Monday, July 21, 2008

Dyed and Gone to Ginger Heaven

Geoff and I have started watching South Park lately. I know, we're about 10 years behind the curve, but we're dorks (please note that yesterday we watched "West Side Story", which we had recorded previously with the intention of watching it when it would be convenient for us and not just because it was the only thing on TV on a Sunday afternoon).

Anyway, we recently saw an episode in which Cartman makes fun of kids with red hair, pale skin and freckles, calling them "ginger kids". It was hilarious.

And because we laughed so heartily at this episode, God is punishing me.

I am now bordering on being a ginger kid.

I have pale skin that was exposed to an unnatural amount of sunlight (45 minutes) today during our walk (which means I'm sure freckles/moles are sure to follow), and my hair is now partially reddish thanks to both my vanity and my impatience to remain blonde as long as I live.

Before baby, I would spend a lot of money every 6 weeks getting my hair dyed. And before that, waaaay before that, I would dye my own hair. And -- pats self on back -- I was pretty good at it, too.

Until I realized I was 24 and could no longer pull off the Gwen Stefani/Marilyn shade of bleach blonde I had become accustomed to wearing. I mean, on me, it really just looked like I was trying too hard.

Dyeing hair a shade more subtle than, well, white, is a little bit more tricky. So I started going to a professional and my hair was amazing.

And then I quit my well-paying job to work for $9/hour in a restaurant kitchen and I had to start dyeing it myself again a few years later.

And then, after we got engaged, I started paying a lot of money to go to a gay man 9 years my junior to have my hair dyed, and thankfully it paid off as my hair looked great in my wedding pictures.

And then I got pregnant about 5 seconds after the preacher pronounced us man and wife, which meant our disposable income was about to be ... well ... disposed.

So I haven't paid anyone to do my hair in about 5 months now and my roots were looking pretty bad. And pregnancy caused my previously "dark blonde" hair to turn a slightly more hideous shade of "ashey brown" with a few gray hairs thrown in for fun.

I enjoy the luxury I have of staying home with Phoebe, so I don't mind not having all the extra income which would allow getting my hair done, but I was just worried to do it myself again because, well, my hair was now brown and that means scary stuff in the world of hair lightening. Especially since I know my hair tends to turn toward the "yellow/orange" family if not done correctly and darker hair -- in particular -- when lightened loves to turn these colors.

Yesterday, however, I'd had it. I bought my 10 minute hair dye and decided I'd brave dyeing my own hair for the first time in at least 2 years. As a bonus, it would only take 10 minutes! Things have changed since I last dyed my own hair.

So I read the instructions carefully (even though I've done it about 100 times, I still have to obsessively read the instructions, like my little OCD ritual that if I don't do it will guarantee my hair will turn out like crap) and I put the dye on my hair. The one problem I have with the drug store hair dyes is there's NEVER enough for my mane o' hair. Never. I knew that was going to be the case and I risked it anyway because --yes, readers- I am too cheap to buy 2 boxes of hair dye. Which is funny because I have zero problem whatsoever spending inordinate amounts of money on food and booze. I think this means I have my priorities straight.

Sure enough there wasn't enough to saturate my whole head, but I got the roots covered and most of the hair had the dye on it. The color I picked was pretty close to my highlighted color so I figured even if it wasn't perfect it might actually look like I intended the color to be uneven ....

But it turned out okay. Well, sort of.

My roots are slightly strawberry blonde, but it almost looks natural. The overall color looks really good -- the shade of blonde looks almost better than the salon, if I do say so myself. And the strawberry-blonde root color even suits me. Geoff thinks it looks great (or he's lying because he knows where his bread is buttered -- and I don't care either way as long as he continues complimenting me).

The color seems to have softened up a bit and if my cell phone camera were better at taking pics (or if I hadn't been wearing a sunhat during my 4 mile walk this morning) I'd include a picture here.

I think I might dye my hair again with the same color sometime in the next week just to lighten up the roots because I don't want to have a reddish stripe in my hair when it starts to grow out. I think next time (in 2 months or so) it won't be so obvious because my roots won't be 2 inches long.

Here's to optimism.

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