The woman with short, sorrel-
colored hair smiled back at me in the mirror.
“OMG! I’m gorgeous!!” I said, as I ran my fingers through newly-trimmed, dark red hair. I couldn’t believe how long I had waited before changing from bright, red-turned- sandy to rich brown with glistening red highlights. I had returned to the original me, only better. My husband, expecting the usual, punky red, went speechless but only until he caught his breath.
“Well helloooo, you sexy thang! I didn’t know you were gonna do this!”
To tell the truth, neither did I. When we started out, that afternoon, I’d faded to a golden tan. Still, I had avoided going darker for fear I’d look older.
Seven years and two life-changing events ago, I frowned at the downtrodden woman with the gray on her temples. Inevitable as I knew it was, I wanted to hit “Pause” on the graying process.
From 1995 to 2007, I had survived brain surgery, lost both of my vivacious and talented parents, and watched. the marriage I’d tried so hard to save go down the drain. The woman I saw in the mirror, though not yet sixty, looked and felt decades older. It was time for a change.
In 2005, I let Stef give me a few blonde highlights. Then, a few more. In fact every time I plopped down in her chair I chirped, “More highlights, please!” Two years later, as Stef flipped through my yellowed, straw-dry locks, she frowned.
“Girl, it’s time for a change. Let’s try red.”
Two visits later, I arrived at the perfect shade — “Sharon Osborne Red”, as we started calling it. The bright burgundy red plus the spiky hair style took years off my personality as I cruised into my sixties. even though it faded to a reddish tan only three weeks later.
I’m still trying to get used to the new-old me. I can’t promise I won’t revert to my redheaded ways. Still, every time I see myself, at least from my nose on up, I see my mother.
In more ways than one, I’m back to my roots, again — only better.