I am the lucky owner of mouse-coloured hair. In fact, even luckier, it is now mouse-coloured with increasingly large numbers of
grey old mouse-coloured strands. While I’d love to be one of those people who look refined with streaks of silver, I’m not. Refined, I fear, is a term that will never be used anywhere near my name.
So I dye it. This, however, is not something that I only started recently, due to said ‘silver’ streaks. It’s something I’ve been doing since I was old enough to be allowed to and, possibly even from a little time before I was allowed to. I remember Mrs Conradie, the matronly Home Economics teacher and Strict Enforcer of All Stupid Appearance-Related Girls’ School Rules, stopping me in the corridor at school, turning me to the sunlight and asking sternly if I’d dyed my hair. I shook my red-tinged teen locks and vehemently denied it.
Luckily, at that point she became distracted by the shortness of my dress and I had to show her that the hem was as low as it could be. She being about four foot two, and as wide, had to have me explain that, being almost six foot, and in the last two months of my school career, my mother had refused to buy me new, longer, uniforms. I’m sure I made a tragic face and looked suitably mortified before she tsked and left me to skip away in my short dress, my hair glinting red in the highveld sunshine, my grin unseen.
I stray. This morning I continued the (now regular) tradition, and dyed my hair. I always use the same kind of dye these days, but the choice of colours, or perhaps I should say flavours, differs. It’s astounding what they call them – Cappuccino, Chocolate Brownie… All delicious food things. I find it really hard to choose, when faced with a smorgasbord in the hair dye aisle.
Then, not only are they named all these delicious things, but when you actually use them, they smell like berry pudding. I kid you not. The mind boggles as to what they put in the stuff that gives it such an overwhelming sweetie smell. I suppose it’s a vast improvement on the ammonia fumes of yesteryear – I am only continuing the family tradition. My mother has dyed her hair since I can remember, mouse coloured hair being a family trait.
So, I currently have Iced Chocolate-coloured hair and smell like a Strawberry Whirl. Who’d have thought that Iced Chocolate, too, would have a slightly red glint, similiar to my ‘completely natural’ 17-year old hair?