I have a story that has become a family classic.
Christmas Day. 1992.
I'm 21 years old.
My husband, (then boyfriend) Gord, and I get back home after all the festivities. I'm super excited because we have tickets to see The Nutcracker the next evening in Toronto.
I have an old Henna hair treatment sitting around in a box.
You know...those "all natural" hair dyes? It adds volume to my thin locks and I've used them numerous times.
So, clearly it's the perfect time to give my hair a Henna treatment. I imagine having a head of luscious brown waves for the ballet.
I put the Henna on and when it's time to rinse it out, I'm leaning over the side of the tub, watching the water come out blue-ish.
But I keep rinsing and rinsing, noticing my hair itself is actually...sort of...green.
Now, panic is starting to kick in.
I grab some shampoo and scrub my head.
My hair is completely green.
I'm not talking a slight green "tinge". I'm talking full on seaweed green. The colour of spinach.
I swear, I must have washed my hair ten times. It was not coming out.
So, I start bawling my eyes out. (hahahahaha)
Gord is standing there...trying not to laugh.
Needing more sympathy, I call my brother, James.
"My hair is greeeeeeeen," I start wailing into the phone.
Then James starts laughing hysterically.
I'm still bawling my eyes out, telling him this isn't supposed to happen in real life. "This kind of stuff only happens in books and movies. Whaaaaaaaaa."
Gord eventually calms me down. "Don't worry. We will get you into a hairdresser first thing tomorrow morning and they can fix it."
I'm thinking they're going to have to chop my long hair right off, a la Anne Shirley.
The next morning, Gord wakes up and starts phoning every hair salon in the city. Most aren't even open since it's Boxing Day. He finally finds someone open and willing to tackle my green hair.
So, I crawl out of bed, eyes puffy from crying all night, and head to the hairdresser. When I get there, I take off my baseball cap, and they gasp.
"Yeah...it's GREEN all right," everyone says in amazement, circling me like I'm a circus freak.
The guy dyes my hair the brightest red you can imagine. "It's to neutralize the green," he tells me.
Okay. I guess bright red hair is better than green.
But, to my relief, he then dyes it dark brown over top to cover the red.
I left the salon relieved. I actually looked normal. The man was a miracle worker.
However...about six weeks later, when the hair dye wore off, my hair began to turn green again.
The henna had literally turned my hair green...for good.
Just like when nature turns your hair grey, I'd inadvertently helped nature turn my hair green.
It took many, many, many years, but my green hair eventually grew out.
I see old photos, like this one, and the first thing I do is check my hair-- to see if I can spot any of the lovely spinach green shade.
Nowadays, whenever I complain about having to constantly colour greying hair, I just remind myself... it's NOTHING compared to having to colour green hair.
And there you have it. The decade I spent with green hair.