Monday, July 15, 2013

Green Hair and Peeing on the Tidy Bowl Man

I remember the first time I saw someone with green hair. This was decades before punk rock, spikey hair and cell phones. It was the summer of 1968 and I was swimming at Kino Junior High School’s pool in Mesa, Arizona.

It was summertime and this brand new, Olympic-size pool was the city’s newest gem. I spied an athletic, female lifeguard. It seemed she was supposed to have blond hair, but her short, golden locks had a serious shade of emerald running through it.

I rubbed my eyes and looked again. I saw a couple other young men and women with jade-infused tresses.

“They can’t be doing that on purpose,” I thought to myself. “Was this part of a sorority or fraternity prank?”

I didn’t think too much about it until school started in the fall. Low and behold, one of the P.E. teachers, Miss Driscoll, had limey locks as well. I asked one of my friends (either brainy Beverly Berres or well-informed Janet Loughrey) and they set me straight. If you bleach your hair and swim a lot in a chlorinated pool it turns your hair green.

Who knew? I was saavy enough to acknowledge that if one urinated in a toilet with Tidy Bowl in it the water would turn green. My friend, Michele Fitzgerald's mom used Tidy Bowl in their commode. After I used their facilities I would exit and sing, "I turned the water green."
Why I felt I needed to sing this little ditty every time I peed on the Tidy Bowl Man, I'm not sure, but it became a tradition I kept up for years. It was much like my odd habit of donning an ugly curler cap even when my hair wasn't in rollers.

But I digress.

Decades have passed since that hot summer day at the pool, but apparently hair color catastrophes continue to be an unwanted experience by thousands of unsuspecting men and women each day.

Consider these true stories of wayward color gone bad.

• A young woman tried to color her hair and didn’t realize until it was too late that she missed a huge spot in the back that was obvious to everyone at the gym when she put her hair back in a ponytail.
• A truck driver let his new girlfriend color his hair but left the color on too long (they were drinking wine and having fun) and an hour later his hair was bright orange. Nothing to do but let it grow out for three weeks and keep on trucking.
• A minister wanted to appear more youthful and let his wife color his white hair. Even prayer didn’t help when his locks turned green.
• Linda Cobb, aka the Queen of Clean and author of numerous books on cleaning says the only safe place to color your own hair is in the backyard. Before focusing on the money you might save by forgoing the salon, consider the value and time of replacing your clothes, bathroom wallpaper and rugs, as well as the time spent scrubbing your sink and skin.

One of favorite clients owns cosmetology schools in Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Florida and Texas. I’ve learned a lot about hair while promoting their hair products and beauty schools. Apparently providing hair coloring services is a big chunk of a stylist’s business. Now that my brunette hair is turning grey, I understand why folks would want to use any methods to turn back the clock and restore their locks to their natural color, or experiment with other hues. However, it seemed there were only two alternatives.

1. Pay a bunch of money and have a professional stylist take care of the situation.
2. Buy a box of color and take a chance you won’t make a mess of things.

However, there is a third alternative. International Academy of Hair Design in Mesa, Tempe, Phoenix and West Phoenix is offering a 50% off discount on all color services at their award-winning cosmetology schools. The regular price of color services begin at $24 (long hair is extra.) and the special takes place Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday through Aug. 31. The same deal applies to ITS Academy of Beauty in Texas and Oklahoma, Olympian University in New Mexico and Hair Benders Academy in Florida.

All the locations, phone numbers, as well as information about services and student enrollment can be found at

Looking back at my childhood memories of swimming and playing in the sun brings a smile to my face. So does the thought of my naiveté regarding chlorine and green hair. I think it’s great that we have so many options available to us for hair color.

However, if you want a change in color and style and don’t want to take a chance of a chromatic catastrophe, why not check out what services (or even career options) are available to you at Beauty School Rocks?

That said, I’d like to close with a quote from Frank Gelett .

“I never saw a purple cow; I never hope to see one; but I can tell you, anyhow, I'd rather see than be one.”

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