Best way to roast the broomstick. Must try. Five Stars.

Featured community question with accompanying First World nonsense

Today’s featured question comes from user KA:

Now, I realize that this is a bit awkward and tacky, writing about my hair just days after a tragedy that has crippled so many lives and puts such trivial nonsense into glaring perspective. It is just my hair. I have my hair. I have my life. The end.

There is not much else I can do other than donate money and point myself and others in the direction of a couple of places where we can help, so before I talk about my hair I’d love for you to take a look at these stories:

1. Go here and read. A huge number of orphans have been cleared to leave Haiti. They just need a plane to get out.

2. Reader Brianne Sheppard who works with a team of firefighters, nurses and correctional officers stationed in Kamloops, BC Canada wrote to tell me that they were all originally scheduled to go to Haiti on January 23rd. Currently they are stuck in NYC because Delta has has cancelled all flights to Port Au Prince until further notice. They’ve got toys, medicine and over $20,000 in aid, but they have no way of getting to Haiti. She’s hoping that if I post her plea perhaps another government organization will be able to let them on their flight. You can contact her at if you have any ideas or contacts.

Okay. So. Let’s distract ourselves for a moment with something totally silly and inconsequential while we sit in our heated, stable buildings and whine about that $.99 iPhone app that stopped working.

I’ve got a ton of gray hair. In fact, I believe that if I didn’t actively color my hair my head would be mostly white. It happened to my Granny, it happened to my mom, and what do you know. They both had fabulous, curvy figures, BUT DID I INHERIT THAT?


I have hair. Many people don’t. Moving along.

My hair is pretty much the one indulgence that I refuse to give up. I can go without food, I can wear the same t-shirt for a month straight, and if I had to I’d be okay living in my mom’s basement, although I PROMISE I WON’T TOUCH THE BOLOGNA, ROB.

It’s my hobby, my hair. I mess with it all the time. In fact, I chronicled a year of messing with it here. I may have a problem, in fact, because I can’t stop messing with it. And recently I had my stylist take me from brown back to blonde because the gray was growing in faster than I could disguise it. And Leta would say, “You’ve got something right there in your hair, mom.” And I’d say, “Yes, Leta. It’s called AGE.”

Earlier this week I asked my stylist to cut it all off and lift the color of the back of my head. For a few months I’ve had it pretty short, the top a striking blonde, the back my natural dark brown. And when I wake up in the morning after a night of violent trademark Hamilton thrashing and kicking around, I look like an eight-year-old boy who is about to fall asleep face-first into his bowl of Kix.

While waiting for my stylist to mix the color I tweeted this:

Now, I find Twitter to be a really fascinating experience, because a lot of people who follow me have no earthly idea who I am. I get responses like, “You have kids?” Or, “What is the name of your son?” Once I got one that said, “R U woman?”

And often people do not get it when I’m joking around. About a year ago I tweeted something like, “Turns out you’re going to be really disappointed if you thought you were going to see The Curious Case of Benjamin Bratt.” And for several days after that I got hundreds of responses like, “Why didn’t you like it?” and “But I thought it was the best movie of the year!” and “You’re a movie snob!”

Sigh. No, make that a triple sigh. Because there I was reading the responses on my phone, and I started to yell BENJAMIN BRATT! BENJAMIN BRATT! HAVE NONE OF YOU SEEN AN EPISODE OF LAW AND ORDER?!

Except, of course, I was alone and no one could hear me. Next time I check into the psyche ward they are going to write HAS A CASE OF THE TWITTERS on my chart.

Anyway, the back of my head was not in the mood to cooperate, and after they washed the color out of my hair it was apparent that something was wrong. Horribly wrong. And then I tweeted this:

Because instead of turning a soft brown or dark blonde, the back of my head was bright, neon orange. Sizzling. Electric. Or as my stylist put it, “I totally screwed up your hair.”

I immediately re-read my tweet and thought that my wording could be interpreted in an entirely different way than I had intended, and so as they debated over whether or not to chop off my head I tweeted this:

You can only imagine the responses, most of them to the tune of, “Why would your stylist stick an orange on the back of your head?” and “R U OKAY??” And then other people were like, “Dude! Dooce is going MAYTAG on her stylist!”

