Skip to main content

I'm Gonna Wash That Gray Right Out of My Hair©

OK, I admit it: I color my hair. Sometime between age thirty-five and recently, the gray hairs started coming in fast and furious.

OK, I admit it: I color my hair. Sometime between age thirty-five and recently, the gray hairs started coming in fast and furious. I’m assuming it was age-related, and not a result of being a stressed-out mother of two kids, a dog, lizard, chinchilla, and assorted fish. But I was less concerned with why the gray hairs were there then how to get rid of them. At first I yanked them out, but soon there were too many and I was fairly certain that bald would be a worse look for me than gray.

A lot of my friends were already part of the hair-coloring club. They trekked off to their salons every six weeks or so and paid gobs of money to get a single process or double process or foils and lowlights and who knows what other chemically-toxic, natural-looking fake color in their hair. Since I just wanted to cover up my gray hairs, I thought it would be easy enough and more cost-effective to just do it myself.

Of course, I once also thought I could save money by cutting my hair myself. I ended up looking like a tumbleweed that had electroshock treatment. Not having learned from this mistake, the first time I decided to color my hair, I bought one of these permanent hair colors off the drug store shelf. Just picking the color was actually pretty overwhelming: There were dozens of brands and hues to choose from. I stood for ten minutes examining the dizzying array of browns such as Light Golden Brown and Medium Ash Brown and Natural Medium Rich Dark Brown (which was clearly the choice for idiot brunettes like me who can’t make up their minds). I finally settled on a brown that looked like my own hair color… sans the gray. The box said Medium Brown. The picture on the box looked like medium brown. But after I applied the hair dye, the color on my head was clearly, no bones about it, black. Really, really black. Because it was permanent and because it was so dark, I couldn’t lighten it. So for a month I had unnaturally black hair and my kids called me Elvis.

This time around, I decided to be smart and get one of those hair colors that washes out in 28 shampoos.

For temporary hair color, they have fun names like Nutmeg, and Chocolate Shake and Cocoloco. The problem with this was I still couldn’t figure out which one matched my hair color, and all the names made me hungry, to boot. I ran out and picked up a donut and coffee and then came back and settled on another medium brown tint with reddish brown undertones. Then I came home, colored my hair and looked in the mirror.

The gray was gone.

So was the brown.

Scroll to Continue

Recommended for You

My hair was pink.

It was actually more of a fuschia tone, if you want to be exact. Apparently the reddish brown undertones were more vibrant in reality than one would be led to believe from the description on the box. Apparently they were not undertones at all. Apparently they were overt tones and now my hair was pink.

Clearly, I was not that excited about this new look. First of all, pink hair is not a good look for a suburban stay at home mom who is not in a punk rock band. Second, I knew the pink would clash with all my red clothes. And third, as my daughter pointed out, while I no longer looked like Elvis, I did resemble a toy Troll, which is really not much of an improvement.

I quickly made an executive decision, jumped back in the shower, and washed my hair a dozen times.

My hair was now squeaky clean… and pink.

Finally I went back to the drug store, pondered my options, and finally settled on a foolproof remedy:

A baseball cap.

©2009, Beckerman. All rights reserved. For more Lost in Suburbia, visit Tracy Beckerman at, and check out her hilarious new book “Rebel without a Minivan” at Amazon and



Fish Out of Water

There are some exotic breeds of tropical fish that have to live in an environment where the temperature cannot fluctuate more than one or two degrees or they will die. I’m kind of like those fish.

Resolving to Keep my New Year’s Resolution©

Last year I made a New Year’s resolution not to make any New Year’s resolutions because I always immediately break them.


All That Glitters is - Glitter

I’m not sure why little girls are such fans of glitter, but they are.  Maybe like big girls, they like pretty, shiny things.  Glitter could be like training-bling, or something like that.

Only the Nose Knows©

I can smell something in the next county.  I can detect unseen mold under a bathtub mat.  I can sniff out spoiled milk from behind refrigerator doors.  Like any superpower, this particular trait can sometimes be a gift, and sometimes a curse.


How I Lost a Chinchilla, Freed the Crickets, and Ended up at the Dentist

The day started innocuously enough.  I made the rounds feeding all the pets, as I do every morning. I drove the kids to school, stopped at the pet shop to pick up more crickets for the lizard, and then I came home. And that is when I saw it:  The door to the chinchilla cage was open and the chinchilla was gone.


Making Friends on the Supermarket Checkout Line

Looks like you’re having a party,” said the woman on the supermarket checkout line behind me.  I gave her a withering smile.  I could see where this was going.


A Scorpion in the Bathroom is Worth Two in The Bush

“You found a WHAT in your bathroom?” I shouted to my brother over the phone. “A scorpion,” he said, rather nonchalantly.