I got my hair done today, and I’ve finally accepted that (contrary to what I’ve attempted to convince myself over the last couple years of being without a dedicated, trusted colorist) my highlights are not “pretty straightforward,” “hard to screw up,” or “basic.” My head of hair is a sophisticated bird’s nest of different hues, one that--when properly color-choreographed--looks mysterious and modern, imbuing me with a subtle confidence and summoning the glamour girl within. I love leaving the salon after a coloring job well done. Unfortunately, that’s not how today went.
I’m not blaming James. He did the best he could given what he had to work with. See, my nest has gone all wonky; its ecology is totally out of whack ever since Doreen flew to another tree (as colorists too often do; “that freedom is one of the great things about our profession,” James perkily explained). I’ve been salon-hopping for a couple years now and haven’t found someone who can do me right, so my hair no longer speaks to any new colorist I see. (Or, if it does speak, I don’t like what it’s saying.) Anyway, poor James did a fine job considering what he had to work with, and he insists that he can work with me over the long term to get to just the right look I desire.Nothing can change the fact that I’m currently terrified, but I suppose I’ll get used to my new hair. The thousands of people watching me on live TV this Sunday night won’t even have a clue that this is not my best look. So I must simply feign that subtle confidence and summon my glamour girl using...hmmm, now is when a good summoning spell would come in handy (those always work so well in videogames!). I must take plenty of deep breaths and remember that everybody’s eyes are on Lisa Ling anyway. And I must remember, next time I’m randomly dialing some colorist who happens to have an opening “this week!” that my highlights are not “pretty straightforward,” “hard to screw up,” or “basic.” Maybe James won’t be so terrifying next time.