Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Hair Color: Having it Done vs. Doing it Yourself

Bridal beauty is by far the most important kind of beauty. Weddings have been set aside as one of the most important and defining days in a woman's life; to look subpar is absolutely unacceptable and it goes so much deeper than the perfect dress paired with the perfect hair style and the perfect make up. It reaches as deeply as the shade of your hair, the length of your fingernails, the clarity of your skin. Make up and hair style are things you worry about a month before the wedding when it's time to run through the practice rounds, but NOW is the time to start fretting over everything else - with more than 3 months till the BIG DAY, if some beauty method doesn't work, there's ample room for errors and for said errors to be fixed.

A few months ago I read an article in one of Matt's issues of Maxim that natural blondes will become extinct within the next 200 years. Regardless of whether or not it's true, blonde has been a head above the rest as my favorite hair color to be (on a side not, I am a natural blonde - when I was a kid, my hair was so blonde it was practically white, but circumstances - growing up, moving away from alway sunny Florida to a place more seasonal like northern Nevada - have slowly darkened my hair. My natural color is like that of Gwyneth Paltrow's long hair in Sliding Doors).

When I was in high school, I never ever dyed my hair. In fact, I was quite impartial to the whole "beauty" thing - never wore makeup, thought it was sacrilege to do anything unnatural with my hair. It wasn't that I was a "hippie." I just didn't care. My senior year is when I started coloring my hair. Literally coloring - I dyed it ORANGE. I thought it was spectacular - until I found out I wouldn't be able to attend the JROTC Military Ball with my colorful 'do and had to spend in excess of $200 to get it lifted out of my hair and become a normal color again.

My freshman year of college I picked up a bottle of hair color at Hot Topic with the intentions of giving myself some sweet candy apple red highlights around my face (I don't know...I went through this phase in my late teenage years....I think now of the spectrum and roll my eyes. Matt likes to tease me about it too). Unfortunately since my hair is naturally blonde, "candy apple red" turned out NEON PINK. It was awful. For the longest time I was known in the dorms as "The Girl with Neon Pink Hair." Humiliating. But nonetheless, a lesson learned. :)~

After I moved out of the dorms is when I decided to shy away from such bold colors as orange and candy apple red and stick with the naturals. When I was 18 and 19, I was a redhead. I enjoyed being a redhead, but the thing is, redheads were definitely meant to have blue eyes. It was too obviously fake to be a redhead with brown eyes, not to mention that when my dark blonde roots started growing out, it just looked wrong. I did thoroughly enjoy my crimson strands while I had them, but they were shortlived.

After my stint as a redhead, I went brunette right before I turned 20 (I know, my poor hair, suffering all this coloring - it was like one big frizz ball). The brunette I went with was very blah - or maybe it just looked very blah because I'd tortured my hair to no end and it had no shimmer left to give - and as if looking a little silly with shineless brown hair wasn't enough, I decided to go ahead and chop it all off. I told the hair stylist to cut it like Reese Witherspoon in Sweet Home Alabama which is not even CLOSE to what I got. I looked more like Ann Marie - the cartoon orphan in All Dogs Go to Heaven - except with no bangs. This is what I looked like when I met Matt, which to me just goes to show that looks don't mean everything: blah brown hair with a bad cut from an apparent student stylist. UGH. It took over TWO YEARS to get my hair back to its original length.

For the wedding I've decided I want to be blonde. And not my natural dirty blonde, but really truly blonde. When Matt first deployed, I had a girl living with me paying rent so we could save up money and as luck would have it, she was a hair stylist. Living with a hair stylist when you're a change addict like me is a dream come true. She kept up on my highlights for me during the duration of her stay and I thought she did a great job with my hair (until she cut layers in my hair and didn't tell me she was drunk until after the fact...oh it was apparent in my cut....luckily layers grow out quicker than cartoon orphan cuts). But then she moved out, and I'm cheap so I decided to start coloring my own hair again with $10 boxes of Herbal Essence Hair Color.

