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A Holiday Unicorn in the HOUSE

And here we have it, friends – one bona fide adult unicorn, just in time for the holidays!

As everyone knows, holidays are a time for festive gatherings with family and friends.

This is great if you are an extrovert. Festive gatherings? Strangers? Crowds? Bring it on!

But then, let’s say you are an introvert, like, say, moie.

And for some unknown and totally obscure reason, the holiday festivities planners tell you that no, your extroverted and oh-so-talkative parrot can’t be your “plus one” for holiday dinner.

What then?

You dye your hair to look like a unicorn and hope like hell the other attendees at holiday gatherings just assume you got your holidays mixed up yet again and hand you all their leftover chocolate.

But in all honesty, I have this thing about my hair…..always have had, really. When I was small and my mom was raising two of us mostly on her own (my dad was typically traveling for work) having long hair was a no-go. Not being able to have it just made me want it more. Finally, after a whole crowd of fourth-grade girls told me I looked exactly like a boy, I was permitted to grow it.

Approximately 48 years of long hair later, all I can say is, apparently true love apparently lasts a lifetime.

But over the last few years, and increasingly as my thyroid shut down and took its own sweet time letting me know, my formerly dark hair has begun to go grey. And not the lovely platinum kind, either….my particular greying pattern looks more like salt and pepper shakers are arguing all over my head.

Post-hypothyroid diagnosis, I began to get surprise massive allergic reactions to the dark grey-covering hair dye I was using. Here, I don’t just mean a smidgen of itching and a smattering of dark pillow dye stains. I mean large, seeping, oozing sores all over my head and ears that even two rounds of steroids plus antibiotics didn’t fully resolve.

So one day I decided – enough is enough. If I’m going to go grey, I’m going to GO GREY. I’ll just dye the shit silver! Yup. Perfect plan.

Until it wasn’t. 

No hairdresser who cared about their cosmetology license was willing to touch my super-long jet black/grey hair with a ten-foot pole. “It will break off and fall out,” they warned me.

I thought to myself, “Oh come on. How hard could it be? I see the Kardashians do this stuff all the time and their hair looks just fine.”

So I proceeded. And proceeded. And proceeded. My hair turned every – and I do mean EVERY – color on the color wheel as I tried one thing and then the next to lift the black and mute the red and transform yellow into gold and orange into anything but orange.

Eventually, my roots (what was left of them, anyway) went platinum. Well, first they went purple, but that is a whole other blog post in itself.

The remainder of my hair fluctuated fairly evenly between brown and orange and red no matter what I tried. And here we are talking about at least 8 bleach jobs, several boxes of color and toner, purple shampoo, blue shampoo and, of course, wine. Lots of it.

At one point things were so touch-and-go I thought I was finally going to have to cut it off or shave it off – not because I wanted to, but because it was going to fall off anyway.

Finally, when my split-ends and my sanity were at their literal wits end, I ran across a blog describing something called “balayage.” Reading further, I learned balayage, which is basically a form of painting on the hair, could be done in fun sort of safe temporary hair colors – colors I love – colors like teal and steel blue and fuchsia and purple. SOLD.

A rear view of the epic mythical look.

The next thing I knew, I was a unicorn – like, seriously, all hands on deck, lock, stock and barrel, one adult unicorn coming right up. But the jury was still out on whether my strands were going to jump ship or not…..handfuls of rubbery, wafer-thin hair came out every time I tried to brush it.

Then I ran across a lovely young lady in Sally Beauty who told me about a product called “Olaplex” that had “saved her hair.” Hair salvation was precisely what I needed and I promptly located and applied the (truly miraculous) miracle product.

It has pretty much been in my hair ever since.

Best of all, my unicorn days are occurring as the holidays really rev up, which guarantees that me, introvert, will have plenty of casual chit-chat conversation at the ready for any holiday festivities.

And that’s what I call a win-win.

Today’s Takeaway: Like me, do you have a part of your body that you just can’t seem to stop fussing over? Does that part somehow define you, or your worth, or your attractiveness, in your own mind? Have others told you to let it go, shave it off, learn to love it, live with it at least, but you just can’t let it go? Are you still trying to decipher exactly what it is about that part that can turn you into a pretzel in 10 seconds flat? Or have you cracked your “part’s” mystique at last and found peace? I’d love to hear your thoughts and insights!

A Holiday Unicorn in the HOUSE

Shannon Cutts

Parrot, tortoise & box turtle mama. Writer. Author. Mentor. Champion of all people (and things) recovered and recovering.

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APA Reference
Cutts, S. (2018). A Holiday Unicorn in the HOUSE. Psych Central. Retrieved on June 2, 2020, from


Last updated: 21 Nov 2018
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