Sunday, January 17, 2010

Day 142 or Blonde Ambition 2: This Ain't Pretty

Okay. Remember a couple months ago when I was so, SO happy because I had gotten my hair highlighted. That day is not today.

The highlights are a HUGE expense that I really couldn't justify, I don't have a hairdresser in Austin, and my hairdresser in Houston is moving back to Oklahoma. So what's a "root"-ing girl to do. Go to Target, of course. And be tempted by all the beautiful blonde boxes on the shelf. All promising glamour for a measly $5-10. And while there is a small voice in the back of my head reminding me that I stopped coloring my hair in 2002 because I have "hard-to-lift" hair. I silence that annoying voice and pick up a box. And yes, ladies and gentleman. I took home that box.

Now for those of you blessed with a lush shade of any color, be it blonde, red, brown, or black, and therefore may not be familiar with the term "hard-to-lift", let me fill you in. "Hard-to-lift" means that peroxide, the great equalizer of blondes and brunettes, does not like my hair. Rather than making me Marilyn Monroe, it stops somewhere south of CarrotTop. Oh, it gets light. It just goes orange. My hairdresser informed me that many of her dark blondes have this problem and ironically brunettes often bleach out easier. (Funny, that memory did not arrive while I was walking the beautifully gleaming blonde box aisle in Target. I remember it quite clearly now!)

So back to my hair. As I said, I took the box home. And I opened it, baby. And I mixed those chemicals with abandon. And I shook that bottle. Oh yeah, I shook it hard. And now, my hair is walking the walk of shame. Yeah. My hair is wearing the same color as a 15 year old Sun-In incident. Well, not quite the Sun-In incident but you get the picture.

And I look horrible with red hair. Really, I do. My skin goes pink all over. Not healthy, "isn't she lovely" pink, rather it looks like I had a "chemical peel about a day before" pink. So, no, not pretty.

Now, I'd like to blame this on recovering from the very nasty business that I have had (and still do) for the last ten days. But I know it is deeper than that. Anyone who has grown up feeling less than beautiful knows that the "ugly" river runs wide and it runs deep. And I was not feeling so pretty. I thought that I would spruce myself up a bit for the new year. Well, I'm spruced.

Then to really torture myself. I watch the Golden Globes and see all the actresses with their perfect blonde hair and I start to drown in the ugly river. So I get up and take a bath. Which is my other vice besides blogging. I can take baths like people smoke cigarettes -- only I smell better. So I'm in the bath and let me share some advice. If you are not feeling pretty, do NOT look at yourself in the water spout. It is worse than a Fun House mirror. So I'm looking at my orange hair, pink face, and weirdly distorted nose -- and, I start to cry. Like a baby. No, like a 15 year old after a Sun-In incident.

As I am near Times Square on New Year's level of pity party, I remembered tonight's news. And all the real suffering in the world. All the real suffering in Haiti. And then I felt like the biggest, most selfish jerk in the world. (I know in sharing this, I am risking losing my nice moniker. I'm going to risk it.) And that's when I really thought about this spiral -- this ugly "ugly" spiral -- that I take far too often. So I left my mind drift to the absolute worst possibility of having a bad dye job. I took it as far as a shaved head, And yeah, a shaved head would stink. But it's nothing, absolutely nothing, compared to what is happening in the world outside my head. (I'm actually crying as I type.)

So I'm not quite Archie but I am definitely no Rita Hayworth or even, Molly Ringwald. I now face a decision. To correct this problem, I either need to go really light with a "Strong-lift" product or I need to go darker. I have never been a brunette before and I'm a little intrigued by it. Famous blonde actresses always do it when they want to be taken seriously. I've always described (and possibly defined) myself as a blonde, however. So what should I do? Vanilla or Chocolate? White or Dark Meat? Espresso or Latte? Let me know what you think.

And seriously, don't look at yourself in the water spout. Not even if you're feeling cute. Just don't do it.

But really seriously, the people of Haiti remain in my prayers. And I know that my hair color disaster trauma is neither a "disaster" nor a "trauma". It is nothing more than a nuisance. One that I am sure so many of them would take in a heartbeat over their real problems.


Liz Mays said...

I so wish I could do my own roots! I'd save a fortune but I know I'd screw it up. (like you, lol) just kidding!

chitra said...

I don't know anything about dyes. haven't tried anything like that. But I understand your plight. All the best to you.

