Tuesday, March 3, 2009

A Horse to Dye For

Have you heard the age-old comment that people tend to look like the dogs they own? I suppose I've seen jowly fellows that own English bulldogs and curly-haired women walking frou-frou poodles, but I'm not sure that I look anything at all like my Schnauzer, Betsy. However, I am beginning to wonder if, over time, some horse owners begin to resemble their horses. I may even be guilty of that.

During my palomino-owning era, my hair had very distinct blond highlights. That wasn't natural. Though I've almost forgotten the true color of my hair, I believe it's a plain, dark brown, the shade of hot coffee. But as Jessica, my hair stylist, says, "A new hair color is just a bottle away!"

And thus, when I sold both palominos and ended up with Wally as the sole horse on my property, my hair mutated to a golden brown with red accents. It's gotten more pronounced as time goes on. I didn't purposely mean for that to happen. I think subconsciously it happened and my hair color just evolved that way. Though I do recall I kept urging Jessica to "add more red to the mix."

But now, with the economy tanking, I'm dyeing my own hair at home. Yesiree, Lady Clairol (or L'Oreal, whichever is on sale at Target) and I are teaming up to combat the gray hairs on the top of my head. Besides, the $90 or so I was spending every six weeks at the hair salon equates to 4 bales of prime orchard grass/alfalfa hay and a bag of pellets. Even I can do the math there to realize I can save a bundle by doing the dyeing deed myself.

My biggest obstacle wasn't wrestling with the cheap man-sized rubber gloves and the noxious fumes, but in deciding precisely which hair dye color to purchase. Instead of choosing between Lightest Auburn and Golden Brown, I wanted some more descriptive tones. Rather than holding up a little cardboard box in the aisleway and trying to determine if a 3-inch square photograph revealed the color I was searching for, I wanted color terms that were easier to comprehend. In essence what I wanted were hair dye boxes labeled with colors like Warm Sorrel or Flaxen Tail. I know what those colors are!

My solution was to mix two solutions: a dark blond and a warm reddish hue, so that I ended up with a color along the lines of Chestnut Mare. Honestly, I think it looks rather nice! However, I will simply die if my current dye job elicits a comment I got from a complete stranger a couple of years ago. I was trail riding Lexi, one of my former palominos. I was jogging up a hill, my very blond tresses bouncing atop my shoulders, when this lady remarked with a smile, "Your horse is so pretty! And your hair exactly matches her mane! It's so cute!"

If anyone tells me that my hair now matches Wally's rusty coat color, I'm going to dye. Again.

Feel free to contribute your thoughts and comments (and hair color tips!) by clicking on "comments" below.


Anonymous said...

LOL! Your blog is always entertaining but this entry made me laugh until I cried. Thanks for sharing :)

Nancy said...

Oh my god, too funny. Leo was born black, and each year got greyer and greyer. And being a percheron/thoroughbred cross, he was massive - 16.3 as a 2 year old. So, i'm quite fond of saying, i love a horse that has more grey hair than me, and that makes me feel petite!

Jessica said...

YES! There is another being out there that this has happened to!!! LOL!!

Two years ago I went in to my hair stylest and asked for some red/brown somewhat noticeable low lights (mostly brown though) over my already pretty blonde hair. Well I got BRIGHT RED (almost pink) streaks.

Two minutes after I walked into the barn, the owner looks at me and says, "Wow - are you trying to look like your horse now or what?" He's a chestnut with semi-flaxen mane. I didn't live that down till the red washed out...*sigh*

How fun though :) Glad to have a comrad! hehehe

Anonymous said...

Wow, Cindy, your stories always make me laugh. I have noticed the resemblance between some horses and their owners. For example, I have a tall, slim friend with reddish brown hair. Her horse is a tall, slim chestnut Thoroughbred. It's so cute to see them together. Thanks for sharing your hair-color tales! It's so nice to have something to smile about at the end of the day. :D

Anonymous said...

It could be worse, your horse could be Dapple gray or a paint. Now I just can't imagine you coloring your hair that color.
I think the color of Wally is an excellent choice.

Anonymous said...

Interesting topic!!
I've never intentionally dyed my dark brown hair, but it does get sun bleached every summer. So the longer strands are various shades of light reddish brown. I've noticed the same thing happening to my bay horse. I don't pull his mane and it's easy to see how it's black at the top and light reddish brown at the bottom.
I guess we both need a trim.

A riding buddy of mine is a natural blonde who rides a palamino and doesn't go anywhere without her golden retriever. Needless to say, she gets plenty of comments on their matching fur.

Cindy Hale said...

I'm always happy to make other horse lovers laugh, even if they're laughing at me! One thing I won't do is use the razor/knife thingy to cut my own hair in the same manner that I pull a colt's mane. I actually will break down and pay a professional stylist to cut my hair. Then again, one of my professional braider or groom friends might be willing to try their talents on human hair for a few bucks...

Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness, I have 2 grays, a silver dapple paint mini, a black bay AND a sorrel overo! Yikes!

maybe that explains the silver strands running through my dark brown hair, with the sun=reddened highlights.


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