Tress Confession: Dip-Dyed and Ombré-d

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 07:  Actress Jamie Chung attends the Rebecca Minkoff Spring 2013 fashion show during Mercedes-Benz F
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 07: Actress Jamie Chung attends the Rebecca Minkoff Spring 2013 fashion show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at The Theatre Lincoln Center on September 7, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week)

My college-age daughter is home and mentioned that she was thinking about going hombre. Panicked, I thought this meant she was considering something morphological... not exactly the news a mother wants to hear, especially when it would take a lot longer than a weekend to discuss.

I cleared my throat and tried to sound calm. And then I coughed a little.

"Oh honey, that's quite a big step," I choked. I focused on my drishti and took a deep inhale using the same La Maze breathing technique I had used when I birthed my daughter 21 years earlier. I futzed with the cell phone in my pocket and wondered how I could text my husband ("Help!!! P.P.P. [Possible Parenting Panic]") without being obvious. (The last time we used "P.P.P." was when our son was in 12th grade and came home with a Mohawk the day before a college interview.)

"Yeah, everyone is doing it on campus," my daughter said. "I thought it might be fun to try."

"Try?" I asked. "Sweetheart, this is something that's slightly irreversible. I mean, it's a really big thing. Plus, you can't just hombre overnight."

"Mom, it only takes about an hour," she said.

"It's not something you 'do,' just to do," I said leerily.

"I thought it would be fun. A little change in my life. No biggie."

I held my hand up to my mouth to fake-cough and uttered under my breath, "Oh, really?"

"Mom, do you even know what ombré is?" she asked.

"Sure I do," I said. "Of course. What do you think... your generation is the first to discover this?"

OMG, I sounded exactly like my mother when the topic of human reproduction came up.

"Mom, I think you're thinking of the word 'hombre,' not 'ombré'," my daughter said. "You thought I was talking about a sex change?"

"Ohmigoodness, of course not!" It was pathetically obvious that I had studied Spanish in high school and was thinking hombre (Spanish for "man"), not ombré (French for "shaded").

"It's a new trend where you leave your hair color the same at the roots, but then it gradually gets lighter at the ends," she said. "It gets this two-tone thing going on."

In my book, if your hair starts going two-tone, you need to get your roots done.

"I knew that," I said. (Was I a mother or a mouse? I did not know that.)

"Ombré looks really beachy," my daughter said.

Exactly what I was going to say. I was just having trouble teasing it out.

Point of fact: This practically dip-dye French-termed hair trend is low-maintenance. Imagine... you can go from dark brown to golden blonde, literally, within inches. And who wouldn't want more gradient glow in their tresses?

Part of being a good parent to grown children is lightening up. Listening. Saying "Ah-huhhh," "Mmmm-mmm," "I completely understand" and "Yep, gotcha." And if anything, and I mean anything, has to do with their hair, don't go there. Whatever they do, it will always grow back. (I learned this after The Mohawk Incident -- see above.)

My daughter went to her laptop and pulled up a gallery of celebs with ombré hair. There was Mila Kunis, Jessica Biel, Gisele, Sarah Jessica Parker and many more sporting the brassy, two-tone-locks look.

"Maybe I should just go completely blonde," said my beautiful auburn girl. "Do you think that would look good?"

"Ah-huhhhh. Mmmm-mmmm." Whew. I made it through another possibly treacherous mother/daughter hair conversation.

I like it long. I like it short. I like it curly. I like it straight. I like highlights. I hate highlights. I like it chestnut brown. I'd like to have blonde tips. I want to be a full-bottle blonde.

Anyone else having a good hair day?