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The First Adventure – Hair Colors Not Found in Nature

 -So I mentioned turning my hair funny colors. This is that story. Silly photos will be included. 

My hair has been pretty much the same since I was in high school. My hair was long. My hair was brown. My hair was mostly straight with a little bit of wave at the end. I had occasionally tried to change one or another of these factors, but since I never found a short haircut which looked good with my big round face, and I was always just a little too timid to ask for radical changes, I usually ended up with something pretty close to the way it had started. Sometimes it had a little bit more wave to it, and sometimes it had a little bit of highlights. Once, when I got especially daring, the under-layer was a deep green… except that it was dark enough, and covered enough by a layer of brown, that it really didn’t make as much difference as I had hoped.

This is pretty much what my hair has looked like for most of my life:


When I was planning my fiftieth birthday, one of the things I decided to do for it was to get my hair *really* changed. To do this, I first had to find a new stylist, since I typically use the school salon of the local beauty school. They don’t do full color on long, dark hair because it needs to be bleached first, and bleaching long hair has to be done very carefully in order not to weaken the hair too badly. So I spent a couple of weeks poking around the net gasping at prices, and finally steeled myself to select a lady named Lisa Prefume, who specialized in color and probably makes a fortune off it. (Spoiler: she is completely worth what she charges.)

The process took four hours and $400, but Lisa’s salon [Mint, in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle] was as comfortable as it could be, and the whole thing actually felt quicker than it was. I chose the colors — teal and purple, with maybe a little blue mixed in as a transitional thing — but although I’d asked her to do a specific thing with them, I dropped that plan at the last minute and said, “You know what? You’re the expert here… I don’t know whether what I’m asking would look like what I think it would look like, or even if I really want it to. Take the colors I’ve picked and do something with them. It’s your call what. I trust that you’ll figure out something that makes it look pretty.

No pressure or anything! But she said immediately, “That’s great. I know exactly what I’m going to do,” and got to work. 

The first thing she did was bleach it all over. Bleach feels weird. It was like my head was burning, but in a slow, controlled fashion — pleasantly warm at first, and then gradually reaching the temperature at which the frog really should jump out of the pot right around the time when Lisa came back and told me it was time to wash it off. I made sure to get a picture of my hair at the full bleach stage, because I’ve never in my life been even remotely blonde and it looked completely ridiculous on me. 

You, of course, get the benefit of seeing me look completely ridiculous too! Enjoy,

After I had texted ridiculous-blond-Goat photos to everyone I knew, she started pasting the color on. That felt strange too, but in a much cooler and less intimidating way. I’m sure a lot of people reading this have done plenty of hair color in their lives, so you know all about it. To me, the whole process was new. Lisa offered me a nice red wine to drink while I was going through the process, and by the time she started working on the color I was on my third glass, so I was pretty much ready to find giggly excitement in anything that was happening to me. 

This is the final result:

It’s been a couple of weeks now and I still love it. It’s much easier to take care of than I thought — just keep it out of hot water and use a color-fast shampoo/conditioner blend instead of my regular one, and done. This is lovely, since a great deal of the reason why I’ve always kept my hair pretty much the same is that I never have the patience to do anything more with it than wash it, run a brush through it, and get going. The only real change in this case is that I wear shower caps when I take long, hot baths these days (something that’s a regular part of my treatment for the chronic pain disorder) to protect my hair from getting into the water. When I’m ready to wash it, I turn the water to cool and take off the cap. 

Next adventure: the camera. Stay tuned.


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Your hair looks lovely! Go you for adventuring.

I remember a couple years ago when I had my hair done deep purple with lavender highlights, and that “bleached” thing happened. I swear I looked like a WWF wrestler 🙂 You look cuter in blonde than I do.

Bookmarking your blog, will check in regularly…

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