What Color is Brown?


Who is that person in the mirror looking back at me? I don’t even know her. I can’t believe she did it, but she did.

Like most women, I enhance the color of my hair to something that better represents my image of who I am. Trouble is, I got tired of the mixing, waiting, dripping, messy goop. I hate the stained towels and spatters on the wallpaper, not to mention repainting the bathroom after the big accidental spill.

I decided that I would let my hair go natural. Be myself. Problem is that it looks really awful while your hair is growing out. So… I decided to use a different color, one closer to my original color so the brown roots wouldn’t show.

I went to the Walmart and tried to pick the color out myself. That was my big mistake.

Why is it that what is says on the box is never the color that is inside? I thought it would be perfect, “Light Golden Brown,” it said on the label.

They call THIS light golden brown? I thought, looking in the mirror. “Dark Putrid Brown,” they should have called it, or “Mousy Messy Surprise.”

I guess they wouldn’t sell much hair color that way.

I should have known to pick a color lighter than what I actually wanted. I went though this once before. After the initial shock was over, I changed right back to the color I was accustomed to.

“You just have to get used to it,” says my daughter. She is trying to be nice.

Maybe I can wear a hat. Or maybe I can cover it with a scarf? Or maybe I can put a bucket over my head.

It’s no use. This is not going to work. I am going back to the old color.

I have to wait a while for the roots to recover. Re-coloring too fast could cause my hair to fall out. Bald would be very bad indeed.

“You dyed your hair,” friends say to me.

“Yes, I dyed my hair. I hate it.” I reply.

“Oh, you just have to get used to it,” they chime in chorus.

I will never get used to it. I don’t even want to try to get used to it. But it doesn’t look quite as awful today as it did yesterday. Maybe it is fading already?

Tonight I’m going back to the old color. It doesn’t usually work to put a lighter color over a darker one, but maybe it will lighten it enough. Maybe it will be closer to “Golden Brown” than to “Trash Pit Brown.”

I hope.

We’ve all heard the tales of horror: Women who try to lighten their own hair and turn it orange. Women who try to darken their own hair and turn it purple.

I don’t have time to deal with a hair color disaster right now. I must have been crazy trying to change my hair color. Who wants to be natural these days anyhow?

If only they would name the colors what they really are and stop trying to make them sound better. If it’s “Mousy Mud Puddle,” call it that, or “Bitter Chocolate Moose,” or “Yo’ Mamma’s Biggest Nightmare.”

They need to let me start naming these things.

“Rich Darden Dirt” I would have called it! Or “Cow Manure Brown,” or “Scorched Coffee Bean,” or “Scarab Beetle Dung.”

“Light Golden Brown?” Liar, liar, pants on fire!

I could put them out of business in a week with my names. Let them wait for their roots to recover for a change.

Copyright 2009 Sheila Moss


About Sheila Moss

My stories are about daily life and the funny things that happen to all of us. My columns have been published in numerous newspapers, magazines, anthologies, and websites.
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5 Responses to What Color is Brown?

  1. energywriter says:

    I tried to brighten my hair once when it began to be a little less red than usual. Never again. Now I have a few gray streaks in my mostly light brown hair. That’s fine. Red hair and wrinkles do NOT mix well. More important lesson: When I was a teen I asked a woman who had mostly gray hair why she didn’t color it. She gave me solid advice: “When your hair changes color, so does your skin tone. If you color your hair it doesn’t match your skin tone.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sheila Moss says:

      Well, that makes sense. I understand there is a run on hair color now, somewhat like the toilet paper panic, as hair begins to grow out and beauty shops are closed. I suspect we will see a lot of two-tone hair now. Who knows, long grey roots may become the latest style.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Cow manure brown, that’s funny. Yea I started going with my natural hair color about 6 years ago. Got tired of the chemicals.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Authoress51 says:

    That’s funny. That’s like me with the ‘Lusty Lavender ‘ that should actually be titled ‘Puke Pink’! I’m going back to my previous Purple shade soon.

    Liked by 2 people

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