Blonde Moment

This is a cautionary tale for those of you considering dying your hair blonde yourself.

I've been having my hair professionally dyed blonde for a long time.  We're talking 10 years long, with the occasional brown mixed in here and there.  I try to find the least expensive people and wait until my roots have reached white-trash length before getting them redone, but the money still adds up quickly over time.  So I had the brilliant idea to dye my hair myself...the day before I left for my big trip.  Talk about a blonde moment.  So off to the store I went and bought a couple of box dyes, thinking, "How hard can this really be??"

Here is the before - obvious roots that were only going to get worse in coming weeks.

I enlisted the help of my roommate Mary, who dyes her hair often.  But dying hair blonde was a first for both of us.  

Dye is in - anxiously waiting to see what happens.  Super nervous about the yellow I see, but hoping it's just the bad lighting in the bathroom.'s yellow!  Solid yellow with a little platinum in the front.  Eep.  Luckily I had bought some back up color, so  we colored it all over again in hopes of having a better result the second time - something more along the lines of blonde.  I didn't mind if it turned out solid bright blonde, or even platinum, but just no yellow.  However, the second time around my scalp burned really bad, which isn't that shocking considering the strong chemicals we were using.  The pain eventually went away after a few minutes, but I had small scabs that stayed for two weeks.  
And I think it did turn out a bit better the second time around.  However, this was fairly good lighting, so it doesn't show that there was still some yellow in there.  Enough yellow to bother me to the point that I felt like I needed to get it done professionally.
From this angle you can see that there's a random bronze colored spot in the back. Oh boy.  And still quite a strong yellow tint.
Not too horrible in this picture, but still not quite right.  I didn't want yellow/bronze hair in my Europe pictures.  Actually, I don't want that hair regardless of whether or not I'll be taking a lot of pictures.
So I ended up going to the salon (PR at Partners in Shirlington - I had been there once before and had a good experience) to get my hair fixed.  I called and explained my situation and emphasized that I'm on a budget, but need some serious color correction done to my hair and they said they could get me in right away, which was awesome.  However, the person who did my hair, Linda, charged a whole lot of money and in reality didn't do much to fix the situation.  I think she almost made it worse.  But unfortunately I didn't realize this until I was thousands of miles away.
This picture was taken a week after the fact.  What the heck is with the random white streaks in the front?   My hair was just all sorts of weird contrasting white/gold/yellow colors. My friend Haley was with me when this was being done and pointed out to the hair dresser that my hair seemed to be a different color in the front but they brushed it off, so I trusted that once it dried it would all blend in since she and her assistant didn't seem too concerned. Well, it didn't and I was not happy that I paid a lot of money to have it fixed, when in reality it wasn't fixed at all.  If I had gone in and she had told me up front, "Sorry, there's nothing I can do to fix this right now" then I would have been understanding because I realize that I got myself into this mess and it's not easily resolved.  But when she assures me that she can fix it, but doesn't and yet still charges me a lot of money (more money than what it normally costs to get my hair dyed at this salon) I can't help but feel completely jipped.  
I had to fix the problem myself overseas with limited supplies, which meant I needed to get a little creative.  I used "purple shampoo" which I think helped to tone the yellow and then when I got to Spain I put hydrogen peroxide in when I was in the sun and that finally brought my hair color back to something that was fairly normal. This is the hair color I was going for (although now my roots were growing out and more noticeable than ever compared to the bright blonde hair).  I wish I wouldn't have gone it to get it "fixed" and just resolved the situation myself. 
The one thing I am grateful for is my resilient hair.  I know a lot of girls' hair would have fried and broken off from so many chemicals being put on in such a short amount of time, but luckily mine is really strong and there doesn't seem to be any noticeable damage.

Moral of the story - don't have a blonde moment and dye your hair yourself for the first time right before a major event.  Duh.  Over the years all of those bleaching chemicals used on my hair must have seeped deep down into my brain to make me think that this was a good idea.  I haven't totally ruled out the idea of trying this again, but this time I know I will need a lot of toners on hand and better dye and no upcoming major events.  But until I get brave (stupid) again, I will be going back to the professionals (but not the ones at PR).  

3 Response to Blonde Moment

January 21, 2013 at 5:14 PM

Ha ha, I am glad you fixed it. It looks great again!

January 23, 2013 at 10:41 AM

This whole situation was hilar. I enjoyed going with you to PR. You need to YELP about them and link this blogpost. If they don't give you a complimentary re-do or at least a deep discount on your next visit, something is seriously wrong!

January 24, 2013 at 1:09 AM

Hahahaha loved this story! I've been considering dying my hair and Ryan said he would help me do it myself! But I think I will go to a professional... especially because I have never dyed my hair. Thanks for the share!

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