Friday, July 15, 2011

A strategic attempt at losing (male, but also female) readers

If you happen to have very dark hair, and to get notions about dyeing the tips a funny (neon, pastel...) color, beware: the very orangey-ness it will have taken so long to bleach out in the first place will return, once the "pink" that was too orangey to start with begins to fade. (I made it fade, dammit, using the Internet-suggested dish-soap and dandruff-shampoo methods). The tips of my hair are now what I believe is called a "brassy" blond, yellow-orange, marginally less clown-hair-like with each shampoo, but not what I started out with at all. So, if you've been inspired to ombré, and somewhere in the process, you inadvertently get your hair a color you find acceptable, choose that point to stop, even if it means the blond-but-not-a-blond look rather than something more exciting. You might end up with something fabulous like this, which is not so different from what I had before the failed attempt at pink. Oh, and I now covet that haircut, which is a good thing too, as I believe I'm due for getting a few inches chopped off soon (see above).

My sense, as a graduate of a renowned beauty school, is that if I'd like to keep the length (aka avoid going to a hair salon, because what an expensive pain in the neck that is) what has to happen is, I'd have to re-bleach the ends. But the thought of going back to the hair-stuff store in Heidelberg, where the product I'd need is kept behind the counter, thus necessitating a mix of the German I learned to buy coffee and apricots and the pointing-method (it having been established that the woman who works there does not speak English), is too daunting. Ich moechte the bleach, yes, the strong one. Aka, Ricky's it is, unless the orange goes away on its own before that time.


Britta said...

How is the texture of the hair? My guess is after being washed with dish soap, the ends are so dry you probably would want to cut them off regardless of color. In terms of if they'll get less orange, it sounds like you did bleach them very blonde, but dyeing it pink made it turn orange again? It's possible the orange might fade, but at that point your hair texture of the tips would be straw. It's also possible that something in your hair has latched onto the orange in the dye and it's impossible to get out. As teenagers I dyed my sister's light ash blonde hair with lime koolaide, which turned it chartreuse. Since ash blonde already has a faint cool toned cast, the hair held on to the chartreuse long after the color should have completely faded, and only went away when it grew out completely and she cut it off. Your hair might be doing something similar with the warmer orange tone.

Phoebe said...

The texture of the ends was kind of shot to begin with, since my hair's quite long and I was probably overdue for a trim. That's why I wasn't too concerned about what bleach and/or dye and/or dish soap would do. Anyway, I do think something orange in the dye is perma-stuck to the ends, even though the pink-looking quality only lasted a brief moment. My completely illogical theory is that, because I was kind of redheaded as a child, my hair on some level wants to be that color. More likely, though, pink/red dye just stains, esp. when on already-damaged (extra-porous) hair. If it's not washed back to a non-clownish color by the time I go back to NY, I guess it's either more bleach or, more likely a (professional) haircut.

Britta said...

I know from a high school bleaching project on a Japanese friend that red is intermediary between very dark hair and light hair, and so bleaching dark hair always turns it red before it can get light. If you did have reddish hair as a kid, it might also be you have red highlights that are normally masked by your dark hair, but come out when it's lightened.

Phoebe said...


Having gone to a high school where nearly all kids had naturally very dark hair, and where many of us attempted odd hair colors, I'm going to agree that red-orange is kind of inevitable. Which is why I can't figure out how some ombré I've seen online fades to light brown - probably something about what can be done by a professional, vs. what can be done by a teenager (or grad student) with bleach. And yes, my hair has red highlights, not even all that masked, but bleach makes it more so. At one point I took that classic advice to make one's hair the color it was when one was a child, but it turns out red does not work with my coloring.

Britta said...

Ha, it's funny how hair color works. Also, why can blondes go red (Christina Hendrix, Cynthia Nixon) but redheads can't go blonde (Nicole Kidman, Lindsay Lohan)?

In unrelated hair news, but related fashion news, I ended up getting 2 pairs of the J Crew 3" Chino shorts, and I absolutely love them. They're like the perfect short. They make my legs look long, they are loose fitting and comfortable in flattering way, and they look appropriate for someone my age to wear. I have them in city red, which I like although it is more orange than tomato red, like I was expecting, and oxford blue (kind of a light gray/lavender blue), which they don't sell on the internet but which I absolutely love and paid full price for. I would seriously consider getting multiple more pairs, even though I don't really need more shorts.

Phoebe said...

Yes, red hair's tough - I'd say it works on pale blondes, but on someone with California-surfer complexion, maybe not? I thought I could pull it off, what with my pallor, but it just looked odd.

And yes, the shorts are great. It's not really shorts weather in Heidelberg, but back in NY it ought to be.