Though I am five at heart, I’m apparently forty to fifty on the head.
Not in the head, but on the head.
I’ve had the good fortune of gray hair since high school. I take this as a sign that I’m wise beyond my years because I am trying to find anything positive about this situation.
As some of you wise-haired people know, these gray hair situations are pricey to conceal. I usually leave the hair dying to professionals but that has gotten expensive and necessary more frequently than I’d like and my friend Jessica assured me it was a cinch to do at home. I decided to take the plunge and let her help me dye my hair. And by help me, I mean do it for me in exchange for dinner. I was on my own, however, for the trip to Sally’s beauty supply.
My natural hair color is a very dark brown, even though my granny calls me her “black-headed” child. I typically like to dye my hair (have my hair dyed by a professional) a tad darker and throw in some violet undertones. It really brings out the green in my eyes and the ghost-like quality of my skin.
I was intrigued by this set of colors. They might make me look more tan than the violet, but that’s probably about all they would do for me.
After I had some fun envisioning myself with radically different looks, I started to hunt the blue-violet among the 350,000 options. Now blue-violet is not a wildly popular color so I had to ask for assistance in finding it. Turns out there were just two options. The lovely helper explained to me the difference:
“Well this is good if you have grays but you’re so yo…(spots the alarming amount of grays on my twenty-five-year -old head)…you have some grays so you should get this one.”
I headed home with my youth in a box as well as a handy little kit of supplies and Jessica got to work mixing up the pigment with the stuff that makes it stick to your hair. Binder? Extender? Developer? Tar? Something like that.
And then came the comment from Jessica that puts every woman who’s about to dye her hair at ease: ”I’ve never seen it look this color in the bottle before…”
Follow shortly by: “For the record, I didn’t pick the color.”
Excellent. I decided to focus on prepping myself for my transformation instead of the helpful commentary.
Having donned my high-end “cape,” I was feeling a little warm.
E: “It’s hot in here.”
J: “Well you’re wearing a garbage bag.”
The whole point of this DIY hair color is to save money. Maybe next time I’ll roll the $2.99 into my 401K and just use a lawn-size trash bag.
I sat on the toilet and Jessica got to work processing my hair. Though my bathroom is fairly generous in size, the fumes from the hair dye were so strong that it might serve as an alternative to general anesthesia. Even with the fan on and the door open, Jessica and I barely maintained consciousness throughout the process.
Jessica finished putting the dye on my hair and we cleaned up my skin around my hairline because after stepping back and looking at my neck, Jessica said, “You look like you’ve been beaten.”
I highly recommend this thoroughly enjoyable experience.
We let my hair “process” on my head for a while and then it was time for the moment of truth after I washed the color out of my hair. If you’ve ever washed violet hair dye out of your hair in a white shower and watched the show Dexter, this might be a very disturbing experience as you might think you’ve been shot. And having just awoken from my hair-dye-induced coma that is a highly plausible situation for all you know.
I made it out alive and my hair color looked pretty good. Jessica will remain in good standing; however, I don’t think I can go through that experience every 4-6 weeks.
Maybe I should go blonde.
Y’all be careful,
Love those color remover towelettes! I too, had that early gray in my twenties. I dyed my hair because I didn’t like the “old” look when I felt so young. I found it was much easier to toss the dye and developer into a plastic bowl (used only for hair dying) and use a brush that looks like a thin paintbrush. Sally’s carries them. It goes on a lot more evenly and takes less time. Nothing you can do about the fumes except get it done quickly and get into fresh air. I hope you are not having to use permanent dye already, try to hold out if you can as you will see new growth easier with the permanent dye.
Warning: If you continue to dye your hair, eventually there will be more gray than brown at the roots. After 25+ years of dying…and many many more gray hairs…I had to dye it every two weeks, otherwise I looked like a skunk. That got really tiring and I decided to take the plunge and go gray. Not easy when you have near black hair and almost white roots. I was told to go gradual and highlight first, then do it again, and again, gradually. Well that’s quite expensive when your hair is half way down your back and you get the skunk stripe every two weeks.
My next plan was to dye my hair 3-4 shades lighter each time. As it got to a much lighter brown, I just braved it and stripped all the color but could only get to a strawberry blonde. This process really wreks havok on your hair and you have to do mega conditioning treatments to make it better. Before stripping and bleaching. I had thick course hair, after doing this I had not as thick, fine hair. About six months of repair treatments and I bleached it one more time, now a nice blond but same damage as before. After another six months of repair my hair is back to normal gray is growing out but not extremely noticeable…no skunk look. I love my thick hair and I don’t want to risk damaging it so I’m just letting it go gray naturally at this point. I have worked on this for about a year and a half and will trim off the ends little by little until I am all gray.
I think of my gray hairs as highlights. And I didn’t have to pay for them! Of course, I’m twice your age. You may not appreciate highlights.