It all started in September of 2012 when I decided to reward myself for completing a 30-day cleanse that cut out sugar, carbs and all things delicious. It was a rough month and as a completion prize for not cheating (save a meatball sub following some vodka shots), I finally allowed myself to jump on the ombre bandwagon after months of gorging on these trendy hair pictures on Pinterest.
I did everything right: I called ahead to make sure the salon could do it, I asked how much it would be ($57), I brought pre-“Wrecking Ball” photos of Miley and I arrived a good four hours before my shift at the restaurant started.
I walked into the salon with my virgin hair, which I had just chopped 17 inches off of a few months prior, and was greeted by a very enthusiastic and flamboyant hairdresser who bragged about the class he recently taught about proper ombre technique. I relaxed and lol’d as he attempted to bleach my hair.
I say “attempted” because after deciding he was going to save my hair by leaving the bottom layer dark, the bleach wouldn’t take to my Hercules-like strands and it took about two more tries and multiple pointed questions about what products I had in my hair (none) before he could see the blonde.
Once he could see it, however, there was just a straight line starting halfway down the length of my hair that marked the difference between crazy dark brown and yellow blonde, and by now four hours had passed, meaning I had to leave for work immediately.
Needless to say, I was flipping because my previously healthy, happy hair now looked like a skunk and the dark bottom layer made me feel like I should be wearing a Harley Davidson jacket. I was about to go serve Japanese food to people for the next seven hours and the young, bitchy receptionist informed me that this effed up mess would actually cost $100 instead of the previously stated $57 -- something about using extra toner and blow drying it for me?
I forked over the money because I’m a huge passive pansy, but I made it clear I was not happy and she scheduled another appointment for me the next morning so he could fix it (FO’ FREE).
At this point I probably should’ve just said, “Forget the ombre, give me my normal color back,” but the young optimist inside me said, “No, he can fix it! You probably worked two shifts just to pay for this, you’re going home with Pinterest-worthy hair!” I spent another four hours at the salon that day while he bleached the bottom layer and tried to tone the yellow down.
I was pacified with this, but it wasn’t long before the fading, which I was unknowingly fated to suffer from for the next year and three months, began. After seeing a particularly awful photo of myself out in the sun tailgating, I realized that this half blonde/half brunette thing wasn’t working for me, especially when I wore it straight. In November 2012, I let my sister experiment on me with boxed dye, determined not to waste money at a salon again.
Using Ion Color Brilliance Crème Dye in the closest color to my roots I could find, my sister brushed the dye on from my roots to the blonde bits in the middle, leaving a couple inches of the blonde tips untouched for the first 20 minutes. Then she brushed more dye on so there was barely any blonde left and kept it on for another 10 minutes before washing it out.
I was so relieved. I didn’t even realize the effect this horrible bleach job was having on me until I looked in the mirror with my dark hair back and felt the relief wash over me. I rode this out for as long as I could. It looked decent, it had a gradual change in color like an ombre is supposed to and I even got layers cut in there to make it less uniform, but much like Miley, the blonde couldn't be tamed.
By April 2013, I was getting ready to move from Florida to California and I wanted the blonde gone. This time, using the same dye, I told my sister to do it up big. She doused my head in the stuff and we left it on for a good 30 minutes longer than the instructions said to. Once again, I was overjoyed to have monochromatic hair that could be straightened without weird self-consciousness gnawing at me.
I’d like to say that after the two salon visits, a haircut and two boxed dye jobs that I conquered that SOB, but here I am eight months later and the bitch is back.
My reward for doing something good for my body turned into the Rasputin of hairstyles. It refuses to die (or dye for that matter), and I think it’s time to make a decision.
Do I chop it all off and let the virgin hairs grow in all over again, or do I trim off the deadest of the dead ends and try letting a professional dye it back to its true color?