A few weeks back I bought a GroupOn deal to get some allergy/sensitivity testing done. It was a good price, and I’ve been wanting to get some help in figuring out any food or environmental things that I’m particularly sensitive to. What could go wrong?
The testing kit finally came in the mail and I was excited to get started…until I read the following instruction:
Cut approximately 90-120 hairs, as close to the scalp as possible. The amount should be roughly the width of a pencil.
A PENCIL??? Needless to say, the whole idea was quite alarming. Didn’t those allergy test peddlers know how much time and energy I spend on my hair? How it’s my glory…my best feature? And to top it off, I had paid for this golden opportunity to wreck my ‘do’!
OK…I took a breath. I had to come up with a plan, the goal of which was to not end up with a big old missing clump that would grow out looking like a spiky post-chewing gum hair debacle from my sister’s past (more about that in an upcoming post). I first tried pulling out some hairs, but that got old really fast. (So much for the high pain tolerance I claim to have.)
Plan B – I would selectively cut teeny bunches from a variety of locations, thereby spreading the damage out so that it wouldn’t be noticeable. After patting myself on the back for such an ingenious plan, I picked up my (impossibly awkward) work scissors, decided I didn’t really need a mirror (since I was sitting at my desk at work), and got on with the cutting. The first few, ‘shhh-nip, shhh-nips’ went well enough, but when I bundled my harvest together the grouping wasn’t even the width of a pencil lead…much less a full Ticonderoga #2. Deciding that bold action was called for, I decided to slightly increase the size of the bunches. I would be careful to distribute the damage and was feeling pretty good about the whole thing.
I pulled my hand away…afraid to look. When I did I saw that I was holding at least a good half-pencil’s width of 18-inch strands, ranging from gunmetal gray to L’Oreal #8 Medium Natural Blonde. It was at that point I decided that my career as a beautician was over.
So far I haven’t noticed any real damage, but I check every single day for evidence of my (lack of) tonsorial skills. Was it worth it? Yesterday I received the following Allergy/Sensitivity List:
- Ragweed / Mixed grass pollens – Duh.
- Milk / Lactose / BUTTER FAT – I knew about the milk thing, but THIS explains sooooo much….sigh.
- Courgette – OK, I had to look it up…only to learn that I’m allergic to one of the only vegetables I actually like. Goodbye, Zucchini…I’ll miss you.
- Anise – I never liked licorice…I’m SO vindicated!
- Pine – I think I told ya’ll I’m allergic to Christmas trees.
- Pine nuts / Pumpkin seeds / Castor bean – And I care because…?
- Box elder – I’m pretty sure this is the big old tree that #1 planted right in the middle of my backyard 15 years ago – the one that throws seedlings all over the whole neighborhood. Thanks, buddy.
- Moths – Um…that’s just weird. I guess I’ll have to give up that ‘hanging out under the street light’ habit I’ve been working on.
- Horse Fly Bot – WTF???? I think I’ve done a pretty good job so far of avoiding most bugs, but especially the larva of flies that live around horses. So much for my dream of becoming a farmer…cause that was so gonna happen.
- Trimelletic Anhydride – OK…I had to look this one up too, and it turns out it’s an industrial POISON. Wouldn’t pretty much every human being on the planet be sensitive to it? (I hope they didn’t charge me extra for that one.)
And, last but not least…
- Cat dander
I guess my consolation is that vodka, hair dye and ladies Rogaine weren’t on the list.