Saturday, September 20, 2014

The Bright Side

At the end of the day, I blame Pinterest.

Here and there, innocently enough, pale girls with blinding white blonde hair appeared in my feed like little peroxide pixies. Their makeup popped, their clothes looked cool, their eyes sparkled with the knowledge that their routines were MUCH higher-maintenance than mine.

I'd been a fan of eccentric, towheaded Harriet from Bright Young Twins for a while—and Gwen Stefani and Debbie Harry obviously—but suddenly, the siren song of platinum-ness warbled.

It was a bullshitty quote from hairstylist Oribe in Allure that did it: Every woman should try platinum at least once.

Yeaaahhhhhhhh! I mean, fuck it. I'm young. What's the worst that could happen? You only YOLO once.

It was decided: I was going to bleach the fuck out of my hair. So I struck out, Odysseus post-Troy. Except my quest was way stupider.

My then-current salon could do a double process in 4ish hours, but it would cost $500, probably. Oh.

Another worthy contender would do the double process for much cheaper, but the stylist was a flake who literally left me out in the cold with a scheduling mixup. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, fuck you, I'm on a QUEST.

I agreed to see a friend's longtime stylist and she ended up being lovely AND affordable. Sold!

"Before" and "Don't mind if I do"
The double process took 4-5 hours altogether, from bleaching to toning and glossing. I'd heard horror stories of writhing in pain, peeling skin, burning everywhere, but somehow I ended up winning the scalp lottery.

"What have I done" and "After"

I did almost keel over with shock when the towel came off and a big, flesh-toned blob of face/hair stared back at me. It took a blow dry, a long, very awkward subway ride home (freshly dyed platinum attracts attention, who knew?) and a little time in front of the mirror for me to fall in luuuuurve.

My hair, which had always been nice—though I say it myself—suddenly became a Thing. It was a lifestyle. I was Khaleesi. Hair floated around me, wispy, damaged, conversation-starting. It could look chic with a cateye, or it could be fashunnn with bright lipstick and a topknot. (Although sans-makeup, I looked like an albino boy.)

I loaded up on coconut oil, deep treatments, keratin spray, purple shampoo. Because bleached hair is so delicate, I only washed it 2-3 times a week. One of those washes, I used purple shampoo to tone down the brassy color. (Side note, that stuff spattered over the walls looks like the murder scene of a beloved children's TV icon.)

Rather than hating the maintenance, I'd camp out in the bathroom and lovingly nourish my desiccated strands. The salon visits were actually cheaper (single process) and happened every 4-6 weeks, same as with highlights.

On the other hand, my beautiful, effortless waves were replaced by a deranged mess, à la Dee Snider, that needed quite a bit of styling to look even half as good as before. Plus, there's the constant breakage. Despite braiding my hair every night, I ended up with baby hairs all around my face.

If the texture were the only issue, I would probably stick it out for a while longer. But for my wedding, I don't want a look. I know white hair would be ethereal and pretty against my skin and dress, but for the big day, I want to be classic and as much "me" as possible.

So I'm going back to a color that's found in nature. Au revior, platinum. We hardly knew ye.

No comments:

Post a Comment