Wednesday, March 5, 2014

I Accidentally Dyed My Hair Bright Red (and how I fixed it.)

Dear Jyll and Kate,

I was involved in a major hair catastrophe last night.

I'm not sure where the urge came from but suddenly over the weekend I decided that I would dye my hair.  It's been five years since I've done that, right after you were born, Kate.  

I picked out a pretty shade of dark brown with a hint of auburn in it.  That's mostly what I wanted, was a darker shade, with a tiny hint of natural red.

What I got was a shade slightly darker than Ronald McDonald.

To say that I was shocked would be an understatement.  You and Dad were very gracious about it, reminding me that you love me no matter what color my hair is (which we all know meant that it looked terrible, but I love you for trying!)

I did not panic.  Well, outwardly anyway.  Instead I did what everyone does nowadays when they accidentally dye their hair the wrong color...I Googled 'how to fix my hair, I accidentally dyed it the wrong color'.

I found lots of tips.  But like everything else, for every tip that worked for some I found a whole other mess of people for whom it didn't work.  Very.  Confusing.  It got pretty stressful when I started to realize that I might not be able to fix it at all.  The bold, bright red color was actually a pretty shade, and I may have complimented someone else on it.  But it was just NOT me.  I had to try something.  

Eventually I was able to narrow down some possible solutions to try based on common things people were saying.  The list was fairly extensive, but it included things like dish soap, baking soda, MORE haircolor, and hair color remover (which I did not know existed.)

Let's just say... I tried a few of the things mentioned above and topped that off with about four or five washings until I was left with a shade I don't even know how to describe.  Still very red.  Now almost iridescent.  It would've been a great color on a car, right?  But, again, not me.

The one thing I hadn't yet tried was the hair color remover.  Once Dad was able to peel me from the bathroom mirror, he assured me that I could get a box first thing in the morning and give that a try, but that I should probably get some rest first.  My idea was to make a late-night Wal-Mart run and keep going until there was justice (or until my hair fell out, whichever came first.) But eventually I decided he was probably right.

So first thing in the morning I went to the drug store and bought a product called Color Oops.

It was the last thing I was going to try before I dragged my cheap self to the salon to have it fixed by a pro (which I highly suggest, in retrospect.)  And thankfully...oh, so, worked!  Per the instructions on the box, I also bought yet another hair dye, this time a shade closer to my natural color.  By the way, the tip to use this product was one of those that was both highly recommended and highly opposed...many people had tried it, and it only worked for some.  So, it was really stressful to take that chance.  But I'm glad I did.

(This is the AFTER picture.  As in, after I used the Color Oops AND dyed it again.  I do not have a BEFORE picture, but the red piece of clothing to the right in this pic is pretty close to how red my hair was.  No joke.)

As you can see, what I have now is something I can definitely live with.  And while I now know more about hair color and the removal of it than I had ever intended to, I also managed to pull a couple of good lessons from this experience.

1.  There was absolutely nothing wrong with my hair color before.  Nothing.  During those miserable twelve hours I found myself walking around looking longingly at pictures of me...and wondering why the heck I would want to change my hair color in the first place.  Know what that's called?  Regret.  And take it from me, you certainly don't want to feel regret when it comes to your hair color.  Suddenly I could see the natural highlights and pretty shade of brown my hair actually was naturally, and I remembered why it was I hadn't dyed it in five years.  Because it's totally unnecessary.  This is not to say you should not dye your hair.  It's just a blaring reminder not to give in to that comparison-disease we all suffer from at times.  I probably saw someone who I thought looked nice in a certain shade of hair color, and decided that I HAD to have it for myself because my hair was just blah compared to hers.  You know?

2.  Quit being so cheap!  Because there's a difference between being frugal and being cheap.  And I am cheap.  So when the idea struck me to chemically alter my hair, of course I thought about going to a salon.  Then I remembered how pricey that could be, and I opted instead to pay about $9.00 for the initial color I tried.  (Plus I had a coupon, so score!!)  Yeah.  Two more trips to the drug store and a bunch more money later, I realize how silly it was for me to totally rule out having a professional do it.  If there is a next time?  This girl's probably going to splurge.  So...don't be cheap!

3.  There's always Color Oops.  I guess the whole point of me sharing this was in case you ever ran into the same issue.  Judging by the results of my Google search I know I'm not the first one who's done this, and won't be the last.  So just know there is a solution.

Or...just call Mom.


 Ever have a hair or beauty catastrophe similar to this one? Share with us, we're all girlfriends here! 

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