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Bored with my own bad self...

I have the unaccountable urge to dye my hair red. Actually, a nice auburn. This came over me suddenly last week and the thought is still in my head. I don't really know WHY, except I'm bored, I guess.

There are only three problems with the idea. One is that I know from past experience how long it takes to grow color out again (my natural color is lighter than that), and how half-assedly it works during that process to try to dye/bleach your hair back to close to your natural color. So, it's a pain in the ass, is what I'm saying. Two, is my hairdresser. I'm serious. I love my hairdresser. She and I have been in this for about 8 years now. She's fabulous (this is not subjective; at one point, on my introduction, she was also cutting the hair of 95% of my local friends -- raqs, my_tallest, karlchristian, maxineofarc, hedgies; the latter two of whom still go to her too). She gives me great haircuts.

The problem? She's primarily a colorist. In fact she only ever cuts hair any more for her "legacy" customers, like me. Mostly she does color. I think she won Best of Boston once, or something. And therein lies the rub -- her haircuts are expensive, but I pay it because I spent 25 years getting atrocious haircuts and therefore I cannot put a price on a hairdresser whom I know and who doesn't fuck up my hair. (She spent a period of over a year down in Providence, part of that time working from her *home*, and yes, I drove the 45 minutes down there every time I wanted a cut.) But her coloring? Even more expensive. And dude, I'm just not willing to pay it for the ephemerality of color.

I started out with her right around the time I'd decided to grow out of my red phase. Sometimes she'd try to get me to let her color my hair -- give me highlights or streaks or whatever the hell, but... no. Recently, I decided I was bored with the mousy-ness, and -- swear to god -- got a $6 bottle of Sun-In, the stuff you spray in and use a hair-dryer on and it lightens your hair, which with me makes me a dark blonde. I got compliments on it. She took it fairly well, too, though I could tell she really wished that I was letting *HER* do it. But the thing is... Sun-In is way less chemically invasive than what she'd do. So I justified it to myself. I wasn't actually COLORING my hair, I was bleaching it. Plus, *dude* -- $6 a bottle, which is repeated applications, versus... hell, I don't know, but I'm sure it'd be at *least* $50 a pop or more for whatever she'd want to do to me.

But, coloring my hair a dark red again... well, that's coloring. I used to do it with the usual CVS-bought $10 kits, and that's probably what I'd do again, because I'm cheap, and because I liked the results fine. (I have hair of steel; can't damage it.) But I can just FEEL the waves of preemptive disapproval coming from my hairdresser... and if I walk in there with dark red hair, it's going to be really, really obvious that I did the thing that, as a professional, she spits upon. *sigh*

The third thing? Is the most ironic, actually... I don't want to cover up my grey. All, like, eight strands of it, yeah (nyah nyah). Originally when I let my natural color come back in, it was in part because I was curious to see if I *was* going grey, and I was also getting to the point where I didn't want to look like I was coloring my hair to cover up my grey. Approximately 10 years later, frankly, I don't have much more grey than I had back then (nyah nyah). But that's 10 years further into "not wanting to look like I'm *trying* to cover up my grey". Frankly, I kind of like it. Although, that's now, when my hair's pretty light and it's kind of hard to see.

Dither, dither. My hairdresser's presumed disapproval is actually a highly influencing factor in all this.



( 23 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 12th, 2005 07:31 am (UTC)
i've had the same hairdresser since '93, and can very much identify with being willing to drive all over creation once the good person is found. plus she's a sweetie. ;)

good points about the grey hair.... one of my aunts had *white* hair by the time she was in her late twenties. it was absolutely beautiful.

although it does sound like a tough decision, tempting to play a bit. best to you with the process. *g*

Oct. 12th, 2005 09:28 am (UTC)
Good hairdressers are like gold, I tell you. Especially when you get to the point with one where you can go out for martinis with her.
Oct. 12th, 2005 10:59 am (UTC)
it's true. she's moved a few times and i've gone with her. and when she was out on maternity leave she cut my hair in her living room. ;)
Oct. 12th, 2005 07:43 am (UTC)
I completely understand re: the hair thing. Right now, I'm loving my nephew's girlfriend as she's terrific. Only problem: She's 70 miles away from me. *headdesk* But I do get over there fairly regularly as, you know, family there. I just pray they don't break up, because, dude. Good hairstylists are hard to find.