Let me just say that my stylist is one of my favorite people in the world. I have referred her to everyone I know because she is excellent at what she does. She’s a master when it comes to color, and so I do not blame her for what happened. I blame my hair that was given to me by my Scottish ancestors. It’s Scotland’s fault.

(Uh oh, I’ve just upset Scotland. It’s going to be a long night.)

Because a couple of swooshes here and brushes there, another wash and rinse and…

And since I didn’t want to leave people hanging I tried to clear things up:

And this is where things stand. For now. Until I decide in two months to have twelve-inch pink extensions glued to my head:

  • Lucy mom

    I’ve been there on the two-tone hair color resulting in a very short cut to get things sraightened out. Glad your (finally) worked out, it looks very nice.
    And thank you for providing readers with the information to help/donate to Haitian relief efforts. It’s great that bloggers are using their reach to increase support for people suffering from this disaster.

  • Zannah

    You look fantastic, and your tweets cracked me up. At work, of course, where people gave me funny looks for laughing alone in my cubicle.

    This haircut and the one before are my favorites of yours. Above the ears is a good look for you.

    I tried the pixie cut once. BIG mistake. First, it was a bad haircut. Not nearly short enough, so my hair looked like the bigfoot version of Julia Roberts’ hair when she was Tinkerbell in Hook. It was so awful and took so long to grow out that I’ve been afraid to try anything like it ever since. The shortest I’ll go now (and that was 12 years ago (I’m 31 now)) is a chin-length bob.

  • Big Gay Sam

    Yep. The orange has been surgically removed. 😛

  • Dana Dorda

    Just wanted to say that I thought that the “Curious Case of Benjamin Bratt” tweet was awesome.

    Long live “Law & Order”! I even have a “Law & Order” tattoo. On my feet.

  • solaana

    Tiger Woods was flying a bunch of stuff down to Haiti…on his own plane, I think it was? But I swear, there needs to be a way for him to see this post and maybe do something about all these folks who need to get in and out of Haiti.

  • Diamondlil77

    I think that even the orange would have been stunning on you Heather!

    Thanks for posting the pics already. The suspense was killing me. 😉

  • JanetP

    The new haircut is very cute, however, I also liked the last one better, something about the layers, I think. Either way, you look darling. SO wish I could wear it short like that. Having a round head and no neck and being so old…….nah, better not. I’d just look like a wrinkled old man with no neck and be forced to clip pink bows in the pixie cut so people wouldn’t mistake me for ‘Pat’.

  • Parsing Nonsense

    Looking good, chica!

  • Amber

    I love the new style. Chic and a half. I absolutely respect your adventurousness with your hair. It’s one of the many reasons I like you. I secretly judge people whose hair has not changed since high school, as in “Live a little! Your soul is decaying due to a lack of personal style.” Kidding. Ish.

  • JustLinda

    I want to tell you that you are as adorable as can be and remind me of Mary Martin playing Peter Pan. But I’m worried you’d think that was some sort of slam. But it’s not. And you do!! I swear. All pixie-ish and everything. Now if you say “I told my stylist to do whatever was necessary to get me away from that damn pixie image.” I’ll feel really embarrassed. But seriously, cute. And pixie-ish.

    I should hit the back button, probably, but I’m taking a chance that you’ll be all “Look at me, I can FLY!” and all “I WON’T grow up…” and then you’ll consider me astute and insightful for seeing the similarities.

    If I come back and my account is disabled and there is a restraining order, I’ll know it didn’t play out quite the way I imagined…

    (But – CUTE!)

    PS: Had you left the orange color in, I bet you could have gotten the stage role for Peter. No shit.

  • familyfishbowl

    I think you should give me the name of your stylist. I’ve lived in Salt Lake for two years and still get my hair done in San Diego. I strategically plan trips around the need to get my hair done. It’s a serious personal problem. Unfortunately, my next trip is this month and my stylist just had knee surgery and is out of commission. My hair is beginning to look like Madusa had a love child with a pair of pinking shears.

