|Obviously an at-home dye-job, right?|
|The "root" of my (hair's) destruction...|
It didn't even seem that risky: my hair is naturally light-ish blonde and pin-straight, so it just needed to be lighter. On a tight budget? No worries, that's what Walgreens is for, right? (I mean, Gwenyth obviously colors her own hair from a $7 box dye too... ugh, I am so dumb). I left the store with two boxes of "Very Light Beige Blonde" by Féria. Once home, I followed the directions exactly, sans-mirrors. Once the timer went off, I washed the dye out, dried my hair, and then eagerly peered at the ends (which I could see without mirrors). It looked fantastic! Pale blonde, just like the hair I had when I was a kid. Yes!! Then I showed Michael. Well, to be more specific, I accosted him in our TV room, flipping my (supposedly) Gwenyth Paltro hair and posing for imaginary paparazzi.
"Ta-da! Surprise! What do you think?!"After more quizzing, I learned that the hair near my scalp was bright yellow, "Like, neon." This wasn't predictable, but it was explainable: before my wedding I'd gotten highlights. My hair had grown since then. The highlighted parts were perfect, but my roots were... neon yellow. I thought, Hrmmm... maybe I just didn't leave the dye on long enough to lighten my roots! So I did what any sensible woman would do: I took out the second box of hair dye, and colored my hair again. (I cringe while writing this) Unsurprisingly, per Michael, my hair looked even worse after round 2. Shit.
"Woah! Wow... it looks... cool!" (he paused) "I mean, it's what you meant to do, right? It's kind of... bright..."
"Yeah, well I wanted to lighten it."
"Huh. Okay, yeah...it's definitely lighter..."
My heart sank. Michael is color-blind. If he was seeing a problem, there was a problem. "Okay... what's the deal? What aren't you telling me?"
"Well... it's not awful, but it's kind of different colors. It looks weird near your face. It's really yellow near your face." Of all the colors, Michael can see yellow. Gulp.
|Nikki's profile image from the Dekko site.|
She is actually a lot smilier in person. They
also forgot to draw her "hair angel" halo!
Confession: at this point I hadn't told Nikki about my no-mirrors project! I know, I know. I should have. But I already felt like a huge moron for ruining my hair, and I didn't want to seem like a crazy moron. So all this time, I sat in Nikki's chair, directly facing a mirror, attempting to hold a conversation with her while avoiding eye-contact with myself. It was terribly awkward, and I'm not sure I didn't seem like a crazy moron anyway. Even though I didn't allow myself to stare, it was impossible to avoid catching glimpses in the mirror. (By "glimpses" I actually mean flashes of my neon hair. It was like trying to not read the highlighted portions of somebody else's textbook.)
Two days later, I returned for the full "corrective color" appointment, which involved 2+ hours of Nikki sectioning off highlights, bleaching just-the-highlights to take away the yellow pigment at my roots, and then dying the rest of my hair back to its natural color. This time - facing multiple hours in the salon chair - I fessed-up to Nikki about not being able to look in the mirror. I felt sheepish for not explaining things earlier, but Nikki was cool with it, and maybe even a little bit impressed. She kindly spun the chair away from the mirror, and we spent the rest of the time chatting about our lives while she worked her magic. While washing dye out of my hair (my 4th color application in 5 days!), Nikki assured me that everything looked good. I believed her. After a luxurious 20-minute blow-dry Nikki snapped 2 photos for her Facebook page, and I was on my way. I walked home with an intentional bounce in my step (I wanted to feel my locks swingin' with my sway)! Michael confirmed that my hair was, indeed, fixed. I felt beautiful. Hooray!
|This is what my hair (probably) looks like now.|
Okay, it probably doesn't look quite this good,
but you get the idea!
I "friended" Nikki on Facebook. In one of her photo albums (titled "3-D Blondes") I found the two pictures she snapped on the day she "corrected"(i.e., saved) my hair. Unlike that day in the salon, I let myself stare. Yes, this breaks one of my rules, but I've forgiven myself. I can't see my face (I had to email Nikki to be sure it was even me!), and my hair doesn't look like that anymore, anyway. These pictures prove that I looked as beautiful as I felt that day. It makes me sad that I cut off so much length. Did I do the right thing? I don't know. Alas, hair grows back and life goes on...
* Also, Long vs. Short Hair: Discuss!