I’m 63. By the time most men reach this milestone, they have more than a touch of gray, like me. Some men have gone completely white on top. And in the case of my older brother, there is scant evidence he ever had hair.

But then I noticed at my yoga class that the women didn’t seem to have this problem. Their ages range from 50 to 75. And yet, not one of them has a single gray hair. The obvious takeaway is that women have a much easier life than men.

Then it struck me like a thunderbolt – their youthful-looking hair was a dye job. I know this to be so because I conducted a survey of the class  – and now none of them will speak to me.

That gave me an idea – perhaps I could look younger too if I colored my hair. What’s the worst that could happen? So, I did it. I would like to pass along to other men just how simple the procedure is. The whole experience will take years off your life, I mean, off your appearance.

Below is the exact step-by-step method I followed. You might want to take notes. 

Step 1: Get out of your comfort zone and do something daring. Realize that your past efforts to “pray away the gray” have been futile. Take the plunge and decide to dye your hair.

Step 2: Choose your desired hair color. Be bold. If you’re thinking purple or green, stop! I said be bold, not be a circus clown.

Step 3: Go to the pharmacy and decide which brand you most identify with: Just for Men, Manly Guy, or Natural Instincts. Look at the photos on the packaging. Choose the one whose picture most closely matches your vague recollection of your former self – the HAIR color, not the ruggedly handsome face on the box.

Step 4: Accidentally purchase a color two shades darker than your natural tint. Fail to notice this until it’s too late.

Step 5: Apply the dye. Get distracted by a radio broadcast about a seven-year-old in Nebraska with the world’s largest bunny rabbit and inadvertently leave the goop on your scalp for nine minutes instead of the recommended maximum five.

Step 6: Shampoo, rinse off. Look in the mirror.

Step 7: Scream in terror as you discover that Chocolate Brown looks more like Midnight Black. Note the box’s fine print where it says “Do not leave on beyond the recommended time limit, to avoid darkening beyond the desired shade.”

Step 8: Briefly consider becoming a goth. You just need to add a few body piercings and you’ll pretty much be there.

Step 9: Regain your composure, jump in the car and speed to the nearest barber shop. Listen as the barber recommends that you do the dye process again, only this time with a color two shades lighter.

Step 10: Buy a lighter shade. Apply it. Do not exceed the five minutes. Shampoo, rinse and dry. Look in the mirror.

Step 11: Detect how that did absolutely NOTHING to lighten your hair color. It’s still Midnight Black. Briefly consider suing the hair color industry for emotional pain and suffering.

Step 12: Buy a hat online to cover up your follicle folly. Perhaps a fedora. But from the looks of your hair, better go with a football helmet.

Step 13: While you wait for your hat to arrive, catch all the subtle remarks people are making about your new doo, like, “Hey, buddy, what the hell happened to your hair? Did a can of black paint fall on your head at Lowes?” Unfriend that jerk on Facebook.

Step 14: Listen patiently as your wife lectures you about your vanity and how your now jet-black hair draws even more attention to your bald spot.

Step 15: Take your wife’s advice to go to a professional styling salon. They know a thing or two about how to color hair properly and safely.

Step 16: Arrive at the salon. Notice two ladies from your yoga class. Observe how the stylist has purple, red and green locks. Trust that you are in good hands as she applies dye remover with a paint brush. When she asks if you’d like your eyebrows done too, avoid all rational thought and reply, “Um, okay.”

Step 17: Make the mistake of looking in the mirror after the rinse cycle to discover your new color: ALBINO WHITE. Congratulations. You now look 30 years older.

Step 18: Listen anxiously as the stylist explains she is only halfway through and that she’ll now cover the white with your new, natural-looking hair coloring.

Step 19: An hour later, peek in the mirror and regard how authentic your hair color looks – if you were an orangutan. It’s bright orange! Interestingly, spot how your eyebrows are dark black. If you were going for the Groucho Marx eyebrow look, you nailed it!

Step 20: Listen patiently as the stylist explains that this is an inexact process and that she will be happy to try a second application to try to get it right.

Step 21: Try to recall what in the world possessed you to conduct this experiment in the first place, as the rainbow stylist repeats the process over the next two hours. Voila. Something vaguely approaching your former natural hair color has been attained (within a shade or two). And it only took two trips to the pharmacy, one to the barber shop, three hours at a salon – and $375 – to undo your impulsively stupid decision from step 1.

Step 22: Decide that you’re way too old to try to look 35 again. Accept that you’re going gray and losing your hair and leave the vanity of hair to dye for to the women in your yoga class.

That’s the view from the bleachers. Perhaps I’m off base.

PS: If you enjoyed this week’s post, let me know by posting a comment, giving it a Like or sharing this post on Facebook.

Check out my latest humor book: YOU’RE GROUNDED FOR LIFE: Misguided Parenting Strategies That Sounded Good at the Time

© Tim Jones, View from the Bleachers 2018

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