Re: The grey. I don't have grey hair. WHITE hair, on the other hand...tons. Which wouldn't be so bad, but my natural hair color is about as dark a brown as it comes, before shifting to black. *headdesks, again*
Oct. 12th, 2005 09:28 am (UTC)
Hee! Your nephew may break up with her, but he may have no say over whether she stays "in the family" at that rate. Great hairdressers are more valuable than nephews, on the whole.
Oct. 12th, 2005 08:45 am (UTC)
She will tut tut. She's bound to, but at the end of the day sweetie, it's your head. Do what you like with it. Hell, I had a few weeks where it was burgundy and blue because I was missing my hockey, I'd just had the tat done and I was in the throes of Canucklove :o)
Oct. 12th, 2005 08:46 am (UTC)
Forgot to say, the best haircut I think I ever had was in Vancouver, at the salon in the Westin Bayshore. Buggered if I'm going that far for a cut every six weeks!

Would if I could though...
Oct. 12th, 2005 09:32 am (UTC)
Heh! Yes, that would be taking things a bit too far...

I know, it *is* my head. Also, I have a will of iron, and if I decide on something then I bull ahead with it, no matter what others think. It's getting to the point of actual decision that's tough.

I'm willing to be moderately experimental with my hair. I went through a long period where I was very insecure about it (about my overall look, really). But I've been fairly willing to change it for the heck of it. I don't have a problem at all with the idea of suddenly coming into work with a radically different hair-color. Although given my job, I think I should probably draw the line at anything REALLY outre. (I get away with a *lot* there, dress-code wise, so I probably shouldn't push it.)
Oct. 12th, 2005 10:40 am (UTC)
Ah yes, I'm lucky in that I don't have a job. I'm a student so anything goes. I'm 42 and I don't give a crap, quite honestly. I guess I should, being a Mum and all that, but respectability isn't something I aspire to. I spent a very long time (say 40 years) trying to please everyone else and not pleasing them or me. I came to the point where I decided I wasn't going to play that game anymore and I please myself as long as it doesn't have a detrimental effect on my children. I have my hair the colour I want, I have the tattoos I want, and I'll wear what I want. I'm not even worried about looking butch any more :o)

But I do appreciate not everyone is lucky enough to be able to do that.
Oct. 12th, 2005 02:16 pm (UTC)
I half bet that if I walked into one of my boss's offices right now (the female professor) and said, "I'm thinking of dyeing my hair navy blue, whaddaya think?", there are even odds she would say, "How neat! Go for it!" And the other one, the chair of the dept., while he'd be less overtly enthusiastic, I don't think he'd hate it or anything. This is a supposedly grown-up job to which I slope in most often in jeans, and whatever else I want. They don't seem to care.

If I had more of an ongoing lifestyle in which outre-colored hair was common, then I probably would do that. But I really never have. Anime-character-colored hair on me would just be... incongruous.

But the only reason I haven't gotten a tattoo is that I'd have a hard time deciding on what to get and where to put it... and knowing that I'd be happy with it forever. I change my environmental decorating relatively often, and the same kind of goes for my personal decorating, I guess.
Oct. 12th, 2005 02:21 pm (UTC)
But the only reason I haven't gotten a tattoo is that I'd have a hard time deciding on what to get and where to put it... and knowing that I'd be happy with it forever. I change my environmental decorating relatively often, and the same kind of goes for my personal decorating, I guess.***

With tattoos you definitely have to be happy with it forever and as such it should be totally personal to you. I hate to see tattoos which have obviouly been done for the sake of fashion. Those are the kind that people regret. I have five tattoos altogether, not in especially noticeable places, even for me, but each one has meaning and I'm happy to be carrying them around for the rest of my life.

