Friday, February 27, 2009

Again with the hair color

A few months ago I wrote about my internal debate between Vanity & Common Sense over hair color. The end result was that after weeks of thought I bought a box of color and a few more days of dithering, I actually used the color. Now that it is 3 months later I naturally have some root issues.  But this isn’t about that. It  is about that internal debate though.

I have naturally wavy hair.  Stupid looking waves at that.  No matter the cut may hair is too wavy to hang right and not wavy enough to really curl. I got my first perm at 13 to correct this problem.  For the next 15 years I alternated between periods of perm curls and periods of flat iron straightness. It just depended on which was less effort to achieve. (Common Sense holds the long term decisions. Vanity knows it’s not worth the fight) The perm would be nice & curly for a couple months & then it would start to require a lot of mousse & gel and a diffuser …. Then it would be easier to just get couple large pins to hold it flat while it dried then smooth it out with a flat iron. (the gel, teasing & hairspray necessary for creating the requisite  big bangs and side wings of the 80’s were a constant and did not figure into the overall effort).  I dyed it various shades of red or burgundy at intervals as well to keep Vanity happy

Then one day when I was 28 I cut it all off.  Too many perms, too many straighteners, too much color. The hair was damaged beyond repair & honestly I had no idea what my real hair was like, so Common Sense went for hair about 2 inches long all over and waited. Vanity invested in hats.

Over the next year it grew back in the sort of mouse brown color I remembered but it grew in CURLY! Not stupid waves but real honest to god spiral curls! The hair I had dreamed of! Vanity & Common Sense were both thrilled!

I always had this idea in my mind that the sudden appearance of real honest to god spiral curls was hormonal. I was turning 30 and other things were happening with my body, hair & nails, so why not curls? At least for a bit. I also suspected that ‘this too shall pass’. That when I hit my 40’s and other hormonal things started happened the curls might not survive.

I was right.

It took about 18 months of gradual change but it has become too much work to make my hair curl. The stupid waves are back & my hair is finer than it used to be (Despite vitamin supplements). So I am now experimenting with a straight look for the first time in over a decade.

Vanity is going to miss those curls but Commons Sense knew they weren’t mine to keep and now that I have straight hair I have the opportunity to do something Vanity has been considering for a couple of years. 

I’ve always wanted to get some color streaks in my hair – purple, green or blue. But Vanity didn’t think they would look right with the wavy curls so I never did. But now I have straight hair. And then I found this yesterday at Walgreens


The perfect shade of purple. Obviously I am not going for the all over look. I just want some streaks near the front, maybe the sides too. But Common Sense is wondering just how I am going to manage that without getting dye spots all over my hair.  Vanity is a bit concerned too. Oddly Vanity is also thinking that maybe 41 year olds with wrinkles might look a bit ridiculous with purple streaks in the hair. Like maybe they are trying too hard to be young. Vanity let Insecurity have a vote you see.

Vanity would also sort of like the all over purple look but Insecurity will not hear of it.

So if you have any advice on how I might manage streaks without dye smudges elsewhere in my hair or have an opinion about whether I will look odd with the streaks, let me have it.


ptooie said...

When I was pregnant with my first I threw away all my 'fun' colors... I had a fuschia I loved, and I miss it. Perhaps when my kids are a little older and can understand what I'm doing more (and the "no, you can't do this to your hair yet") I'll do it again...
Anyway, find one of those highlighting caps where you pull some of your hair thru little holes so you can color it. The stuff you don't want to color stays protected under the cap. Depending on where you intend to put the streaks, you may be able to get away with pinning down what you don't intend to color so it stays out of the way.
Have fun and don't forget to post a picture of that awesome purple!!

Jennifer said...

As long as your hair is a good strong brown, I think it will look great. I dyed my best friend's hair with purple streaks in college - but she's a blond - so she was called PB&J for a while.

Too Many Hats said...

Oh you are so fun! All over would be a bit much, but some streaks sound like a great idea. I have not colored my hair in years, so not much help with how-to's. Good luck and post a pic.

Veronica said...

Go for it!!!

The Mother said...

I have a friend who went all the way through med school with flaming purple hair--and it looked great on her.

Go for it!

Creative Junkie said...

Don't listen to Vanity or Common Sense. Listen to Thrill Seeking Junkie lurking within and indulge it just a little. You're not skydiving, you're just coloring your hair. If you don't like it, you can always color it back.

Since I turned 40, my hair is awful. Won't do a damn thing. I'm considering removing all color from it entirely so that my white roots won't show. Then I'm considering dying the bottom half of it black. Yes, it's sort of Goth but it's better than battling the skunk line I get every 3 weeks.

Jodith said...

You can use a highlighting cap (get it at a beauty supply store). You pull the hair you want to color through with a crochet hook or similar tool.

You can also use foil. Pull out a bit of hair you want to color, put a length of foil under it, apply the color, and then wrap the foil around it so the dye doesn't get all over the rest of your hair. Get proper foil from the beauty supply store (to make sure the dye doesn't interact with the foil). This method works well if you want a flat section of hair colored, as opposed to the smaller sections you'll get through the cap. It lets you control where the highlights lie more reliably. It takes longer, but you have more control over the process.

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