Thursday, May 10, 2012

Done dyed it

I am not someone who embraces change easily, at least not in my appearance. A look at my drivers license photo (taken when I was 18) or passport photo (taken when I was 19) underline the fact that I have changed very little over the last decade. I no longer wear my hair at hippie lengths to be sure (and can't imagine why I ever did, thinking back on the 6 hours I would spend watching re-runs of Law & Order and waiting for it to dry); however, I otherwise look almost exactly the same. Normally, I'm fine with that and embrace the youthful 18-year-old glow that gets me frequently carded at bars, but recently I wanted to shake things up a bit.

Disclaimer: As the title and first paragraph would suggest, what follows is a very detailed discussion of dying my hair. If lengthy, self-absorbed descriptions of routine minutiae bore you, continue at your own risk.

I think this feeling was first bred by being dissatisfied with my hair generally. My usual money-saving "6-months-between-haircuts" plan had, due to being busy and forgetting about it, gone a solid 8 months. My hair became bushy and shapeless, which was only compounded by New York's recent rain forest level humidity. During the time leading up to finally getting my hair cut, I decided I wanted to do something drastic. I started looking at henna because I wanted something natural but that would leave a dramatic change.

Unfortunately for my spirit of adventure, there is the Internet. After reading a few too many horror stories about blond hair and henna (turning green! becoming brassy! lasting for months!), I chickened out. Not only did I back off from henna, but I transitioned from permanent to semi-permanent dyes. If it was semi-permanennt, I reasoned, I could go for a more ballsy change without worrying about messing up my hair for months. Also, I wouldn't have to worry about roots.

But then I cut my hair, and it looked good (see Figure A below to make your own judgement on that). It had a shape and hope again. Suddenly, I no longer hated my hair and wondered why I ever had. This thus torpedoed all hope of drastic change. I ended up choosing a shade of semi permanent dye that was just a few shades darker than my natural color. Still. Baby steps.

Figure A: The Before. Well not really the total "before" as this was already post-hair cut. You don't want to see the true before...

In process. My awesome friend not only supplied adroit hair dying skills, but also wine and pizza! A true full service salon experience.

The after. My hair was pretty frizzy because of the aforementioned humidity, so the only reason I'm posting this photo is because my friend also did my makeup while I was there (see? full service), so my face is all pretty-fied.

The final result this morning, properly straightened on a less humid day. Weirdly it came out sort of red, which is different from the lady on the box, but I'll take it!

So yeah, that's what I look like now, just so you're up to date. No anonymity here on Living the Astorian Dream! If any readers see me walking around the neighborhood, feel free to say hi. If you're lucky, I might even give you my social security number. 


  1. I must get the name of your stylist!

  2. Wow! It looks really cute! I love the outfit in the last picture also.

  3. I love it! I also usually goes a good six months in between hair cuts and am currently pushing seven, I think. I need a change too. I don't know if I want to dye my hair, but I once did get some subtle reddish highlights and I remember that looking pretty good. Maybe I'll try that again. Maybe after I get a job, that could be a little treat to myself to celebrate! You've inspired me, Susan!

  4. Ooo I love it!! It makes your eyes pop. Way to go! Haha remember when you dyed my hair black? I'm glad your adventure in dying your hair turned out much better. At least we know now that I can't pull of black. :)

  5. Very nice! Will permanent color be next? My hair used to come out very red when I dyed it brown, so I guess you got that from me.

  6. pretty pretty pretty! love both the color and the straightening!

  7. My stylist told me that if your hair is fairly light to start with (as yours is) that you can do semi-permanent, with the difference being that there's nothing to strip your existing color as there would be in a permanent dye.