I've come to this conclusion: when you want to LIGHTEN your hair, you should never ever do it by yourself (especially if the ultimate goal is your wedding). I was reluctant to bleach so I picked out "Pale Light Blonde" as my color. Pale Light Blonde + naturally dirty blonde hair with highlights makes for a very interesting combination. My hair turned a very interesting golden shade of orange. YIKES. So I dyed again, this time with EXTRA Pale Light Blonde (I still hesitated over the bleaching). This really did nothing more than add yellow to the mix - my hair is a very interesting golden organish yellow color. It hasn't been enough to totally irritate me - and Matt seems to think it looks normal enough - but the other day when I realized I couldn't wear my corduroys because they brought out the YELLOW in my "blonde," I got really upset. Your HAIR COLOR shouldn't dictate what you can and cannot wear (I sound like a commercial). I threw a bit of a tantrum as Matt - bless his soul - tried to reassure me that my hair looks fine. Needless to say, this week found me in the waiting room of a color specialist pleading for the salvation of my hair. The color it is now is NOT the color I want it to be for my wedding, and though the cost of getting it done by a professional is a good deal more than my $10 boxes of Herbal Essences, I can't put a price on my hair looking perfect for our wedding.

The color specialist said my hair is "apricot." APRICOT. Incase you're drawing a blank as to the color of APRICOT, I'm putting a picture in this post. APRICOT. I'm in a bit of denial (if you check out my profile picture which is from Matt's reunion, you can get a pretty accurate depiction of my color). Anyway, I have an appointment on Saturday to get my color fixed, so expect some before and after pictures (and please, for the love of God, cross your fingers that I finally find the color I'm looking for!!).


Blogger Karen said...

Oh dear Lord. NEVER dye your own hair, especially before your wedding!

I hope it turns back to the intended color this weekend. There's never too high a price to pay for your hair. :)

4/26/2006 6:00 PM

Anonymous Jennifer said...

Ha, you sound like me. I color my own hair and while Trey was in Iraq (thank god he was gone) I had orange hair, yellow hair, green hair the list goes on! I think I finally have it under control though.

Your stuff shipped! You can track it here:

4/27/2006 2:17 AM

Anonymous Liz said...

I have decided that, for the good of all who have to look at me, I'm going to leave my hair color as the responsibility of those who actually go to school for that kind of thing.

After all, I am lazy, not that flexible, and often forget that there is a backside to my head which people can also see.

Isn't it sick the amount of money that chicks spend on their hair?!

4/27/2006 6:27 AM

Anonymous Laura said...

I used to color my hair myself. But after a few too many cases of orange/yellow hair instead of the blond it was supposed to be, I have now come to rely on a hair dresser. Actually I don't color all of anymore. I just go for highlights. And I really need to get that done pronto. Because if they mess up, I need time to get it fixed and I'm down to a month now. !!!!!!!!

4/27/2006 10:56 AM

Blogger Kayti said...

LOL. I'm sorry, I'm wiping tears from my eyes imagining you traipsing around reno with apricot hair.

I can understand the dye thing though. My hair is naturally dark brown, so dark in fact it is almost black. Just doesn't look right with blue eyes and freckles. So I dye it red. But it took a good four years to find a dye that looked natural on me. I, on the other hand, am faaarrr to cheap to have my hair colored profesionally. It's only been done once, and they botched it beyond belief.

Good luck though!

4/28/2006 5:04 PM

Anonymous christy said...

I was known as "the girl with the stripe" for a little while in college because I thought it would be AWESOME to dye the front strands of my hair blonde. And I did so in such a chunky, yucky way that when I pulled my hair straight back in a ponytail, there was .... yes ... a skunklike stripe.

Then I thought, "Hey red is great." I so dyed my hair red. I kinda like the red sheen -- my blonde stripe was now red -- but no, I wouldn't stop there. I wanted a DARKER red. So my stripe turned pink.

Crap, I thought. Must fix this! So I went to a "salon" (salon is in quotes; you'll see why later) to get it fixed. I said, "Dye it all back dark!" (my normal color.)

Suddenly, I looked like I belonged in the Adams Family. (This is why "salon" was in quotes.)

After much crying and several people asking, "What did you DO to your hair?!" I spent an un-godly amount at a REAL salon putting highlights in it and getting it normal again.

I was so grateful to the hairstylist that fixed my hair, I tipped him a TON. I'll never forget the surprised look he gave me!

4/28/2006 7:38 PM


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