I put it off and off, till the deadline for this story forced me to turn my attention to the box of Betty, Color for the Hair Down There ($20), which had been hanging around my apartment, like a neglected lover, for weeks. So, deadline looming, one lazy Saturday morning I mixed up a batch of dye (ammonia- and paraben-free), and, with the mascara-like wand provided, applied it to my hair, down there. Oh, for Pete's sake, it's called pubic hair. I applied it to my pubic hair, carefully avoiding—if you are a very private person, or my son, please stop reading right now—the labia, as directed. A half-hour later, I jumped into the shower to rinse off the dye. I could hardly contain my surprise and delight when, after toweling off, I looked in the mirror: The faded, nondescript patch I was accustomed to had been transformed. It was dark, richly pigmented, a shock of mahogany mink.

Now, I want to tell you that I had put off doing this experiment because I thought the whole idea of dyeing your pubic hair was stupid. Who cares if the drapes don't match the rug (or whatever)? Who cares if you're going gray? Because when it comes to certain issues having to do with appearance, I believe distraction is by far the best solution. If the shade of your pubic hair seems to be getting seriously in the way of a good time, you might want to consider that it's not the real (or the only) obstacle for you.

On the other hand. In spite of my original aversion to the idea, as I said, I was inordinately pleased with my new look. I had that refreshed, slightly uplifted feeling you get when you've just had highlights, or your teeth whitened—not too much, but just enough to add a little zing!

The dye is available in five "classic" colors—blonde, auburn, black, brown, and something called fun ("a hot pink party in a box")—and four "specialty" colors—blue, green, orange, and rose red. I know I'll never go Bozo down there (or anywhere), but I'm reserving judgment on that hot pink party in a box.


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