  • SDmom

    Dear Heather, I wish you didn’t feel like you have to apologize so much or preface everything with a disclaimer to pander to those idiots who will criticize you no matter what you do! It makes me feel bad that you are so carefully scrutinized that you have to second guess everything you write. Stand up and be proud of your choices. As my own hairdresser is known for saying, “YOU GO GIRL!”

  • flavia

    A Year In Heather’s Hair is what initially charmed me, back in ’03 when I found your blog. As someone who has taken to my bed (in tears, not passion) over hair bloopers, I felt somehow understood.

    New ‘do is adorable, btw.

  • libellez

    It reminds me of my own gray hairs. Keep on dying and coloring, girls! 🙂

  • pineapple princess

    That style looks so cute on you… all pixie-ish and all. I want hair like that, but I’m a total whimp!

  • rhonda

    Cute! That cut suits you. I was wondering why your stylist had an orange near your hair in the first place…thanks for the explanation. HAHAHAHA! I always glad to know I am not the only one with a crooked sense of humor!

  • Sarah McDougall

    Your top portrait is just amazing! What are your camera settings and lighting set up? I’m trying to learn portrait photography and just can’t get anything as good as yours!

  • christyf

    Cute haircut!

    And don’t worry…Scotland still loves you (I live there)! I check dooce daily and must say your humour and wit really brighten up the customarily gloomy weather!

  • Wombat Central

    Now I feel compelled to share a blog entry I did a while back about Hairdressers from Hell (does that make me a blog ho?). The woman I was praising as being my fab current stylist has gone out on extended medical leave and will work reception upon her return. Noooooooooooooo! Back to looking for a good stylist. They’re so damn hard to find.

  • MeMyselfandMommy

    I tweeze my gray hairs. No lie. About once a week I stand in front of the bathroom mirror with my tweezers and search for the sneaky little strands of wisdom and pluck em.

    True Story

  • genny

    Heather, Do you have any way of getting in contact with Virginia of That’s Church? I know of a private plane that will meet her needs. I’m sure she’s overwhelmed with emails and tweets from others, but I want to make sure that she actually gets to read the email I sent her. An email from you might stand out in her inbox more than an email from me would catch her eye. Can you help? You can catch me on Twitter (user name genny2118) or via email at if you think you can help me get in touch with her.

    Thanks so much!!! ~Genelle

  • VinnyGirl

    You are just as pretty as can be!

  • LizD

    You look so great in short hair! Wish I could pull it off… ya gotta be THIN!

  • Stooph

    You are so freaking hilarious. I think I need to read your twitters so I can laugh aloud more during the day.

    Also, you can really pull off that hairdo. I envy anybody with straight hair that can look that good at that length – I’d look like a circus escapist poodle if I ever cut my curls that short.

  • Kim

    Heather – you are amazing – not many people could cover Haiti, aging, and people following people they don’t know on Twitter in one post. As I’m a bit ADD/have strong feelings about all of the above, I totally loved it. I also get the greying hair and the desire for transformation. You look great no matter what you do, and I love you for it!

  • Kim

    Also … is the amazing Chuck really 7? How time flies. He’s still a little gorgeous muscle man. Love him!

  • aliceone

    I think that usually you make very good, stylish choices…that said, you have a lovely, elongated face that is just a bit too overwhelming to support a cut that short. I thought your last cut was quite flattering.

    And I am a big short hair fan, considering mine is less than 1cm in length or less at all times.

    I hope that the ladies out there can learn to give up all of that natural process of age-denial and forgo the dying and foolishness. Be natural. It saves the world and your body a ton of needless chemicals and shows our daughters that we are all different, but beautiful and that aging gracefully is a part of life. Basically, don’t buy into all the fearmongering of media and society about age, appearance, etc.

  • Angie_from_Oz

    I like your hair Heather and I thought your tweets were hilarious. Where can you go from here with it though? Extensions really do look like the next option! Did you get any photos of the orange hair process?

  • amyeburgess

    Anyone who wants to help the BRESMA Orphanage in Haiti can email Ginny of That’s Church at

    Thank you all so much for all of your help!

  • megandeKlined

    I currently live in Scotland. They’re a hearty people (hello, kilts!). I say, stick it to ’em.

    Love the hair.

