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    BWS Stories - "Hair"

    "Hair" - Lady C and Me

    Kristine Ziemnik lives with her husband Joe in historic Chippewa Lake, Ohio. Writing is one of her many passions. She is published in the Rocking Chair Reader series. She is also CEO of Kristine’s Kreations, her home-based craft business.

    Lady C and Me

    When I was about eleven years old Mom decided to become a blonde. Her hair was very dark and she made a gorgeous brunette with the color God gave her.

    But Marilyn Monroe was a star then and I guess Mom wanted a change. It was a big change! After a while, we got used to her platinum blonde locks.

    On a day I will always remember, Mom asked me to help give her a home perm. As we were taking the curlers out of her pretty blonde tresses, her hair turned a gooey mess that felt like elastic and looked slightly green.

    I vowed never to dye my hair!

    Moving along about 35 years, my hair was starting to take on the same pattern as Dads. It was dark brown all over except for the silver sides and bangs.

    I got so many compliments from my girlfriends because of the way my hair was colored. “I get it from my Dad” was my standard reply whenever anyone commented on my hair and the natural way it had colored itself.

    Of course, I thought about coloring my hair. All my girlfriends were coloring theirs. They were washing away their gray as fast as it grew in.

    When shopping, I occasionally scanned the aisle and looked at various hair dyes. Then I’d walk away deciding that my own color was good enough. I even made it to checkout a few times with a box of coloring in my hand. Then I asked the cashier to return it to the shelf.

    I had a standard set of excuses about why I didn’t want to color my hair. It was too expensive to go to a beauty salon, or I didn’t have the time or money to maintain the fresh look.

    One day a photographer came to the house to take a picture of my daughter Beth and me. We were being featured as a mother and daughter team who had stories published in a popular book series. When the story about us and the picture appeared in the paper, I was aghast at how the photographer’s lighting had made my hair look. It looked white! And I looked really old! Too old for my 53 years.

    Many of my friends saw the story and said “great story, but bad picture.” I agreed.

    And that’s when I decided to make friends with Lady C. Lady Clairol, that is. This time I made a special trip to the store, bound and determined to make it to the check-out with that box of coloring. What an adventure!

    I read all the boxes and decided that for my first try, I would get the kind that washed out after 28 shampoos. That way if something went wrong, I could take a shower twice a day for two weeks, shampoo my hair both times, and it would be gone.

    Good plan! My first Lady Clairol experience began. I wore old clothes, made sure I read all the directions, and proceeded. The results were a little bit on the red side but that was okay. My husband always liked Ann Margaret.

    “Well, what do you think?” I asked when he got home from work. His reply was to call me “Annie” while he examined my hair. Then he started to sing “The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow.”

    After the teasing, he said that I looked at least ten years younger. Meanwhile, I couldn’t stop looking in the mirror. I had to inspect every little hair. I looked younger.

    “The next time, I think I’ll try a lighter shade and see what happen” I said to the new woman in the mirror. After all, 28 washings and it will be gone.

    I made another visit to the store and purchased “Coastal Dune” convinced that I would lose my “Annie” nickname. I didn’t.

    I realized that the color shown on the little color swatch below each box was not what you were going to get when you placed the color concoction on your head.

    Since it was winter, I figured I could get away with wearing a hat whenever I went out. Two shampoos a day in the shower would make my skin dry, but that’s why they make body lotion, right? Back to the store!

    “The third time’s the charm” I said to my husband. This time I chose a color called “Pecan” which turned my hair auburn. It’s almost right. My husband still calls me “Annie”.

    I once vowed to never dye my hair. Oh well! I never said I wouldn’t rinse my hair! Now I am closer to my original color and I do feel much younger. I acquired a new friend in Lady C, plus I have all the time in the world to get the color right. I am the first to admit that I should have done this years ago.

    If you can relate to my story, I urge you to make friends with Lady C. Just a note of caution! Your water bill may go up, your skin will be very dry, and you may go through a bottle of body lotion and two bottle of shampoo weekly! But feeling and looking younger is well worth it!

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