I think most women would agree that they have a love-hate relationship with their hair. I’m not any different and would argue that perhaps my relationship is even more complicated.
You see, I’m an adventurous person, and not surprisingly, I have the same attitude about my hair. My philosophy has always been that hair is temporary. Everything can eventually be fixed and so I’ve recklessly tried experiments with perms and hair styles.
Then about a dozen years ago I met a Master Colourist by the name of Naz. She was a refugee from Iran and she knew hair.
By this point, I was frustrated with my fine hair that stubbornly would not be what I wanted it to be. With 4 siblings, how was it that I could be the only one without curly hair?
My relationship with Naz started off innocently enough. I gave her carte blanche to suggest new things to do with my hair and I rarely resisted her ideas. She worked her magic and I was happy.
We reached a critical point the day I asked her to buzz all my hair off. I was about to head out to Tanzania to climb Kilimanjaro and the thought of unwashed greasy hair for 7 days on the trail filled me with dread. I’d rather have no hair than dirty hair.
After careful negotiation, we agreed to leave *some* hair and she buzzed my head.
From that point on however, Naz became bolder and edgier in her suggestions.
Electric blue streaks, white bangs against my dark brunette, feathers, extensions, and eventually blonde. I did them all.
Did you know that to take a brunette to blonde, the colour needs to be stripped from the hair to its *base* tone under the hair’s pigment?
My first *oh dear* moment occurred during that process. We discovered to my horror that my base colour was orange. That explained all those years of fighting a copper undertone in my hair.
… but Naz was always in control and knew what to do.
I did not transition easily from being a brunette to a blonde. There was an involuntary cringe every time I caught my reflection in a mirror. It just wasn’t *me*, so after 2 years as a blonde, I decided to embrace my natural colour again for the first time in over 15 years.
The truth was I didn’t really know what my colour was anymore.
It turns out I was gray. Very, very gray.
About a year ago, tired of seeing mostly gray hair every time I looked in a mirror, I challenged the lovely Naz once again to give me a new look. We agreed on reintroducing enough brown to my hair to reduce the gray to about 40%. I was happy again.
However, since then Naz has been getting restless and yesterday when I walked in for my regular appointment, she was practically vibrating with excitement.
“Let’s do something different today”, she said hopefully.
I asked her what she had in mind.
“Negatory on the red, Naz. Nay. Niet. Nein. Nope. Not a chance.”
I’m pretty sure you can guess what happened next.
We agreed on *plum* highlights combined with my usual brunette lowlights … however it went very, very wrong.
My gray picked up ALL of the red and NONE of the brown.
It wasn’t pretty. All that bright blood-red in my hair looked like I was bleeding from my scalp.
I was my second “oh dear” moment, but I wasn’t panicking – yet. It’s just hair and it can be fixed. Right?
The fix however obliterated virtually all of my gray … and the *plum*? Well, let’s say I’m getting used to being a red head.