More Beautiful Living Through Chemistry

This NaBloPoMo thing is no joke folks. This is post #9 and since I was late pushing “publish” on the one from yesterday this makes two in one day. Which is a lot. And the month is not even 1/3 over. 

Yikes. And onward…

I do not claim to be a beauty, but I do make attempts to be slightly more beauteous on a regular basis. I makeup, I cleanse, I use my magic hair dryer to calm my hair into some semblance of normalcy. And on a monthly basis I go through what I like to call “The Process” as an in-depth reboot of sorts. 

The goal is beauty – The Process is in no way beautiful. 

Every month, a box arrives from eSalon. This box contains just the right mix of toxic chemicals to make it less obvious that I am melatin challenged in the hair department (read: “alarmingly gray”) My Dad was gray in his 20s so I am not surprised that in my – um – older than that – years I have a hefty dose myself. I’ve been altering my hair color since college so I am not sure exactly what is going on under there in its natural state, but I can guarantee it ain’t pretty.

After this box arrives I monitor the state of my hairline with increasing alarm and wait for the right time to commence “The Process.” 

Ideally this is a time when no one is home. I don’t wander around in my mid-process state, but the idea of a random kid or god forbid my very young-looking and factually in-a-different-age-bracket beau catching sight of this is beyond scary. 

Sometimes an alone day isn’t in the cards and I have to lock the door and hope for the best. ‘Cause once we start, there is no stopping or socializing. Kid hungry? Too bad. Dog has to pee? I’ll be cleaning that up when I emerge. BF wants to access his clothing – um, no.

The Process starts with a wardrobe change. Depending on the temperature and my level of optimism this involves some combination of a very stained bathrobe, a tank top and pajama pants. So fabulous.

Once I’m appropriately geared up I open the box of hair coloring goodies. First up is some pointless greasy stuff that goes all along my hairline with the goal of not ending up looking like Eddie Munster when the color seeps onto my face. A ring of grease is the first step to beauty, but you knew that.

Then I snap on some pink rubber gloves and mix two bottles of goo together, which I enjoy because it feels vaguely scientific.

Next I attempt to carefully and neatly squirt the color goo along the roots of my hair. At some point (Every. Single. Time.) it starts to drip down my face, past the previously established grease barrier. 

Sometimes I see this happening immediately and clean it up. Other times I don’t notice until 10 minutes later when the goo has turned alarmingly black and I need to break our all kinds of cleaners and cotton balls in an attempt to avert the Eddie Munster effect. 

Once the first coat of goo has been applied I set a timer for 30 minutes and – since, as previously noted, I am not leaving the bathroom until the end of this whole thing – work on some other beauty-increasing projects. Remove nail polish. Tweeze brows. Floss. 

Then the fun part starts – face masks! The peel off ones are especially enjoyable. I like to use 2 or 3 at a time  so I feel like some fancy beauty blogger expert. I dab one on my nose, a different one on my cheeks and maybe a third on my forehead. 

Just to recap – Mid-point in The Process I am inappropriately dressed and have black goo in my hair with the ends all sticking out and untreated, and some patchwork of masks in various colors dabbed all over my face. All in the name of beauty.

Time for nail polish! With the masks applied I can’t wear my magnifying glasses so I can’t see my actual fingertips. But I try to Braille my way through. Only when I am halfway done do I remember that I have to put the pink gloves back on…

Hoping for the best, I finish painting and with 10 minutes left on the clock I put on a Netflix episode (maybe The Crown) that I will never finish – and wait. 

My timer goes off and I gingerly place my probably-not-dry-yet hand in a fresh pink glove and go about gooping the ends of my hair. Can’t have the ends missing out on the party, can we? No. No we cannot. As with the first round there are random drips and drops – on my face, in my ear, on my pants. 

The timer goes on for 10 more minutes. I half watch my show, test the edges of the mask(s) to see it they are ready to peel.

If everything works out just so when my timer goes off, three different mask patches are ready to peel and come off in satisfyingly large pieces. If it all comes off at once that is the day I will go buy lottery tickets – that kind of luck should not be squandered.

I jump in the shower and rinse the goo out, splattering the shower and my vast collection of shampoos with a layer of black ick that I hope will rinse away. Usually it does, but there is always that moment when it all looks like some alien murder crime scene that gives me pause. 

Afterwards I look in the mirror to assess the results of an hour of intensive beautifying and youthifying.  Every time I look essentially the same as I did to start with.

The grays are subdued momentarily. I may be slightly cleaner and more groomed. But otherwise, same.


Having successfully navigated The Process for the month I finally leave the bathroom and return to life outside, which hasn’t noticed I was gone.

Shiny renovated me heads out to check the mail. And there’s a box from eSalon. 

Something to look forward to 😉

About Kristen

Me: Kristen, more than 40-something (don't make me face the number), suburban mom of 2, working girl, therapeutic writer, proprietor of an emptying nest Addictions: Iced Coffee, FOMO resulting in twitchy compulsion to check FB/Instagram/Pinterest in an unending loop, texting, hugging my one child while Snapchatting the other and yelling at my dog

2 Responses

  1. Anonymous

    I buy my hair color on sale. Never thought about getting boxes delivered. Sounds more fun that way. I refuse to pay for someone to color my hair. Maybe 10 times in my adult life I have done that and would rather spend that money on something else. I read with hair color in and have to wash off the reading glasses when done. Have a robe also full of hair color stains. I miss blotches of grey sometimes especially in the top in the back where it is hard to see. I have about a dozen friends who got tired of the grind of coloring every month and went gray. Bryan says that may be grounds for a very serious talk. So until I am ready for that talk, I color away.

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