Monday, July 23, 2007

Give me a head with hair, long, beautiful hair

Or at least hair that doesn't look like I fell head first into a bucket of Clorox. As promised, here is the Great Hair Saga.

Actually, this is really my fault, I think. I'm pretty sure I miscommunicated what I was going after, and I paid the price for my niceness.

For the last few months, I've been keeping my hair in a short, pixie style. It took a lot of courage for me to get my hair all cut off in the first place, and I had it done before we moved here from Raleigh. My impetus for cutting off my locks was that I was sick of colouring my hair, but it was two-toned where the roots were growing in. I figured the easiest thing to do was to cut it all off, and I was really pleased at the results. But as so often happens in my life, just when I finally feel settled somewhere, we end up moving. Radio's a little like being in military, but with more moving, and weaker morale.

So, I had to go in search of another hair stylist. I tried to call a few, but unfortunately, we moved at the height of prom season, and I couldn't get an appointment to save my life. I ended up going to a place in the mall, and the woman didn't listen to anything I said. I wasn't happy. So, the search continued. Then my husband suggested this little place in Rincon (the town we're closest to) that he went to, to get his hair cut. He wears his hair very short, so I figured they at least knew how to cut hair short. So I went, and I was very happy.

The place we go to get our hair cut (yes, the whole family), is locally owned place and is the epitome of the small-town southern beauty salon. It's in a tin-roofed house, across from the elementary school, with a few women with very blond hair who call everyone "honey". Imagine Trudy's salon from Steel Magnolias and you'll get the idea. You'll see everyone in there, from old ladies, getting their permanents and blond rinses, to men getting their hair shaved close.

So, I got to feeling bold this past week after my haircut, and talked to my stylist about highlights. She thought some blond streaks would be good, and I agreed, so I went back in Thursday afternoon.

Well, she broke out the frosting cap. For those not in the know, a frosting cap is basically a plastic bonnet with holes in it. The stylist then uses what looks like a crochet hook to pull strands of hair through the holes to colour them, leaving your natural hair colour underneath. Now, I was thinking maybe a few foils, a couple of blond streaks in my normally brown hair. But we got to talking, and she got to pulling and before I knew it, I looked like a Barbie doll with a bad haircut. I also thought we were going with a "golden" or "honey" toned blond. And I'm pretty sure I wound up with bleach on my head. This was the result:

Not pretty, I know. I look a little like Taylor Hicks. But the good thing was you really couldn't see my gray hair. Of course, you also really couldn't see any of my hair . I was in shock. I thought maybe if I lived with it for a couple days, I'd get over it. But Ray didn't really like it, and the more I looked at it, neither did I. The worst part was, in my zeal to trim up some of the more damaged ends on my bangs, I inadvertently snipped off part of my left eyebrow. No, I don't have a picture of that, so don't bother asking.

So I sheepishly called the salon Friday morning, and asked when I could colour over what we'd done. To her credit, my stylist, Jessica, said if I wasn't happy, she would fix it for free. I was so overcome with relief, I almost cried right there on the phone.

Back I went, Friday afternoon, after taking the cats in for their vet appointment. Back I went to the chair, and this time, instead of the cap, she painted over my head with a lovely chestnut brown.

However, it was hotter than hell in that salon. Did I mention they don't have central air conditioning, and that it was 98 degrees Fahrenheit outside? Oh, that's about 37 degrees Celsius for my friends outside the U.S. They had two window units for the whole house. So, here I was , my head wrapped in plastic, a plastic cape wrapped around my neck and covering my body, and I was headed to sit under the big dryer, which was located in the back of the house on an enclosed porch, with very little insulation.

Quick aside: I've loved these dryers since I was a kid. I always thought they represented something rather glamourous, ladies lined up with these giant heated helmets, reading their fashion magazines. I've always been fascinated with them, really.

But it was so hot, I thought I was going to die. And then Jessica asked me if I wanted a Popsicle. I thought the heat was making me hallucinate, or the sound of the dryer was affecting my hearing, but she asked me again, and in a daze I answered yes.

There I was, not the picture of glamour, wrapped head to toe in plastic, head trapped inside a beehive shaped heater, sucking on a grape Popsicle. And yet, I was strangely contented.
The good news is, these were the results:

I am so grateful to Jessica for fixing my hair, and doing it with a smile on her face. She put it back to it's original colour, but better, because now that I've washed it a few times and been out in the sun, the parts that were originally bleached are lighter than the darker parts of my hair, so it actually looks like I have natural highlights now.

