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Never Trust the Picture on a Hair Color Box!
by Patricia Sheets
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Never Trust a Picture on a Hair Color Box!

There are some things that need to be left to the professionals, things like brain surgery, nuclear psychics, and especially hair color. One wrong move in any of these fields can lead to disaster!

My unfortunate experience with hair color started on Saturday morning when I received a phone call from my stylist. Due to an emergency, she needed to reschedule my appointment. “An emergency worse than my gray hair?” I asked. She chuckled and assured me that she would return on Thursday and could see me then. “What? Thursday? But you don’t understand. I am singing in church tomorrow. The gray will show. What will people think?” I pleaded, but she politely assured me I would be fine and said goodbye.

Please understand that I am not opposed to gray hair. I know many women who wear it beautifully, but my gray hair has the texture of bedsprings and plunges from my head in a style that would put Medusa to shame. Coloring seems to tame it, or at least make it less noticeable, so I have a standing appointment with my hairstylist. At least I’m faithful!

I sat for a few minutes in a quandary, then it came to me. “I’ll just color my own hair”, I said out loud. My husband, Jack, was in the room and tossed me a concerned smirk. “Do you know what you’re doing?” he asked. I shot back “the look”, the one that says “You’re entering unfriendly territory”, grabbed my purse and headed out the door.

Inside the drug store, I found a menagerie of coloring options. I was so intrigued that I decided to try something different, “ash brown with golden highlights”. The picture on the box looked great, so I shelled out the twenty dollars, raced home and began the transformation.

I was so excited! Not only was I saving a few bucks, but I was getting a whole new look. Thirty minutes later, my hair was “Little Orphan Annie” red with streaks of yellow and carrot! I ran from the bathroom screaming, “The box lied! My hair doesn’t look anything like the picture!” Jack, trying to conceal his laughter, said, “It doesn’t look that bad”, but I knew better. I grabbed a scarf, draped my flaming locks and bolted to the drug store. This time I purchased something more subtle, “honey gold with sparks of sunshine”. Big mistake. This time my hair turned . . . I’m not sure what color it was . . . kind of purple, but close to red, with strands of some color that doesn’t have a name.

As I headed for the door once again, Jack stopped me. “If you bleach your hair one more time, it’ll fall out!” he warned. “Bald is better than orange!” I retorted, but he convinced me to count my losses and wait until Monday when I could seek professional help, both psychologically and for my hair.

The next morning, I tried to convince myself that I had a headache and needed to stay in bed, but Jack saw right through me. “Pat”, he said, “You need to keep your focus on what’s really important here.” We’ve got a worship service to do, and that includes your heart, not your hair.” Sometimes I hate being married to a preacher!

When we arrived at church I kept a low profile until the time came to sing. When the moment arrived, I walked on stage with every intention of giving some profound, spiritual words before my song. Instead, a rushing stream of babble flowed from my mouth that surprised even me. “This is not my natural hair color, it’s supposed to be “honey gold with sparks of sunshine”, but the box lied, and then the second box, well, it lied, too, and Christina, my hair stylist abandoned me, and . . . now I’m going to sing a song to the Lord.” At this point, my face was as red as my hair!

On the ride home from church, I started to apologize to Jack for the mess I had created, but he reached over and squeezed my hand. “I’m guilty of doing the same thing you did” he said. “You colored your hair purple?” I asked. “No, he replied, “But I have often been impatient and plunged in to a task way over my head. Many times I’ve had to seek professional help to get me out of a jam and each time I’ve called, the Professional, God, has answered.”

I guess I learned two lessons from this experience: One, seek ye first the council of God, and two, never, never trust the picture on the front of a hair color box!

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Member Comments
Member Date
lauren finchum 12 Dec 2006
my cousin had this happen. She died her hair black, but her prev blonde highlights turned purple! And we color our hair all time! Lucky thing is, it grew on her after a while. I found reading EVERYTHING in the box till you get the hang of it helps! LOL Oh, and just for some help, some colors(on the back of the box) says "Not recommened for gray hair" I know, it doesn't make sence. Go figure, right. :-0 I don't have gray hair at all, but it still never comes out just like the picture. I love this, it's TOO TRUE. :)
Deborah Porter  30 Jul 2004
Oh PAT! How embarrassing ... thanks for letting us have a chuckle at your expense. I loved that little bit of wisdom from your dear husband at the end. It tied it all up perfectly. With love, Deb
Melinda Gonzalez 15 Apr 2004
Ha ... I have no grey hair but I can relate. I did the exact same thing. Good story & Lesson. Thanks for the smiles!!!
Dian Moore 12 Apr 2004
This is precious and a very funny way to get the message across. (I've had the same experience, though didn't have to appear in public). Loved your writing style.


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