All spring, I wanted to go blonde. But no, I told myself, my days of coloring and bleaching my hair are over. That was what college was for, and believe me, I took full advantage. From freshman to senior year, my hair was at one point or another, every color of the rainbow.Yeah, I was that guy. But not anymore, I thought. I’m GROWN.
But I kept noticing that all of my favorite brash, badly behaved women (and men? Nah, fuck it. Just women) were blonde. I wanted a piece! Hell, even Emily had the nerve to go blonde in May and rub it in my face (read: write an article about it). It was more than I could take! I suppose it was inevitable.
I had been blonde twice before. Once my freshman year when I got it done in a salon and once at the end of my senior year when I did it in a manic haze in my frat house bathroom. I loved the results both times, but the damage, oooh the damage I had done to my hair. Was I ready to go back and do it all over again?
Then I got all self righteous about what society tells men of my age that they should look like when trying to move up the corporate ladder, and that basically sent me over the edge. (P.S. me talking about “society” …okay).
Anyway, I bit the proverbial bullet and finally got it done. I loved it. I spent the entire summer blonde and kept it pretty healthy thanks to my arsenal of hair products.
And then summer ended as quickly as it had arrived. Here I was, stumbling around with blonde hair with the perfect grown-out, punk rock root -- and I didn’t want it anymore! I wanted to be a sensual, mysterious brunette again! I had grown tired of this blonde nonsense.
“I MISS MY BROWN HAIR,” I howled at my hairstylist last week. “GIVE IT BACK.”
“Well, we can start glossing it back to brown. It won’t be your natural color, but it will be close,” he comforted me.
And that’s exactly what we did. We glossed. My hair was a nice, medium brown that I wasn’t thrilled with, but I could live with it. It was a nice start. Most importantly, it shut me up.
THING IS, my hair didn’t hold it. Within a few days, the color faded, leaving me a dulled, dirty blonde. And not the sexy kind of dirty blonde like Britney circa 2001, the bad kind of dirty blonde -- Britney 2007.
I was bummed. I resisted the urge to take matters into my own hands and darken my hair using box dye. When I wasn’t coloring my own hair throughout college, I was coloring someone else’s. On any given Friday night, you could walk into my room and find me with a vodka-pineapple in one hand and a bottle of hair dye in the other. Whether it was dying one of my girlfriends' hair a half shade darker, or putting some stupid, radioactive color onto one of the frat guy’s heads, I’ve seen and done it all, and rarely have I ever been happy with the results from box color. Dull color, fried hair and worst of all, spotty, uneven coverage. No ma’am.
But every time I looked in the mirror, my muddled yellow-brown hair laughed back at me. Not my hairstylist’s fault, but the fault of my stupid, stubborn hair. I couldn’t do it anymore. I knew my stylist wouldn’t be pleased if I chose to take matters into my own hands, but I did what I had to do.
But responsibly so! Since going blonde hadn’t destroyed my hair, I was determined to return to brunette without damaging my hair. I’m currently rocking a henna tattoo, because I am a preteen girl, so I thought I’d try henna hair color. I’d always heard that you get decent coverage while still keeping your hair intact. Now it was my turn to find out.
I was experiencing pangs of guilt because I had just advised Emily NOT to use hair color from a box, and here I was being a hypocrite! I’m SORRY, Emily! I tried to ease my mind by telling myself that I had much shorter hair than she, and if I screwed mine up, I could just cut it all off since my hair grows so quickly. Not that I think Emily wouldn’t look great with a buzz, but if one of us was going to screw up our hair, I’d rather it be me.
I stomped down to my local hippie pharmacy (which surprisingly has a great beauty department, if you’re into all natural and “green” products. I personally love harsh chemicals but whatever) and grabbed a box of henna hair color that was near my natural shade.
Except -- it wasn’t henna. God forbid I actually READ THE BOX and see what I’m about to purchase.
“BALLS,” I yelled, as I realized this was, in fact, not henna. Do I go back to the hippie pharmacy and exchange it for the product that I actually wanted? Or do I just deal? Since I was already in my bathroom, wearing nothing but my underwear (so as not to ruin any of my clothes, of course), I decided to suck it up.
Well, it seems that my mistake is everybody’s gain. The brand was from a British company called Herbatint -- natural hair color completely free of ammonia, parabens, and all that other stuff that’s going to damage your hair. I was VERY skeptical of these claims initially, but after about a week's time, I can honestly say that the color is good and my hair feels no more damaged than it did right after I went blonde.
I kind of didn’t want to like Herbatint because I’m not really an “all natural” kind of guy, but I’m definitely happy with the results.
To combat any fading and keep the color extra-lustrous and LUXURIOUS, I’m also using a new product by John Frieda called Brilliant Brunette Luminous Color Glaze. I know that you all know that when it comes to anything hair-care related, John Frieda is pretty much the business. I saw this Glaze in stores and thought to myself “I don’t even know what that shit is nor do I care because Im’a buy it.”
John Frieda shuts it down once again. After you shampoo and condition, squeeze all of the excess water out of your hair and throw this stuff in for three minutes. The Glaze adds a hint of brown color to your hair while intensifying shine. Basically it just improves the richness of your hair color without changing it at all. I could immediately tell the difference in the way that the light reflected off of my hair, even when it was still wet! They make the Glaze for blondes and reds too, so everyone run out and snatch your appropriate shade and let me know what you think.
And thus ends this season's hair saga. I still stand by my firm belief of not using box dye, but if you’re experiencing desperate times, or are just impatient like me, the aforementioned products are your new best friends, baby.
What are your feelings on box dyes? Are there any that you trust? What about keeping your color post-dye? Are you wearing white after Labor Day? I AM. Tell me everything in the comments and @TynanBuck