Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Style Spy DIY -- Follicle & Cuticle Edition


I'm having a hair thing.


As some of you may remember, I cut the hell out of my hair at the beginning of the year. And then I cut the further hell out of it a week or so later. That was in January, and it's been growing out ever since. I've had it trimmed & shaped a couple of times, but I've been letting it grow because I decided I didn't like it quite so short. When it was that short, you could tell that it was curly hair, but it didn't actually have curls. I missed my curls. So I've been letting it get a little longer so that my curls would come back, but what I'm left with now is a non-style, the dreaded growing-out period, and above & beyond the fact that my bangs are in my eyes 68% of the time (which I find infuriating -- I don't know how you peekaboo-bang people do it) something has got to give.

But I just don't know what I want. It's next to impossible to find much in the way of short, curly haircuts to show to a stylist, unless you want the full-on Golden Girl, which I most decidedly do not.



Do not go gently into that Aqua-Netted night...



And even if you do find a picture of a style you like, well... with curly hair there are no guarantees. It may not work with your specific curls. Which can vary wildly on a single head. And then there's the dreaded CHSS (Curly Haircut Shock Syndrome) wherein you don't really know what you're hair's going to do with the haircut until a couple of days afterward. It's all pretty up in the air, and for a long time now I've been thinking I'd like to put my head in the hands of someone who really knew curly hair, who specialized in curly hair.

So I'm gonna. The DIY part of this post is NOT the haircut. The haircut is going to happen on Wednesday at a salon that gets rave reviews for cutting curly hair on NaturallyCurly.com (an invaluable resource for curly girls). I will keep you posted.

No, the DIY part is the other half of my usual salon services -- the color. Because the haircut at the new salon is going to be more expensive than my usual, and their color would also be much more, and times are tight no matter what your hair looks like these days; so I decided to conserve a little moolah and take the coloring into my own hands.

I m not a natural redhead, but I have been coloring my hair red since I was in my late teens. I do not feel bad about this. The Universe may not have given me the correct color hair, but it did give me the sense to recognize it and do something about it, so it's all okay. I have gone through brief periods in my life when I colored it myself, back when it was very, very long, and it was always a tragic mess doing it. I've been paying someone else to do it for a long time now. So I was nervous about this.

My hair is curly, which means it's extremely porous and easy to damage, so I decided I wanted a semi-permanent color. (Also, ya know, what if I screwed it up? Would that all the mistakes in my life could be semi-permanent, huh?) So this is what I went with:



Gotta say -- my hair looks good! It's a really pretty color, and pretty true to what's on the box, maybe a touch deeper. It is red, but it's not crazy, unreasonable, not-found-in-nature red and the color is sheer enough that natural high- & low-lights show through. I'm going to need to refine my technique a bit, I think, to work on my roots, which are not all that well covered. Next time I'm going to do a root application and let the color sit there for several minutes before pulling it through to the rest of my hair. happily, roots are less of a problem when your hair is as curly as mine -- there isn't really a discernible part in my hair where they show. The product was easy to work with, didn't have a horrifying smell, and comes with a conditioner to use after you wash it out. It's nice & soft.

A couple of days later and I have now washed my hair and the color seems to be sticking pretty well. I think that after I get it cut on Wednesday I'm going to grab another box of the stuff and do my roots, which are really bothering me. But other than that -- so far, so good. I'm pretty satisfied with the results.

So how about you guys? anyone out there color your own hair? Any recs on especially good products or warnings on especially bad ones?





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12 comments:

Madame Suggia said...

Yes..a warning. If you want red, do not...and I mean DO NOT...use Feria. Their reds are super-intense, and not in a good way, more in a I'm-wearing-a red-hair-helmet-way. I'm thinking here of the Great Magenta Hair Disaster of 2007...*shudder*. And as a direct result of that hideous trauma, I can recommend 'Color Oops' as a great color remover.

Maravonda said...

