Thursday, February 19, 2009

Follicle Fear

happy as a blonde, it seems
did being a brunette drive her to drink? hmmm.....things to think about!

I have a few fears-I'm afraid of snakes and spiders. Although, I am not really afraid of them-i just don't like anything that could be poisonous that can sneak up on me. I grew up in the country, and there were all sorts of snakes-from harmless snakes to really dangerous ones like water mockessins and copperheads. And being that I never cared to study the creatures, I wouldn't know the difference so suffice to say, I don't like any of them. Maybe it's the startle factor and the way they look-all sneaky and diabolical. Spiders always try to hide under things once discovered-with those quick legs-I was attacked by a giant spider once, I was in school and it scarred me for life. I wento put on my running shoes, and when i picked it up by the tongue, a spider the size of my hand crawled out. I screamed, dropped the shoe, grabbed WD40 and windex (the closest things to me) and sprayed the bejeezus out of that thing, double fisting my chemical warfare upon this 8-legged assassin. Once I was sure he was a gonner, I ran to get my father, a Vietnam Combat Medic, who came to dispose of the carnage. Well, don't you know that persistant little spider had vanished! All that was left was a pool of windex and WD40 and an empty sneaker. All I could think was that he laid in wait for me to exact his revenge for dousing him in household sprays. My Dad eventually found him and killed him for me.

But I digress, aside from what I gather as a mutual hatred between me and spiders, and snakes, I would say there is a bigger fear that I carry with me. The fear of destroying my hair.

In this rough economic times, we are all trying to cut back and save where we can. I've always enjoyed getting my hair done-it was a day of pampering, but I'm beginning to think that forking over hundreds of dollars for great hair color isn't really all that practical or frugal, and that maybe I can find an alternative. I have fussy hair-it's fine, but I have a ton of it, and it's a combination of straight and curly and wavy. A trifecta of frustration. I'm also very oily-VERY oily, so the whole "go a day without washing" is really impossible. After about 8 hours, I could probably use the oil on my scalp to fill the tank of my wagon-which could be another way to save some green. So everyday, I wash my hair, and due to the texture, if i'm going out, I dry it too, and sometimes use a straight iron. I know, I know, I'm a hair offender, which is one of the reason's why I rely on salon quality shampoos and conditioners.
I'm about a month overdue for a haircut and color, and I'm sick of being a brunette. I'm ready to be blonde again, or at least blond-er. But when you get your hair done at a decent salon, with your favorite stylist, the cut alone can be $80 or more, and when you add color, the costs start to increase dramatically. When I do all over brunette, it's about $100 more, and when I do complex hi-lites for a dynamic look like giselle or jennifer aniston, the price can make me wince. I thought Cameron Diaz looked good on the cover of W as a brunette-but she was tan and retouched. I've always felt prettier as a blonde and thought I looked better blonde, but brunette was easier and cheaper.
So I'm thinking of crossing into uncharted territory. At home color. I'm a salon girl, and an at home color virgin. I have friends who do it, but I've always felt safer going to a professional to get my locks maintained. And I've never been "good" at hair. I'm very minimal, so I don't know if I could pull off at home color. There is also the choice of which brand to go with, which shade to choose for the desired effect, and exactly how do I do this. I guess I could go to a cheap salon and have them do it, but that scares me more than doing it myself. I had my hair ruined once-it was bleached white blonde by accident and mutilated with a razor. I wore a hat for 3 months while it grew out. And THAT was by a professional. I know I'm vain about my hair-it's a part of what makes me feel pretty, and I've been trying to grow it long for quite some time. It's starting to get to a decent length, but I fear that if I try anything at home, I could ruin all that hard work. Well, not hard work, but patience and time.

So I'm deciding whether or not to keep the brunette and do it myself, or save the hundreds for a professional and trustworthy salon visit and go blonde. I could use that money to pay off some credit cards-but I would love to get my hair back to the way I like for now, until I decide what to do, I guess I'll just weigh the options and see if my my financial woes are worth the risk, or if I should just say to hell with it and blow my money on a killer head of hair.


Vici Yelton said...

I don't know about the rest of the world, but hair is definitely one thing I don't skimp. I've seen too many do it yourself nightmares. Brunettes with purple highlights that were meant to be red, blondes that went orange in an attempt to go lighter, the list goes on and on. Why not reward yourself for your workout efforts? Set a goal and when you reach it, treat yourself to an appointment with your colorist and stylist. Remember, everything you do, you do better when you're feeling good about yourself.

Kristen Nichols said...

you couldn't have said it better vici!

Elizabeth said...

I have tons of at-home experience...a choice that was more than often fiscally influenced! Based on my experience, I'd be warry of anyone trying to go from brown to blonde at home. It's always easier to go darker at home (plus, you can use a non-permanent color to see if you want to commit) but so many things can go wrong the other way. Once, when I was done with my Catherine Zeda Jones inspired locks, I had to go get it bleached out and then died back to a middle-ish light brown. I never could have done it at home!! Be careful!

Kristen Nichols said...

Thanks Elizabeth-it's always helpful to have the sage wisdom of someone who has been there! I'll probably stick with brown for now (sigh) and go blonde in spring!

supergirl said...

I know that we're all in the midst of reigning in our finances but I really do suggest that you leave the dying to a professional--especially if you are going from a darker to a lighter shade. Curly hair is delicate and prone to breakage and I have fried my curls using an "at home" dying product.

May I make a suggestion? When my parents quit smoking, they put all their smoking money into a jar and eventually they paid for a trip to Hawaii. I've always felt like that was a great way to save up for something good and to put away a spendy habit. For me, it would be putting my habitual latte money into a piggy bank. I'm not saying you have bad habits--but maybe there are things that you could do without in order to reward yourself with a bigger item. Or maybe every time you complete another mile towards your running goal or lose another 1/2 inch you chuck 20 bucks into the piggy bank. By spring, you should have more than enough.