Last week I walked out of the salon with a hair color that most closely resembled the frosted-flake look of Linda Evans in her Dynasty heyday.
Stunning, no? Icy and frosty.
It’s hard to imagine how I’ve fallen so far, so fast when it comes to my hair. After years of coloring it every hue imaginable, I took a couple of years off and let my hair go au natural. During that time, I started seeing a new stylist and I loved the way she cut my hair and waxed my brows. The salon was in walking distance of our place and was also home to my masseuse. When it came to my hair, life was simple.
Once I found out I was losing my job, I decided to add a bit of color to my life and have my hair dyed red. My stylist did a beautiful job with the original application and the subsequent touch-ups. So when she decided to go out on her own, since her new location was still within walking distance and I *HATE* breaking in new stylists, I decided to go with her. And that’s when the trouble started.
The first time she colored my hair, it came out orange. I bit my tongue and endured it for a while, even on our trip to New Orleans. But soon I couldn’t take it any longer and on the advice of a friend, I had my stylist correct the color (for free). By simply dying over the orange with a layer of light brown (at my insistence – she wanted to go in a redder, more violet direction), the color was toned down and my hair was fairly presentable.
When I scheduled my next hair appointment, I made it clear keeping my hair red was no longer an option. The maintenance is too much and I didn’t want to take any more risks with the red/orange spectrum. My stylist was pretty upset (which should have been a red flag – why did she care?) but I was adamant about transitioning back to my natural color, with a few highlights and lowlights as enhancements. Easy for me to maintain and pretty difficult to mess up. Or so I thought.
When we talked about the change, she told me it would take a few visits to get back to my natural color. I understood this and assumed we’d be transitioning my hair through cooler light browns and adding highlights along the way. Yeah, that’s not how it worked out.
90 minutes of foiling later, I came out with bleached highlights and random lowlights mixed with fading red hair. What’s worse, her flourescent lights made my hair look okay while sitting in her chair. But when I went to the bathroom I saw the truth – a frosted, stripey ‘do that brought tears to my eyes. I couldn’t even deal with talking to her about it – she is so defensive and on edge about her work, it wasn’t worth it to me. I walked home with my head down, though I think my skin is thicker now after weeks as an orangehead.
After the debacle, I was resigned to never going back to my stylist. Then I thought – hey, I can just color it myself and have her continue to cut my hair, until I saw it was nearly an INCH shorter on one side than the other. After tinkering with the color and snipping away, I finally have hair that is not humiliating. That’s the best I can say.
In hindsight, I realize the only reason my stylist was able to color my hair so well while at her former salon was the coaching of the master colorist. I now remember my stylist consulting with her about my color formulas before every application. Which explains why trying to do it on her own was so difficult – she was flying blind.
Even though my hair is damaged and straw-like (not to mention asymmetrical), I’m waiting things out a bit before I muddle through new stylist auditions. I’ve done some stupid things to my hair during my life, but paying someone else to do them is where I have to draw the line.