I have finally done it. Weeks after everyone else went through their ‘coloring the hair during quarantine’ phase, I finally succumbed.
I believe I showed remarkable restraint the first few weeks. Every so often I’d call my good friend who is also my hairdresser and say that I wanted to color my hair at home. She always talked me down, reminding me that home color and salon color don’t play well together. I know she is right,
We are now coming up on five months since things started shutting down, and realistically it looks like there’s no chance that either of us are going to be getting out and about before the New Year. That is why, when I texted her and said, “I’ve been watching Brad Mondo and I want to Live My Extra Life!” she responded, “You should live your extra life!” We then concocted a strategy by which I’d use semi permanent hair color on the ends of my hair that are going to be cut off anyway whenever we are able to get back together.
The plan we put together for my hair would use gentle products and would not damage my hair.
So of course without my hairdresser’s knowledge or consent, I decided to bleach first.
Please understand — I was the epitome of 90’s college student back in the day. Wide leg jeans, belly ring, the whole nine. This means that I, as all good 90’s college girls did, dyed my hair regularly with henna red. I know from that experience that my hair is too dark to show color really well. So I thought, hey, I’ll lighten it just a bit.
So here’s what happened. I fought and fought with the bleach and foils, taking much longer than I had anticipated. Meanwhile, it was dinner time and the kids, you know, wanted food or something. So I knew that the extremely nutritious cheezy hot dog wraps I had planned could be put together in a couple minutes then bake for ten. Perfect. The bleach would set on my hair for ten-fifteen minutes.
Except after 10 minutes dinner was not ready.
After 15 minutes dinner was not ready.
I kept opening the oven to check, which obviously makes food cook faster. It wound up being 30 minutes before I could wash off the bleach. I seriously put the food on plates, shouted, “it’s on the kitchen counter!” and ran upstairs.
You see the result of my bleaching. There were a couple of spots that turned white and cottony and had a bit of breakage, but nothing too noticeable. I’m looking at this and I’m not hating it, for putting color on top of. Like I didn’t want clean red and orange stripes in my hair anyway. I wanted the colors to vary. The idea would be that it would be like fire or lava. I wanted an organic look. Well, skunks are organic, right?
This image does not do justice to how stripey my hair was. I missed ENTIRE sections.
That is where I had to pause everything for a week, because after almost running out of bleach I realized I might not have enough color. I bought a second tube of red and had to wait for it to arrive.
And, didn’t realize until I was getting ready to apply that I had bought a different red. I didn’t let that stop me. I decided to lean in to it. I was already planning to go yellow, orange, red. I just added dark red to the ends. Nothing was going to stop me at this point.
Here you have it — the FINAL RESULT! I am well aware that normal hair blog protocol dictates that I should wear makeup and style my hair for this final shot, but I’ve got crap to do so this is as good as it’s going to get.
I know that from a technical perspective it’s a hot mess, but I honestly kind of love it. I really like the lighter red in the middle and the darker at the bottom, so happy accident there.
If I had to change anything, I would have less orange and more red. And I might forego the yellow altogether because IRL it kind of looks like I just didn’t color that part.
But I’m not about to go through all of that again.