Madame Suggia is right about Feria...I wore my hair bright bright red for several years in the 90s and while I loved it, in retrospect, it may have been a little scary. Now I have Marilyn Monroe blonde hair that I keep up myself using SuperBlonde and as lon as it's done properly, it turns out great...the bleach will break the already white hair, just the roots need covered. The point is, you certainly can do most things at home if you are patient and brave. I would suggest getting some of the "red" hair shampoo as the reds fade like mad. Good luck and keep us posted...

Alison said...

I don't have any real color advice other than I've colored my hair at home many times with great results. I usually go for a shade or two darker than my basic brown hair.

I do understand the curly hair dilemma though. My hair is almost as curly as your hair is. The search for a fun, funky hair style can be never ending. I wish you luck finding a style you love. I haven't poked around on Naturallycurly.com for a while... I need to go back and see what I can find. Maybe some time you can do a little post on what products you love. I'd to hear what you like.

Lucy said...

I'm curious which Austin salon you're visiting that specializes in curly hair. I've been getting great curly cuts from Christina at Vitali. I've also been dyeing to cover gray for 12 years--I learned to avoid box color a while back. You can get a bottle of that Clairol red, possibly under another name, at Sally's. I use Wella developer. It seems to take better on the gray and be easier on my fine porous hair. I don't pull the color through at all, I just do the roots. There's less damage that way.

dot said...

I wish I could see it ON you. : )

I'm the only woman I know who has never coloured my hair. I'm wondering what I'm going to do when I start going grey. My hair has so many colours in it - it's brown but it goes all different lighter shades from the sun - my hairdresser said it's such a treat to see a woman with 'virgin hair'. I think if I decide not to go grey, I'd like to have that colour red, it's gorgeous.

Speaking of red... have you seen this on -h's blog?

http://pretaporterprostitute.blogspot.com/2009/09/kenneth-cole-new-york-red-pump-sz-7.html

I forget: was it the wrong size, was that why?

xoxo

dot said...

p.s. re: styles: I was looking at a lot of films recently from the 40s, 50s, and even 30s films have a lot of haircuts that I haven't seen in recent history: those tight little curls, the kind of early Audrey Hepburn pixie short bangs.. even a bit early Lucille Ball. You know what I'm talking about? Like you say, cuts are risky with curly hair because it can go either way, but it would be such a cool look.. a slightly longish short cut, basically. I wonder if it's possible, or if those were tightly set to get that shape.

Maravonda said...

Oh! Lucy is right about the Wella color that you use with developer. I got it at Sally's and used it for many years with great results and no damage...the people at Sally's will explain it to you, and don't be freaked out that you are adding peroxide (developer) to activate it, that's how it works. And get the creamy developer, and it is much easier. Good advice,Lucy!

Plumcake said...

When I colored my hair I had better luck with Wella than with anything and I will echo the sentiments of the previous posters by saying Feria is evil. From my understanding, any color with serious quantities of metallic salts are going to be the ones that turn you eggplant/magenta etc. Good luck!

Madame Suggia said...

Re the color at Sally's...when I was a red head, I used Kolleston (sp?) chilli red with 9% peroxide and got a stunning, deep rich red. Too much for my now 44 year old self, but in my late 20's/early 30's I looked fabulous! But avoid the pinto color, too purple...

Thumbelina Fashionista said...

I love red hair, but I could never do it. I've never dyed my hair and I don't intend to unless I go gray. I think Asians look best with black hair, but if I wasn't Asian, I'd do red. It's so beautiful. Maybe Anne of Green Gables got me turned on to it?

Bonjour Madame said...

For a while i used Garnier Nutrisse and found it to be very easy to use and it did the job. I looked at the reviews for hair color on makeupalley.com to see which ones got good reviews first. I get mine colored at the salon now because I tend to let my ends get too dark when I do it myself.

kelly said...

I use fekkai, and buy 2 boxes: one a shade darker than the other. It has a brush applicator, and I use the lighter color in front, then alternate the two colors through the middle and finish with the darker color in back. It looks very natural and professional, and costs $60, but it still wayy cheaper than what a salon highlighting would cost (last time: $250).