As we enter week seven of lock-down, we are seeing what our hair looks like without professional tending. My husband has stopped shaving, and coupled with his hair being longer than it ever is, this is quite the mountain man look. Sadly, my last hair cut was in January.
However, I am not sporting quarantine roots! I’m a low-maintenance gal, but back in high school I decided to go blonde. I began coloring my own hair because getting one’s hair colored in a salon seemed like the sort of thing I couldn’t afford. I suspect this is no longer the case (right? I actually have no idea what it costs) but I kept coloring my own hair because over the years I’ve gotten reasonably good at it. I certainly couldn’t do anyone else’s hair, but if I’ve dyed my own hair six times a year for 25 years, well, that’s a lot of practice.
I use L’Oreal Preference 9.5A.* That’s “lightest ash blonde” and the ash refers to the cool undertones. Some folks would do better with a warmer undertone; it’s important to figure this out if you want your hair to look natural.
The color “takes” better if your hair is unwashed, so this could be a good Saturday morning project. I mix the color and apply (with gloved hands) to my roots and the top inch or two of hair generally. This needs to sit for 20-25 minutes. So far, this is all in keeping with the box directions.
But then — the secret! I create highlights by taking small sections of hair and putting the mix on them all the way down, and leaving this on for 20-25 minutes too. So these sections are getting the full lightening effect.
After 20 minutes, I put the mix on my whole head, leave it for 5 minutes or so, then jump in the shower to rinse it off and condition (L’Oreal includes a tube of conditioner; I assume most other home hair color kits include something similar). Over time as I’ve done this highlighting technique, different sections of my hair wind up slightly different shades, which makes the color look more natural, and in fact just like my 5-year-old’s: slightly sun-streaked.
I took on this project this weekend, so now even though my hair is way too long at least my roots are good! If you’ve been thinking of experimenting with home hair color, now might be a time to try. You’re not really going anywhere if you screw it up.
In other news: We went on two family walks this weekend, the second in the rain. Whoa, was there a lot of complaining about that one. I went on a 5.2 mile run on Saturday, but did not run on Sunday. After my 1100 day run streak ended, I haven’t felt the need to run every single day.
My husband outdid himself with dinner on Saturday night. Lobster tails, king crab legs, steak, and cheese fondue! Followed up with apple pie for dessert. We broke out the Stag’s Leap Chardonnay and it was a lovely feast.
*Fun fact: It turns out people shop for their usual home hair color shade by looking at the lady on the box. They recognize her, not the number. So if companies ever switch models, they have to put a little picture on the box of the previous model too, or risk mass confusion and customer displeasure.