Traci said...

Learn from ladies -- blueviolet, stay at the salon. Chitra, stay away from dyes ALL together. Like I said, it's not the end of the world, not even the end of my world, but it ain't pretty!

ChiaLynn said...

If you're going to do it yourself - go dark. There's a real risk of damaging your hair and/or your scalp (think blisters - yeeouch) with one of the stronger bleaches. (I speak as a brunette whose hair likes to go a charming straw yellow at best, and Bozo-the-Clown orange at worst - talk to me about Sun-In! - and as a girl whose late best friend was a mouse-brown hairdresser who liked to take his hair platinum). Try to wait a few days, though - the residual bleach could mess with the darker color.

You might also try a darker salon color, without highlights, if your budget will stretch to that.

If nothing else, it could be an interesting experiment - my stepdaughter played with various shades of blonde for several years, until she realized (late in her Sophomore or early in her Junior year of high school) that she was known more as "the blonde" than by her name. She swears people take her more seriously now she's brunettte.

Mary said...

I'd always been more blond but am now finally admitting that two kids and being in my thirties has made me not so much a blonde anymore. If you try to darker route you might have more luck doing it yourself at home later. Good luck and I'll send some good hair thoughts you way. Will you share pictures of the new do once you have it fixed??

Sonya said...

Whenever I mess up and lord knows I have realllly messed up..(once for 6 months they called me Q-tip for the horrible fake white hair dye job I did)..I always go dark. You could still have blotches of lighter hair but unless you do a quick Brittney Spears haircut you should try going darker...let your hair rest for a few days though and then try it.

I've had those crying fits. I was looking at myself in the mirror today counting the white hairs that are all around the front of my hair and thinking wat new color did I want. I feel so frumpy..will let u know if mine comes out all messed up

Hang in will grow out.

Claudya Martinez said...

Go darker, but not too dark. You can always make it darker, but it will be hard to make it lighter. Try a temporary dye as opposed to permanent that way if you hate it, it will be gone in about 15 washes. If you love it, you can switch it to permanent later. Remember that if you go really dark and can not afford to go to the hairdresser to get it changed, you will have to grow it out to get it back to your color.

Unknown said...

I am so sorry you're feeling ugly. I can relate, although I have never used one of those boxes at home before...too scared. Which is not to say I haven't been botched at the salon, b/c I have!!!

Hang in there. hair grows. And you are right, it can always be worse (but I know that's little consolation right now)...

Mama-Face said...

We are definitely kindred spirits. I hear myself in all your words. I hope I did not just insult you! Not my intention at all...remember I am nice.

We are considering a move and among my first thoughts was "OH NO...I will have to find a new stylist. I can't bear the pain".

My heart is with yours concerning one trivial disaster against a REAL disaster.

F said...

a) you look lovely. Truly. Ladies, I have seen the hair and it is very nice. slightly different than a couple of days ago, maybe very slightly reddish towards the top but I think it looks very nice. Is it what you wanted? only you know. but I see NOTHING amiss. b) the spout of a bathtub is nuts and not to be trusted by anybody. Don't go there again, ever.
You are right. There is real pain out there and we are damn lucky that we don't know it.

Amira said...

Oh no, I'm sorry about your hair snafu! I highly recommend Urban Betty Salon and they're not too far from you, near the Central Market on Lamar. Delaine is my hairdresser there and she even offers a student discount. Her rates are on their website. The salon specialized in hair color and are well reviewed for it. Delain spent part of the summer getting trained in NYC and the salon carries Bumble and Bumble which is my favorite hair product collection ever. The thickening shampoo and conditioner is amazing and always cropping up in Allure magazine, etc. :)

F said...

oh yes. You mentioned the nice thing on a previous post. Take the red hair and run w/ it. Be sassy, smartass or whatever you want to be. I think red haired girls are supposed to have tempers. Go for it!

BONNIE K said...

I think you may need professional help - for hair, that is. Once you screw it up, attempts to fix it can make it worse. Let the professionals handle it.

Traci said...

Thanks, everyone, for all the encouragement, suggestions, and love. That's why when I'm feeling down or bothered, I take it to the blog.

Tracie said...

I wish I had read this earlier. There is a product at Sally Beauty called Red-gold corrector. It's in a little bottle usually with the hair color. Get some.

I haven't used it in a long time but I think you can put it in your shampoo.

Blonde is very hard to do at home.

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