Oct. 18th, 2005 07:51 am (UTC)
Yeah. And I'm the kind of person who can't go about 2 years without getting bored with all the art on my walls, and needing to put up different things.

And I'm with you -- I wouldn't choose something that didn't have a deep personal meaning to me. Except... hmm, well, on occasion I've considered purely decorative things (like ankle bands or armbands). But I think that's an area where I admire the aesthetic on others more than I think it would work on myself.

I realize that part of the idea (far as I can tell, anyway) is that you put it in a place where you aren't necessarily looking at it every day, and therefore that helps with not getting tired of it. Except I have this mental disconnect -- while I understand that theory, I also can't see the point of getting a tattoo in a place where I would never see it, or would need a mirror to see it, or whatever. I'd really need to figure out a place that I *could* see but didn't see *often*, or whatever...

The closest I've probably come to finding a design that has meaning and that I think I'd like long-term is the little orca I use for my LJ icon... but then there's still the "where?" question.

And then there's the fact that I'm very, very lazy.
Oct. 12th, 2005 09:01 am (UTC)
Actually, I've found that even the high end hairdressers are very understanding when you mention that professional dye jobs just don't fit into the budget. And then will offer tips on how to do it properly.

Of course, I may just be running across the non-judgemental ones.

I say, go, have fun with your lovely hair! Go red! And give your hairdresser lots of attitude when you see her again. *g*
Oct. 12th, 2005 09:35 am (UTC)
I should actually specify that I am not *that* sincerely afraid of her and her disapproval... that in reality I think you're right, she'd be largely understanding about it, and that I'm letting her hypothetical disapproval/disappointment loom much larger in my head than it would actually manifest. She's really not mean or anything.

And I can understand from her viewpoint why she's snobby about hair-color. It's a combo of the fact that it's what she does best, she knows a *lot* about it, and she probably rather often sees people who damage their hair, or she has to fix a home-done dye job for them.

I just feel like -- dude, it's really hard to fuck up *my* hair, and I dyed it myself for years without really damaging it, so... yeah.
Oct. 12th, 2005 09:02 am (UTC)
Oh, I hear ya! Good hairdressers are to be prized above rubies, and that's a fact. It's all very well saying that hair's a renewable resource, but a bad style can have you feeling like shit while it grows out :-(

So I think this is to say - I'd be perched there right along with ya on the fence re the dying issue in your situation ::sympathetic grin::

The way forward I found was to find *three* good hairdressers, all at the same salon. Get 'em used to competing for your trade and they overlook all other issues, or at least don't spit so wetly *g*

Geesh though, I envy you the lack of grey :-| Mine started to go over at 24 (I'm naturally dark) and got so bad that even my mum sent me birthday cards with zebras on them :-((
Oct. 12th, 2005 09:40 am (UTC)
Yeah, I have been traumatized by bad haircuts in the past. (The worst was during college, when I was trying to grow it out long, really long; and I went home and went to my Mom's hairdresser, and without really listening to me, she just gave me the same old cut she had a year before... back when I was keeping it short... I think she cut off 6 months' worth of hard-won length. I cried.)

I have to admit to some smugness with regard to the no-grey thing. This comes in part from three of my closest friends having that dark brown hair that started going grey in their mid-20s. Hah! Eyeing my brother, I have to figure that my grey should really start ramping up in the next 5-10 years. He's very silvery now (and 10 years older than I am). But it's just... that kind of blah, mousy light-brown hair, which isn't good for much, except it bleaches pretty well to a better shade, and apparently goes grey very slowly.

(This is in the same category as the super-oily skin that has always made me despair... except for the fact that now that I'm getting older, it's keeping my skin younger-looking.)

