Friday, July 10, 2009

In Living Color aka why you should just pay the colorist and not pretend you can do it yourself at home

Let me start by saying that I strongly suspected this was a bad idea when I started, and I did it anyway.

I have very, very dark brown hair. It is not black, but it is not any of those fun colors like golden or auburn. It's just brown. Really, really brown.
my natural color
In high school I wanted to be a redhead and took to coloring it myself. I even went so far as to upgrade to semi-pro products--Hello Sally Beauty Supply!--to get the lightening I wanted before covering it with red dye. This (bad!) habit carried on into my 20s. Which means when I met Raidman, I looked like this:

Yes, that's my other half, the cute one grinning on my shoulder. This picture* just doesn't do the color justice. I looked like a 20yo female version of Carrot Top with straight hair. And yet, he married me in spite of my insane (and badly dyed) hair color. That's L O V E people.

*There's one of those goofy Internet stories about how I acquired this picture, but I'll save it for another time.

I've been playing with funky hair colorants for a year or so now (blue, red, magenta, etc). All temporary because I'm a chicken. And disappointing. My hair is so dark most of them don't show up, or they're visible, but only to me because I'm looking for them.

About the only thing that does show up is the temporary hair makeup (think neon-colored mascara and you've got it about right).

Monday I hit on the ~brilliant~ notion (can you taste the sarcasm here?) to use a highlighting kit to lighten the hair I wanted to make funky colored. That way the color would show up. In my defense, this part of the plan was sound.

The part about me applying lovely streaky highlights that I could then Punky Color in a rainbow of shades as the mood hit me? Less sound. My recipe for disaster involved incredibly thick hair, an utter lack of hand-eye coordination, and the mistaken belief that anything that promised to lighten my hair could also be "demi/semi-permanent."

This is me fresh from washing the product out of my hair. I went to cry at Raidman about the result. He came after me while I was blowdrying it with the camera or you would NOT have this shot.

Actually, looking at it again, I think it looked better wet. Like all hair, it lightened as it dried. :-( Ligtened MORE I should say.

So my head looked like I'd spilled bleach on it. Crunchy looking orangey-yellow all over the place. Since I couldn't really afford to call in sick over a (granted, Extremely) bad hair day, I tried to fix it in the most non-damaging, non-permanent a way I could think of. Bring on the red mascara!

Yea, I tried to down the screaming yellow (think yellow lines on the highway here) with a red mascara wand. It kind of worked. I still looked like a bleach accident, but I looked like one with multi-tonal color. Enough to make it look like I mighta done this to myself on purpose.

Trust me, in Austin, that's all it takes. Living here, even the librarians didn't look at me funny when I was at the library Wednesday afternoon looking like this:

In my defense, this picture is a quite a bit warmer than the actual result. One of the things I lost in my computer switch in February was my photo-editing software, so you get what you get and you don't throw a fit. And no, I had NO idea how spotted that mirror was--the lighting is not all that good in there. For those of you who worry about such things, the mirror is now clean :-)

The moral of this story?

That $6.99 highlighting kit is probably going to cost you a LOT more than that. My stylist, Jennifer, will be telling me just how much more tomorrow afternoon at 1pm. New pics after, I promise.

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