Three years ago this week, I bought my last box of home hair dye.
I started dying my hair in my early 20s – just my natural color, but I wanted to cover up the grays that seemed to be taking over my head prematurely. I had given up on maintaining highlights or a cut I couldn’t style in 15 minutes, as well as anything that required paying $40+ every six weeks.
On the day in question, I used the same brand and color of hair dye I’d always used. I put it on, wrapped my hair in a towel, and checked my email while I waited for the color to set. When I flipped my head over the tub to rinse the dye out, I noticed that the dye looked almost purple instead of the usual reddish brown. That’s weird, I thought.
When I finished and looked in the mirror, I nearly screamed. My hair was jet black. Like, emo black. Apparently someone had switched the boxes or made a mistake – this was NOT the color I’d used for years.
Frantically I put my hair in a bun, threw on a hat, and went to the drugstore to buy hair bleach and another box of dye. I wanted to get all the horrid black out of my hair before anyone saw me, and hair bleach would remove all traces of it.
Except it didn’t. After the bleach, I still had jet black hair. With the new, added bonus of 2 inches of clown-orange roots.
I called my hair lady, who worked me in for an emergency appointment. After she laughed for about an hour, she determined that the only way to fix the problem would be to return my roots to black, then highlight over it to mimic my natural color until the dyed hair grew out.
After three attempts to dye my roots black, she gave up. The orange really liked my hair, and she was afraid that doing anything else to it would cause it to break off in chunks. I walked around looking like a washed-out crackhead for a month before we felt it was safe to apply highlights and get my hair back to normal.
What Did I Learn?
That nightmare experience cost me over $100. Between the boxes of hair bleach and hair dye, professional color, and going back for professional highlights, I was practically digging for change in the couch cushions. All because I tried to save money by dying my hair myself.
Once my hair started feeling like hair again instead of straw, I decided I was done playing mad scientist in my bathroom. No more dye or highlights. No more wasting money.
Now, when I go to my hair lady for a trim, she always talks about how healthy my hair feels. It’s amazing how much better behaved it is now that I’m not pumping it full of smelly chemicals every month! The grays have progressed to snow white, which is pretty obvious against dark brown hair, but I don’t care. I’m going to embrace my early old ladyhood and just let it happen. I spend about $100 a year getting my hair cut – a vast improvement if you ask me.
How Much Does Your Hair Cost?
What do you do to your hair? Any disaster stories? How much do you spend in a year? Do you ever feel like throwing all your products away and living the simple life?