Nobody really thought I'd do it. Not boring old Derek. No way! They were wrong.
An idea crossed my mind a couple of months ago. What if I colored my hair blue? Blue is my favorite color, and I tend to look good in blue. Besides, I'm tired of people thinking I'm conservative or stuffy or old-fashioned. I mean, yeah, I'm into opera and literature...but I am also very much into alternative rock and progressivism (is that a word?). I don't like being defined, and I resist attempts to do this. Let the taxonomists have a field day with a blue-haired Derek!
I had an appointment tonight to cut my hair with Camille at Liquid Studio in the South End. I mentioned the idea to her, to get an expert's opinion. She seemed hesitant at first. But as I explained my idea further -- that I wasn't thinking of getting a punk-rocker hairdo, but rather some dark blue lowlights -- she got enthusiastic about it and started suggesting different options. Finally, I said let's do it.
After my haircut, I went to the color station. First we darkened my hair and beard to a very dark brown -- almost black -- that would complement the blue better. Then Camille put the skull cap on me and pulled strands of hair out to bleach. After the bleaching was done, she slathered a blue paste onto the top of my head. Soon I was transformed.
As I was getting ready to pay, one of the other stylists came back into the salon (where Camille, another client, and I had been the only ones still there that late). When he saw me he stopped and stared. And then he couldn't stop complimenting Camille, all the while looking me up and down. Camille kept asking, "What do you think?" and he kept answering, "It's beautiful work," until finally he asked, "Who are you asking, me or him?" Then Camille turns to me and asks, "Well, what do you want to hear?" I replied, "I want to hear those kinds of comments from the ladies." This is when the "Stupid Straight Guy" -- a running gag through the evening -- realized he might not have been very sensitive to the other stylist and immediately told him, "I'm sorry," to which he immediately blurted out, "I can put on a wig! I can wear a dress!" So we spent a few minutes looking at pictures of him in drag wearing an outrageously wonderful wig.
I like the new look, but I'm going to have to transform my wardrobe accordingly, from hick to urban. It's a little bit lighter, more turquoise, than I expected, but I think it works. I may feel differently tomorrow. There's even the possibility that I'll hate it. We'll see. I did realize while I was undergoing the darkening that, hey, I actually really like my natural hair color. But I wanted to try something new, something different, something slightly outside the lines. Whether I end up loving or loathing the new do, my real hair will grow back. That's the beauty of it all -- I get to experiment for a few months, with no long term negative consequences. Ya gotta love it!