Now that my current work permits, I can wear a green streak in my hair again. My verdant stripe is back, has been back for months. It feels like it belongs.

But hair presents an interesting problem. Any style, even the most basic, requires some kind of maintenance, and each hair type has its own demands. Depending on your genes and your desire or NEED to conform to society’s beauty demands, there a straighteners, relaxers, detanglers, curl enhancers, oils, creams, mousses, gels and goodness knows what else to help “tame,” shape, and mould one’s locks.

Unnaturally colored hair is no exception. Now, I maintain that unnaturally colored hair, being quite obviously unnatural, doesn’t need root touch-ups, to maintain an illusion of natural blond, or born-this-way red, but it does need redyeing. Over time,  colors fade. Green begins to look like beached seaweed and iron-deficient grass. I regard this as a disheveled and un professional look.

By last night, my hair had taken on the tone of an ill-aged copper kettle. It was time to address the matter. It was a matter of maintenance. It was a matter of pride.

You’d think, having dyed it once, redyeing it would be a simple thing. After all, you don’t have to deal with the whole bleaching process again. An it’s one solid streak rather than my whole head. But my hair is a thick and wispy mess, frizzing out in a halo of flyaways… some of which are distinctively green. The difficulty then lies in gathering in every faded strand for recoloring.

Even at my most obsessive, it’s a nigh impossible task. A comb helps. A comb does not fix the issue, but it helps. The strands seperate, and I’m able to wrangle together a good chunk of off-lime, shot through with a few significant threads of brown. At least this way, the brown won’t wick up the extra dye.

Then comes the fun. The grand mess. Nothing can contain the splash and spatter of the dye. No matter the gloves, no matter the towels set down, there is always the flung-paint pattern of the dye.

And at last, I wait. I usually wait by writing a blog post or a poem, sometimes I wait with a good book. Usually, I wait for half an hour… unless I read too deeply, in which case it takes far longer, and I don’t wash it out in a reasonable time.

But when I’m finished? The flash of leaf and forest cascading from my brow? Worth it. As if it grew that way of it’s own accord. I’ll save the clean up for later. For now, I’ll bask in my green.

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