Wednesday, May 23, 2012

in which I ask very important questions about my hair

Is 32 an appropriate age to go through a midlife crisis? Because a few weeks back I was almost half way through my 32nd year and suddenly consumed with the idea that I needed to do something to make myself seem younger. Cooler. Not so mom-to-two-kids-ish. I happened to have a hair appointment that afternoon and I decided to ask my stylist to bleach my tips and dye them purple. I mean, why not? I'd never had purple hair before (Red hair that was probably a bit closer to purple than red, yes. But straight up purple? No.) and figured if not now, when?

So I asked. And she refused.

Turns out you can't go in for a cut and ask for a dye job because there just isn't time for that kind of ridiculousness. But she also refused in general saying that tips were not really what I wanted. She suggested I book another appointment and let her bleach some streaks hidden under a layer of hair which we could then color. I agreed and went back a month later for my dye job.

And again she refused.

Well, she technically only partially refused. She agreed to go ahead with bleaching some streaks but when it was time to add in some dye, she said she felt like I should really skip the dye and live with the blonde for a little bit. Then she dried my hair and handed me a mirror to check it out. I was unimpressed. Sure, the blonde was neat but it was so hidden and not what I had in mind. But you apparently can't make your hairdresser do something she doesn't want to do, so I went on my way.

I've lived with the blonde for about three weeks now and dammit I still want purple. Here's some of the blonde when you lift up the top layer (Please note my bald spot. I lost so much more hair after Pippa than I did after Truman. Thank god it's growing back)

Holy crap, that's blonde. But once that layer is down, the blonde disappears:

So let me ask you, is it worth the begging I will have to do to get my stylist to dye it purple? The blonde layer goes all the way around my head but really isn't that visible as you can see in the picture. When I run and have my hair in a ponytail I have a pretty awesome racing stripe which makes me want to wear a ponytail all the time. In this picture from a previous post, you can see that sometimes the blonde works it way out into daylight:

Do I beg or not? Is this bad idea jeans at their finest? Do I need to forget about the purple and move on with my old lady life?


  1. You don't need to beg, you need to find a new stylist.

    I understand them strongly cautioning you (I do drastic things all the time and I always have to swear up and down to the stylist that I will not freak out) but after you've asked for two styles and have left disappointed both times, it's time to find someone who will do what you want.

    Viva la purple!

  2. I don't know if you should have purple hair, if you want it get it. It's just hair. I do think that the blonde under-dye is kind of weird.

    I do think that you should not BEG a service provider for anything. If she isn't comfortable putting purple streaks in your hair or doing tips that's her choice I guess. But I'd find someone else to do it. You're a grown up, you shouldn't have a hard time finding someone to pay to do what you want even if it is misguided in their opinion (it isn't like you're asking a surgeon to cut off a working arm!).

    This is an interesting question though. I'm seeing my colorist this afternoon, I might bring it up with her!

  3. If she's hesitated this much after you've repeatedly asked for something, I'd find a new stylist. Maybe someone who specializes in color?

    I've got an appointment next week for a cut and color, and I'm toying with the idea of adding some dark red or something because my hair is long now and dammit, I want to do something fun with it!

  4. go for the purple. i feel like the blonde can look like just brassy sunbleaching, whereas a color looks purposeful.

  5. I feel like the blonde is awesome and if you want purple streaks or blonde streaks or whatever, go for it! Life is too short, it's just hair, etc. At this point I'd probably just do it myself but I don't know if you have access to bleach, etc where you maybe find some hipster on Yelp to obey your commands.

  6. Oh man...get a new stylist! I mean, if you want to experiment with your hair, she should be on board! Funky color is all the rage right now, I'm surprised she'd be so resistant.

    I'd do it in heartbeat if I didn't work for a giant corporate overlord who frowns on that type of thing. One more reason I need to be working for myself :)

  7. I agree, new stylist. Now regarding the colour, I've recently decided I NEED bubble gum pink streaks. So I say go for it!

