The following posts have no fixed theme or style, but I hope you enjoy reading them!

Sunday, 3 February 2008

She likes her hair to be real orange; she uses tangerines

The event has been on the horizon for a while. When the house went girly and the henna came out. The girls told me that they wanted me to join in, and having never tried dyeing my hair before, I gave in quickly and joined the party.

To do that, I had to go into Lush. I was horrified. I have always walked past Lush, blinked a little at the tackily applied bright colours, coughed briefly at the stench exuded from the dimly lit shop, and walked straight on. Out of all the shops in town, this is the one that appeals least. It advertises various crumbly blocks of "stuff", containing something "essential" for your well-being. But this is apparently THE PLACE to get henna, because it is good at having organic things that are healthy and ethical, and henna is healthy and organic and presumably ethical too (as I have learned). I felt every muscle in my body tense as I came up to the shop, resisted the urge to go on to HMV instead, and set foot inside. The shop assistant who looked least scary (he had a beard and may not have washed in the last couple of hours, shock horror) kindly tried to make eye contact as he wrapped some of their trademark crumbly blocks, but I resisted, knowing that it would take a moment to gain the confidence to speak and the breath not to cough. Indeed, my first breath was stuttering and shallow, but I didn't cough and possibly also didn't even grimace too much. I tried in vain to get my bearings, but every small surface was covered in crumbly blocks of different colours and sizes that smelled too badly to get too close and read the label. Having seen my way around though, I went to the shop assistant, the one with the beard, and asked him about it. He was actually very friendly, to my joy. He didn't mind that I had no comprehension of anything, and explained what you do, how much I needed and which type to use (yes, they come in different colours). He guessed that I was connected to Jo, who had come in the day before and warned him that a houseful of people would all descend on him for henna imminently. As I left, I reflected that it had not been so scary after all, and that if the man was there next time, I could probably brave the stench and crumbly blocks to go in again.

I arrived back in the evening to find the first henna-ing already underway. Maria had henna'ed her hair last december in a ginger colour that all the boys seemed to love, and was keen to have it re-done. I should guess that the attention from the boys didn't enter into the decision, but it certainly made the rest of the girls think... Jo couldn't have anything too extreme (what would Chris say?!), but the others launched into it with much abandon! Go them! So we took it in turns to take the hotseat and have the henna applied.

Henna is like poo. Of course, it starts off as a smelly, crumbly block, but it is heated with a bit of water until it gets properly pooey and warm, and even more smelly. Then someone spreads it into your hair, making sure it's all covered while trying to miss the floor, your skin and your clothes, all of which stain. Next it is covered in cling film, and you just wait for the colour to seep into your hair, while the smell attacks and attacks your nostrils unrelentingly. It was JUST TYPICAL that my hair was darkest and so took the longest, and I left it 4 1/2 hrs before washing it off.

Of course, the girls were drinking wine and listening to the Madonna cover of American Pie, just to make the evening more like a girly sleepover. Then Jo decided it would be a good moment to paint my nails. She cornered me while I read my book, and reminded me that I had agreed to it at some unspecified point in the past, in return for occasional football related conversation. And, while the conversations in the house about football have been very occasional indeed, I went along with it, probably caving in more easily than I should have. About 2 nails in, I realised my mistake, but there was no going back. I take full responsibility for it, I can't really blame Jo except for her timing, I could have refused at any moment.

But I was traumatised. I went into the shower to wash off the vile stuff, and all the poo-stuff ran down my face suffocating me most horribly. I looked down at my hands and gasped as I noticed my nails, breathing in some henna-water, leaving me spluttering. And did the henna do anything to my *black* hair? Did it hell! Why no, no, it didn't! Yes, I'll admit that in daylight you can stand at the right angle and looked carefully at the way it glistens brownishly, but did it change colour? No, of course not! In lectures the next day I had comment after comment about my nails and how silly they looked, but not one about my hair. Pah!

The others look great of course. Maria looks stunningly ginger as before, Louisa looks similarly wonderful with the same colour, Louise has gone a very sexy dark brown colour that glistens nicely and is a bit more understated, and Jo has highlights of ginger that make her hair more interesting somehow, while leaving her hair effectively her normal blond (who'd really change their hair from her pretty blond anyway?)

So of course they want to do it again. Now, in my book, trying everything once, from bungee jumping to sushi, is important, so I do not regret any of this for a second, but I am not doing it again. I'll watch if they'd like male company, or leave the house otherwise


Rachel said...

Very funny! :) It's a shame your hair didn't colour at all...

I'm amazed how scary you find Lush. Maybe I'm more of a "girl" than I thought, because I think it's lovely in there - if you don't stay too long, anyway. A friend of mine used to work there and come home simply coated in glitter. That's a bit scary :-/

Jo said...

Update: Jo has gone redder!! Sorry about the nails.... it's your fault for getting obsessed with the nail file.

Grinnyguy said...

Thanks for that jo! I have to say, your new redder version is pretty wonderful, I'm sure Chris will be a fan cos it looks great!

No harm done with the varnish, it was hardly your fault anyway!