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Home Hair Dyeing

September 8, 2008

I never really feel like I’ve gotten a haircut (even if I cut off as much hair as I just did) unless I also have a new color to go with it. I came to the conclusion that I couldn’t afford to have it done at the salon this month, so it was DIY for me. I decided to live on the edge and go to Sally and buy some Real Professional Haircolor. It even came with a Warning on the box, “For Professional Use Only.”  Well, I’m a professional at something, just not, you know, coloring hair. In case you were interested, it’s L’Oreal Excellence HiColor (“FOR DARK HAIR ONLY”) in… um… some name with “copper” in it, pretty sure it’s the only one. I have thrown all the packaging out and today was garbage day, so… yeah.

I sort of stared at the color and developer for a day or so before I worked up the courage to just go for it. I’ve colored my hair lots of times before, but it was always either (a) black or (b) some zany color like blue or pink, where it didn’t matter if it looked pretty. I realized when I got home that my decision to go coppery-red really WAS going to require me to lift my hair color about four levels, and I started to panic a little. Like OMG what if I really fuck up and all my hair breaks at the roots and falls out or maybe I’ll end up looking like Carrot Top mated with a broom OMG OMG. Boredom finally won out, and I forged ahead last night.

So, I lined everything up, took a deep breath, and told myself that if my hair all broke off I would just, I don’t know, wear bandanas. Plus it would be easier to wash my face. Always look on the bright side of life! Here’s all the stuff:

We have Febreze (not used in this process), Johnson’s Baby Lotion in the scent they changed because they are bastards (also not used in this process), lovely black latex gloves, hair clips, the color and color enhancer thingy whatever, a bowl, a color brush thingy, and the 30 volume developer.

I neglected to buy any sort of measuring device, and I really didn’t want to put developer in any container I ever might use for food ever again, so I used the handy “well the bottle is 8oz, so I want a little over a quarter of it… wait, this is an opaque bottle… well, it’s white, OK, let’s shine this flashlight through and look” very scientific method of measuring. I forgot I didn’t want to use all the color, since my hair is now not very long, but I dumped too much developer in the bowl and couldn’t figure out how to get it back in the bottle without making a mess, so I just said screw it and used all the color. When I mixed it up, it looked kinda like Thousand Island dressing, and throughout the process it turned ketchup color, then BBQ sauce color, and then… well, let’s not go there.

I watched all these videos on YouTube about how to color your hair at home, and built up my confidence, and then I started actually putting the color on my head. My mirror is kind of shitty, and I couldn’t see what I was doing as well as I wanted, and I tried to apply from an inch away from the scalp to the ends but again with the fifteen thumbs thing, so eventually I sort of gave up and just painted away on my head. I asked Zack to look and see if I missed any spots, and he pointed out a few, so I did what I could. I started to worry that I was taking too long, and one side of my head would be like ORANGE and the other side would still be brown, so I wrapped it up after 30 minutes or so of trying to get things even and started the processing timer. Actually it was a kitchen timer, but whatever. This is what it looked like when I stopped applying color:

I am a fire elemental! Behold my thin, thin hair and my orange scalp! My hair is a secret radioactive weapon of doom!

Anyway, I let it process for 25 minutes, during which I compulsively reloaded the blog stats here to see if anyone had left a comment (get on that already, would you people?). I got in the shower and rinsed it out, threw some Dove conditioner on, and then took a shower just to prove that I would in fact survive an extra five minutes without seeing how it had turned out.  My original plan was to let it air dry, but seriously, after two minutes I was like, fuck that, and I blow-dried it with the co-opted dryer and my new round brush from Sally, which I think has a larger diameter than my hair length.

So, how’d it turn out? Like so, which is to say: Not as red as I would have liked, but pretty OK all the same:

6 Comments leave one →
  1. Christie permalink
    September 8, 2008 8:15 pm

    looks awesome! really!

    p.s. this is carrot_flowers 😀

  2. September 8, 2008 8:17 pm

    Thanks! By the way, I totally blame you for the fact that I’ve had King of Carrot Flowers stuck in my head for the past three days.

  3. Alicia permalink
    September 9, 2008 3:53 pm

    The cut and color are really pretty! And your hair is so shiny. I had waist long hair for the longest time but I didn’t get so much as a trim for 3 years, so off it came. It’s just over shoulder length now with layers.

    By the way, I love reading your blog, and I feel your pain. My mom wasn’t a very helpful instructor when it came to being “pretty.” And my current level of depression has dictated that make up and jewelry were a luxury. I’ve been trying to convince myself that I need them to feel better.

  4. September 9, 2008 3:59 pm

    Alicia, I’m so glad you’re enjoying my ramblings. I really, really know what it’s like to be so depressed; I still have days that are awful. I don’t know that you NEED pretty things to feel better, but I don’t think it hurts — the important part is recognizing that you DESERVE them. I’ve always read that you’re supposed to say nice things about yourself every day, but I always thought it was kind of cheesy and silly so I’d just say them in my head. I actually started saying them out loud and… it helps.

    And I say, get thee to a drugstore and buy a fun color of eyeshadow (or whatever you like; for me it’s eyeshadow) and go home and put it on like you’re a model at a photo shoot (i.e. in a ridiculous fashion, such as applying eyeshadow all the way out to your hairline).

  5. September 9, 2008 4:01 pm

    the new color looks great! YOU GO GIRL!

  6. jolie permalink
    September 10, 2008 11:25 am

    you are braver than i. i approach dying my own hair like i approach cooking….everything has to be pre-measured in a box, and all i do is mix and heat/apply. if there’s any suggestion that it’ll be harder than that, i back away slowly.

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