Monday, February 22, 2010

Clairol #20

The last time I tried to color my own hair I was 16 - almost 17 and I was a Senior in high school. Of course I was confident in my skills as a first-time colorist, so I went for it and opted for the "permanent" color. The deep brown with a dash of red I was trying to achieve didn't quite come through. I was called "Big Red" for the next few months at school until I could pool enough money together to go see a professional. Needless to say, I swore I would never, ever color my own hair again.

Flash forward 16 years later to me standing in front of my vanity mirror with tweezers pulling out more gray hair than I know what to do with. "When did this happen?" "Where did my pretty, shiny hair go?" I've needed to make a hair appointment for the past month, but time and money have not reconciled. There are so many other things we need to pay for besides a salon visit. "This is stupid" I thought. I'm going to be bald at this rate if I keep pulling out all this gray!

I packed up the kids and headed out on our weekend Target run. Amongst the baby food, chips, paper towels and other household goods we save for Target, I grabbed a box of "Hazelnut" brown from the hair color isle. This was a tough one. How many shades of brown can there really be?! First I grabbed for the most expensive one at $10 a box, then I figured screw it. If I blow this I'll be at the salon anyway forking out another $125. If I'm going cheap, well then, I'm going CHEAP. I settled on the box in the clearance section for $5.99. It seriously can't get cheaper than THAT, right?

Last night after the kids were in bed and the house was picked up I slipped down the hall to the bathroom. I read the directions and the process seemed easier than I remember. I slipped on the gloves, mixed, shook and applied the messy goo to my head and hair, all the while praying that a shade of purple or red did not emerge and nothing in the bathroom would be stained. At one point I could feel my scalp beginning to slightly tingle and I was sure I should have done the "48 hour test" the box recommended because my hair was about to fall out.

Fifteen minutes later, my hair was done and still attached to my scalp. My husband did a once over with a "not bad" and we went back to our regular lives folding endless laundry. If it looked really bad, he would've told me. It's a lot darker than I'm used to. The pretty blond highlights I paid a small fortune to have done are now part of the past; but so is the gray, so mission accomplished!

This detour on my hair care is not one that I'll probably keep, but for now, it did the trick - and it was affordable! I'd venture to say that I'd do this again with no hesitation. Once the warm weather comes back and the days go back to being bright, I'll probably go back to the salon for a lighter more seasonally appropriate hair color. I've pulled my mom's hair through one of those little caps for an affordable highlight job and frankly, I've screwed that up before - so I'm OUT on this one. For now this works and I feel better about myself by covering the gray.

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