In 1995 I had gone against all convention and quit my future career of engineering, giving up a lucrative future at general motors - land of the golden handcuffs.
My new major? Psychology. My way of supporting myself? Waiting tables at a diner. I was living at Laurel Valley with Dev, somewhere between or during ownership of Lucky or Spot. And I was ready to really let loose, go wild. Die my hair RED red.
I wanted ketchup red, crazy obnoxious no way natural kind of color. This was not easy to find, I searched high and low and finally found more intense colors at the local fetish store, Noir Leather. Browsing the selection of quarter inch by quarter inch color squares I found it. Rubine.
This was going to be great. One of my good friends had a wedding the next day and I eagerly anticipated my appearance with the change from blonde to red. It was going to kick ass.
The instructions on the package said the best way to set the color was to set it using heat, like a crimping iron. It did not faze me in the least that I had to bake my hair to retain the shade. We suffer for beauty. So my good buddy kzoo jen came over with crimping iron in hand (yes she still had one in 1995, we were too cool for school) and worked away zapping the new shade into my lovely locks.
Time passed and I had to wash out the goo. Kzoo jen started to laugh, and I peeked out from under the running water long enough to see the lather was...lavender. Unfazed I thought it was a strange color to come out under water but remained confident in my choice.
Until I dried my hair and looked in a mirror. Seems my hair was not red. It was a deep deep purplish-pink. We are talking the color of barney here.
Yes, I freaked out. Mother of god I had purple hair! It was one thing to show up at a friend’s wedding with red hair, but purple could be an upstaging thing and that is just not cool. Ten shampoos later I had faded to a nice fuchsia. Yes I was pink and there to stay.
The wedding was fine; the bride was not upstaged and loved the color. Worries of the job had come to mind, but fruitlessly as my color was not offensive. It just matched the shirts we had to wear. In all honesty one kid even thought I was the real live Ariel from the Little Mermaid. Yeah, the mermaid marries the prince and then works in a diner. Awesome for her dream.
Best part of this whole thing? I grew to love the color so much I touched it up on purpose. Twice. Even better I wrote a paper on it for my social psychology class and got an A.
Some of the best things in life come from happy accidents. Whether people treated me differently because of my hair color or I expected them to, I learned a lot from having punk hair. It wasn’t on purpose but I would never take it back, not a second of it.
If you have never been forced to stand out then you are missing out. I recommend Rubine.
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