the red and after several trials and errors, he and I came up with a color I loved. I’ve been this obnoxious bright red ever since:


My husband claims it makes me look like I’m not 100% human, but I love the richness, how it makes my light blue eyes pop, and most important of all, how I stand out in a crowd.


I mean seriously, can you find the bright red head in this picture? How long did it take you?


Nowadays, more and  more people are going red. I no longer stand out in the crowd. In fact, I have a doppelganger at many writing events, a woman whose hair is bright red, and who, in passing, has a close enough resemblance to me in build and height to confuse my friends. This will not do.

New year means new changes.

And so, I am on the lookout for a new haircolor that will allow me to look less than 100% human, to stand out in the crowd, and will make my light eyes pop. So far, we’ve experimented with combinations of red and violet and while I like them, I don’t love them.

I have a few more combinations up my sleeve before conference season starts, but I ain’t telling what they are. It’s important I get a jump on those who might want to copy me. And don’t dare suggest I go “natural.” At this stage, I’m probably more gray than anything else and that ain’t happening.

One day, I was on the NYC subway and there was a woman in her early seventies in a gorgeous leather coat, her hair in a sleek cut and a vivid blue-violet hue. I poked my husband, pointed, and said, “I wanna be her when I grow up.” He blanched and then laughed as if I was joking.

I wasn’t. But I’ve got a decade or two before I’m ready to try that. Stay tuned.