"Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it." - Ferris Bueller

Sunday, February 18, 2007

A little old man and a box of dye.

I don't know when it was that I became "too good" for boxed hair-dye. I am one of those people who always colors their hair and who has no idea what their natural color is. I am quite sure that it is an icky mousy brown with a side of graying. When I first started college, I colored it a bright red because I could. Plus, I was still finding myself and I thought I was one of those grunge girls who wore flannel and Doc Martins and listened to Pearl Jam. Then in my early 20's, I got a real job and went a little less red and a little more brown. All of this, thanks to Natural Instincts hair dye. It was temporary so I changed it all the time but it was usually some shade of red. Then there was a transformation somewhere when I left boxed hair dye. It may have been around the same time I left boxed wine. I am not sure. So I went from the $6 dollar hairdo to the $100 hairdo and had a professional do it. It looked pretty much the same, it just lasted longer, so if, perchance, there was a disaster, I was screwed.

Today, I reverted back. I went to a cheapy salon, if you can call it that, and asked for a haircut. I didn't think you could go wrong with long hair, just trim the layers and the length a bit. I walked in, and I swear, I thought the little old guy at the register was the owner. Not a stylist. Surprise! He looked like a little old barber from Queens, with his white hair slicked back, scruff on the face, the guy in the little shop on the corner with the swirly pole outside, and that everyone knows and his name is Nick or Sal or something Italian. I was waiting for him to say, "Take a seat, Sally will be right with you." Instead, he said, "Come on over." And I had second thoughts and panicked and almost fled. What was this guy going to know about a modern lady's hair?? Calm down, it's long hair. He can't screw up, I thought. So I sat in the chair, and he cut my hair dry instead of wet, and he combed it with the tiniest comb ever and the pain of the knots going through that tiny comb was almost more than I could take. I asked him for long layers, don't take too much off! (please) and I asked him to cut my bangs back into my hair because they had grown out. But not too short, because right before my sister's wedding, the guy at my normal, expensive salon cut my bangs so short I looked like a second grader who mistakenly got a hold of the scissors and cut her own hair and had to wear it like that for weeks with her mom saying "See? I told you so." And I have pictures of it to last a lifetime. Yippee.

Anyway, the old guy got it done. $14 bucks. It was still dry so I couldn't tell how it was going to really look until I got home and washed it and styled it my own way. I threw it back up into a ponytail and headed for CVS. I picked out one of my old neutralish-reddish brown Natural Instincts, headed home and finished the job. Boy the smell brought back memories.

I chose to do this not because it was cheaper, although that helped, but because I feel like I don't have time anymore to spend 4 or 5 hours in a hair salon. Plus, I wanted to get in right away, not in two weeks, when they can fit me in. Maybe I am completely ghetto now, but I swear to you, after dying, drying and styling, this was one of my best haircuts ever!!!! I'm busting! I thought for sure I would come home and post about another salon disaster, like my many before, when I'm sitting in the chair steaming and thinking "surely she's not going to leave it like this!!!" But not this time!! And not that I will always go this route, but what a great quick-fix. I just cannot believe what a little old man and a box of dye can do for my self esteem.


Robin said...

Ohh..I dream of a cheap haircut! I started highlighting/lowlighting and now I am addicted! My long locks cost a mere $130 for a color..haircut is usually around $40..
I am such a salon whore though..I don't think I could bring myself to trust anything cheaper. Why? Why does price matter? Just because it is more expensive does not mean it is better..
I have never colored my own hair..never so brave!
Love the pearl jam/flannel image..
Too bad you don't live closer, I think we would make great friends! Then we could go to the salon together, drink wine and reminisce about the 80's...:)

Skittles said...

Lucky, lucky you! I can count the good haircuts I've had in 50 years on one hand probably ;)

I say, "Do this but a little shorter." Can they do that??? NoOooOoo lol

I don't remember my real color either!

Ellie said...

Great post! I love the whole thing, the build up of not knowing if it was going to be a good one or a bad one. It was a good one! Yayyyyy....

Thanks for commenting last night when I had my meltdown of sorts and landed in "Wit's End" for a few hours. Happy to say I am better today!!!!

Tammie Jean said...

A $14 haircut??? That is unheard of! Good for you!

Do you actually dye your hair by yourself, without help? It sounds messy! I've never tried it.

But the darn salon gets me for $130 every time...

scribbit said...

I've been so spoiled, my cousin (a hairdresser) cut my hair. She'd charge me $50 for a cut and highlights and she'd come to my house to do it.

Can you beat it? And then she moved.