And Jen's hairs all lived happily ever after.

The End.


willowtree said...

I've got nothing.

Jen said...

willowtree: Do you mean you've got nothing as in no hair, or you're just so aghast at this post you've been rendered speechless?

bellevelma said...

My mom went through something similar recently. Only the hairdresser who did the original damage and then said she'd "fix it for free" made it worse. I think it was the 3rd or perhpas the 4th try that she got her hair like she originally wanted it - that was with a totally different hairdresser too.

I like the color you've ended up with. Much better than the blonde.

Dad said...

No comment.

Gurnal said...

I think it looks fine. I've always liked the short hair look on you. And a grape popsicle to boot. Yum. Your ordeal reminds me of the time I was just a couple of weeks into the Memphis stint and I went to Fantastic Sam's only to be told they didn't know how to cut my hair.


I'm glad it worked out.

The Rotten Correspondent said...

I think the chestnut brown looks really nice. The mental image of you with Dolly Parton handing you a popsicle is priceless.

Dumdad said...

One of the advantages of being non-hirsute, for me anyway, is that I don't have to visit the barber's (is that word used nowadays?) My wife bought me a hair-cutting kit some years ago and it's great and has saved a ton of money. I am the barber!

And I don't have to sit in the chair listening to the hairdresser trying to be kind by asking "How would sir like his hair?" when really he's thinking "polished with mat or gloss finish?"

Anyway, I think your hair looks fine (both versions).

willowtree said...


mjd said...

I love all the pictures, and your haircut is so cute. Although I am beauty parlor shy and cut my own hair, I do have pedicures at a rather sophisticated place in our town. I enjoy watching the transformation in others. I have noticed that people having highlights look a little like zebras so the highlighting trends do seem a little weird to me.

No air conditioning in Savannah in July with the beauty salon odors , whew that is hot.

JRH said...

Well, I just have to agree with Dumdad and say I like it both ways.

I do visit a barber...ah, excuse me, a stylist, I mean - the same one Mrs. Me uses, in fact, although most of my hair has migrated to the sides and back of my head...sorta Bozo style, ya know?

Jen said...

Gurnal how could they not know how to cut your hair? I mean, really!

Many thanks to those lovely gentlemen dumdad and jrh for the nice things said about my hair. But you'll notice that almost all of the women pretty much agreed that blond was not my colour.

And I apologize for the clutter in the background of my pictures. You see, they were shot in my defacto office, which is also the holding room for the hundreds of books that have yet to find homes for themselves.

Jo Beaufoix said...

Jen, gosh I'm late today.
I love the darker colour too.
It goes with your amazing eyes.

RC is write, the image of Dolly Parton handing out popsicles is fab.
That film made me cry though.

Mya said...

I'm with the rest of the girls - brunette suits you best. It looks fab! But it's good to have tried it blonde, because you'd never have known , would you? Blondes definitely don't have more fun.

Mya x

Kay said...

I think its adorable. Both colors suit you in my opinion

Flutterbot said...

Hmm oops! Kay is me ;) I was signed on to my OTHER gmail acct.. hehe

Saphyre Rose said...

hmmm, well I liked both of the colors.
You got an adorable little face and you are lucky to be able to wear your hair short.
I ask hubby if I should cut my hair for the summer and he says, "No, because I will then have to hear you complain for the next two years that you cannot French braid your hair. No thanks."
Humph! I hate it when he is right.

You look great, be happy.
I had a bad problem once with a perm, I got hair down the middle of my back. I had a body perm in and it was growing out. It was a nice perm actually gave my perfectly straight hair some body.
I was visiting my SIL and she said let me give you a perm. I tried back pedaling out of the episode but she was family and I am too damn nice.
When she got done with me, my long hair was now touching my shoulder with the amount of curl she put in.
She looked at me and said, "it will relax after a few washings."
It didn't relax after 10 washings.
What it did do was break my hair.
I would comb my hair and the ends would just fall off.
I went to my regular hair dresser and apologized for cheating on her, and she said, "we need to do intensive treatments...LOTS of intensive treatments to save your hair." *gulp*
6 months and 12 intensive treatments later my hair started to live again. I had to get it slowly cut off, but it is back to its regular baby fine, frustratingly poker straight hair.
My only advice to people out there on the blogosphere, never let a family member do your hair...even if they have had a hair license for 30 years!