• Pepé Le Pew or Ms. Sophistication?

    pepe le pewI dye my hair. There, I said it. I’m not especially good at it. But it’s close enough for government work, if you know what I mean.

    When I miss spots I call them highlights and tell myself I look sophisticated. My friends call it the Pepé Le Pew look because of the well-known skunky white stripe down his back.

    At times I have many highlights. At other times it’s an even medium brown all over. It took a while before I could find a workable routine for coloring my hair, but now I have the system down pat.

    I strip down and stand in the middle of the bathtub wearing plastic gloves and my birthday suit, squeeze hard, squirt the bottle of gelatinous goo all over my head, and that’s it.

    Sometimes I remember to look at the clock, and it turns out okay. Occasionally I will grow bored and watch a little TV or check my e-mail and forget the time. The result of that little lapse is a totally different shade of brown. More like total black.

    No big deal. I just wash my hair a few times a day and within a week I look like my normal brown again.

    A few weeks ago when I was preparing for my trip to Italy I tried to do an especially good job. Didn’t want that Pepé le Pew look when I only get to see my friends and family twice a year.

    It was going great, smooth sailing, at least until all the color was applied. I was so proud of my do-it-yourself job I decided to take it up a notch. The pros at the local salon leave the color on about twenty minutes then they “pull it through.” That’s the expression they use, which translates to running a large comb through the color-laden hair to be sure the dye penetrates every strand from root to split end. Looks easy enough when they do it. I said to myself, “Self, you should do that too.”

    I grabbed my comb and ran it through my hair. While it all started out okay, I reached a point when the comb wouldn’t budge—not an inch, not even a fraction of an inch. It was stuck half way between scalp and split ends.

    Undaunted and determined to do this like the pros, I gave it a good yank. Yay! The comb came through. Hiss! It flung thick black dye all over the bathroom walls and floor. I spent the rest of the evening scrubbing surfaces. But my hair looked good, especially if I made sure to take off my glasses before looking in the mirror.

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