  • gail37

    Love the hair! Cute, Cute, CUTE! but that orange? it’s the reason I have not colored my hair in 20 years (or more). I’m just going to have to live with the increasing amounts of silver.

  • anneteoh

    Very classy cut girl. I agree with Blurb’s description of you (“supermodel wife”….)

  • catslye

    You are so freaking cute I can hardly stand it. Can I be you, just for a day, I swear, I’ll give you back. 😉
    (I added the wink smiley because I have the same problem you do, no one knows when I’m making a joke. – obviously the joke part was about giving you back.)

  • doobrah

    Yes, gray hair shows less with blonde. It also shows less when hair is longer. Sorry chica, time to grab that hat back from Chuck.

  • mynext50

    Wait until you get to the age where your hair won’t take the bleach anymore. Oh yes, that happens.

  • June Gardens

    Girl, I so feel you on this. Not the hair, because if I cut a cute pixie like yours I’d look like I represent The Lollypop Guild, what with my curls and all.


    What I feel is the part where people are–let’s face it–not quick. And they don’t read carefully. And I scream back at my blog ALL.THE.TIME.

    Am thinking of starting a support group for bloggers. Am not even kidding. Perhaps I’ll call it The Lollypop Guild.

  • Monday

    You’re always a vision of hipness and pure beauty.

    I’m in NYC and I have the same new haircut!

    I’m always amazed that Utah is not as backwards style wise as on social issues and politically.

  • WildtoChild

    I wish I had the balls to cut my hair short!


  • schweedie

    I sincerely hope I’m not the only person who upon reading the sentence “She got the orange out” had the urge to get up and twirl around, singing, “She got the mustard OOOUUUT!”

    The hair looks great.

  • Andie10

    Love, love, love the new cut! I am thinking about cutting mine off, too!!!


  • zoyapunk

    I wish I could pull that cut off. It would look better when I don’t find time to shower…

  • ddee

    Love the hair!

    I’ve only colored mine once, when I was 25, and it came out burgundy, not orange (and not intentionally). As for the gray, I leave mine alone, and have long wanted to have this put on a bumper sticker:

    Gray hair is just highlights by God.

  • blimey

    You funny woman!


    Forget the hair, (cute), where can Bossy go to have her skin dyed that gorgeous Alabaster?

  • helenaleigh

    Dooce! your hair looks great! i have short hair too, and i forever have the itch to cut it shorter and shorter! i feel your pain. 🙂 also – i’m just a LITTLE BIT jealous of your cheekbones. Rock it girlfriend.

  • HappyMothering

    It amazes me how many people don’t know what sarcasm is!

    My hair is so long right now I really need to get it cut. Not sure what I would do if I started going gray. I’ve never dyed or highlighted my hair and I’m hoping I don’t have to. My mom and her older sister don’t have gray hair, so I’m really hoping I got that gene.

  • HappyMothering

    It amazes me how many people don’t know what sarcasm is!

    My hair is so long right now I really need to get it cut. Not sure what I would do if I started going gray. I’ve never dyed or highlighted my hair and I’m hoping I don’t have to. My mom and her older sister don’t have gray hair, so I’m really hoping I got that gene.

  • renata_armindo

    It’s fantastic how you can wear your hair anyway and it still looks great.
    I’m a love-long-hair kind of person, but I love the way you look on the first picture of the hair chronicle!
    Please, please, let your hair grow and wear it like that again! Pretty please? Also, you’ll be able to play with it some more! 😉

  • former-miss-know-it-all

    Love the hair. Love the skin. What the? You are like a porcelain doll. I don’t think I had skin that good as a baby.
    And I agree..before shots are the best. Please share.

  • Dragonfly084

    The pictures of a years worth of hair styles was cute and you can pull off many looks, even the ones that you thought were bad. Number 16 was hot! Like really HOT! If you didn’t have a husband and I didn’t have a husband…. I’m just saying!

Heather B. Armstrong

Hi. I’m Heather B. Armstrong, and this used to be called mommy blogging. But then they started calling it Influencer Marketing: hashtag ad, hashtag sponsored, hashtag you know you want me to slap your product on my kid and exploit her for millions and millions of dollars. That’s how this shit works. Now? Well… sit back, buckle up, and enjoy the ride.

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