But as I say, the irony is that what grey I have, I don't actually want to hide; I'm okay with going grey. And I sort of don't want to *look* like I want to hide it either.

It's possible I'm over-thinking that, though. ;-)
Oct. 12th, 2005 10:00 am (UTC)
It's weird. I hate my natural hair color, which is a sort of dingy, flat mouse brown, and I love coloring my hair. But at the same time, I know this covers up any grey I might have, and I kind of don't like doing that. I love women with grey hair. I think it looks awesome.

As for the oily skin... well, my skin is dry and Tina's is oily, and now she might have the occasional breakout, but I have WRINKLES.
Oct. 12th, 2005 02:07 pm (UTC)
Exactly, exactly. Far too many pimples, even now in middle-age, is balanced out by a relative lack of wrinkles.

Although frankly, I would trade the wrinkles for the breakouts. Really.

I think grey hair is awesome, too, and also it does not bother me conceptually, which is why I wouldn't want anyone to think I was trying to get rid of it. But I have a feeling that I have a good 10 years before I get to the point of going really awesomely grey, if my brother's progress is anything to judge by.
Oct. 12th, 2005 12:18 pm (UTC)
For what it's worth, I let "the world's most fabulous hairdresser" change my color to red this summer and it was awesome. But I had a hell of a time getting used to it, so I asked her to change it back when I saw her in September.

Again - fabulous job. Exactly what I wanted.

Point is - it really is worth seeing a professional like her if you want it done right. She will do whatever it takes to make you happy. And she understands the words "financially challenged" ---
Oct. 12th, 2005 02:05 pm (UTC)
I dunno, though -- the fact that I was coloring it for years with the $10 stuff from CVS, with perfectly good results, doesn't go a long way towards convincing me that it *does* pay to have it done "right" by a professional (because, you know, it's not like I felt like it wasn't being done right before). I'm sure this is short-sighted of me, but -- as I say, nothing's happened to convince me otherwise.

It would probably shock me a bit to go back to the dark red, too. I didn't think it looked that bad *on* me, though.
Oct. 13th, 2005 10:22 pm (UTC)
I have been totally behind the times catching up, but this post made me bounce because I've been having spookily similar thoughts lately. I used to dye my hair red, and it came out a nice dark shiny coppery color that I liked a lot. I got tired of doing it about 8 years ago, but lately I've been thinking about how much I liked that color. But in those 8 years, I've started going grey, and I don't want to cover the grey up or look like I'm trying to. *sigh*

I don't have the hairdresser problem, though. I was spoiled rotten by 2 great hairdressers when I lived East, but out here, it's been nothing but overpriced, attitude-filled butchery. So I've resorted to giving myself semi-annual trims, God help me.

Have you decided what to do yet?
Oct. 19th, 2005 08:23 am (UTC)
*waves* Hi! Wow, eerie!

I'm still dithering, although I am inching closer to actually doing it. Factors include: do I want to go to the trouble? (Not just of doing it, but of the process of getting it back to natural sometime in the future when I get tired of it again.) Will it look okay on me or not? One doesn't wish to look bad, with all one's friends just being too polite to say so. (My closest friends still in Boston are boys, who are not always great with being forthcoming about fashion advice, despite one of them being a very fashionable gay man; I finally got a close female friend who's known me with both hair-colors to offer the opinion that she genuinely thinks I looked good with the dark-red hair. Whew.)

I decided to get a hair-cut appt. this week (I need it badly), and I will at least warn my hairdresser that I'm doing it, which is better than just showing up having done it, perhaps. So, possibly this weekend! Yikes...
Oct. 26th, 2005 08:07 am (UTC)
I did it. Boredom outweighed the effort involved. Plus my hairdresser reacted quite well. I'm a very dark, chestnut-brown red now. Doing it didn't shock me as much as I thought it would. I look in the mirror and think, "oh, yeah, I remember that".
( 23 comments — Leave a comment )