  8. Absolutely get the purple!! And she already did the hard part by bleaching that section. You could probably dye it yourself. And the midlife crisis? I think it's normal because I'm going through the exact same thing. I went out and bought a bass guitar for god's sake! I like the color idea. Have you thought about pink? I might try that. :)

  9. Ok, real talk from my colorist Starr:

    1. Do not go back to that person. She should never have agreed to an appointment to do something she didn't want to do. She should have just told you to find someone else.

    2. But it's stupid she wouldn't do it the tips. It's hair, it should be fun and that's a perfectly reasonable request. Starr would give me purple tips if I wanted (she said she'd give me a two-minute discussion about how I'd maintain them, etc but if I said it was what I wanted then she would do some amazeballs purple tips).

    3. Starr thinks possibly the reason she didn't want to do it is that she doesn't have the skills. To do what you want: lay a color like purple in on light brown hair you have to fully lift out the brown and make it as white as possible first. It can't be "blonde", "butter" or "yellow" you want it to not have any other color in it (as much as you can without completely destroying it). Then you can put in whatever colour you want. She said a lot of colorists aren't that great at the lifting color part without the destroying part.

    4. She said I could send her a photo of your blonde streak and she'd tell you if it was blonde enough to do what you want.

    5. If you don't lift the brown enough, then you just get a kind purplish brown and not, as she thinks you'd expect, the real super purple. The difference between what happens with blonde+purple and white+purple is sort of snarling high school rebellion and high fashion.

    (aside: I curl with someone who has purple hair, she does it herself and you can see old vs. new color and that it's done on regular blondeish hair. And her hair is kind of crazy strawlike. Though the whole effect actually works for her. This would not be a good look for you.)

    6. Once the brown is out, putting in the purple though is a no-brainer. You could do that at home. If you want to do it:
    a) Manic Panic is actually pretty good (then I had high school flashbacks for like 30 seconds) and will wear out nicely. It's a good choice if you want purple now but might want pink or yellow or something else later.
    b) There's a brand of really really good bright dyes that she would use that are pro level. If you want some, she'll get me some and I can mail it to you with some instructions that involve saran wrap and, hopefully, a girlfriend.
    c) It's messy to do it yourself but, again, super easy to put in the color. Have wine with your girlfriend and use old towels.

    7. If you come here, she'll do it for you.

    8. She had no specific recommendations but said you could easily find lots of good colorists in Austin who could do it and woudln't blink. She was open-mouth incredulous that your sylist talked you into a blonde layer and then left it like that.

    So there you go! Starr is awwwwwwesome.

  10. DO IT! I was just telling my hairdresser that I want to go purple whenever I get a new job (in between this job and the next) b/c when else would I? You only live once, go for it!

  11. 1) new stylist.
    2) Mary-Ann is awesome.
    3) I wish I were more daring with my hair.
    4) Lovin' the bitch face! Viva la bitch face!

  12. i agree with every one else here... find a new stylist & go for it!

  13. Oh dear... I made an appointment for pink hair. See what you started!?!

  14. I'm generally in favor of purple hair, but mostly I just want to thank you for being the one other person I know who refers to that SNL bit. I am constantly wondering if things are bad idea jeans.

  15. First time reader. So, I may be the odd man out here but purple hair is a bit drastic. That said, do you work outside the home? What kind of business are you in? If you're in an office would management be okay with it?

    As for begging a stylist to style your hair. No. If she doesn't think it would look good or she can't do it so to skill then she needs to be honest and say that. Be frank with her and have her explain why he refused to do what you asked. That is if you like her enough

  16. I'm a little late to the party, but if you're nervous about making the plunge; have you tried those clip-ins? They come in all different colors and you can experiment before finally decide that purple is the way to go.

    Then you can punch your stylist in the face and tell her the hair made you do it.