WPW: Fashion Colors for Your Hair

#whatprofessorswear

Since my hair has grown in this year, I have had a variety of colors: black and white (really, I hid that as best I could by wearing hats), hot pink, copper, burgundy, stoplight red, and now a “fashion” color in the violet family (maybe something between mulberry and lilac?).

Over the summer I decided that I wanted to go light. I was always a dark blonde, so having any other color seemed odd, but losing one’s hair and then having it grow back so differently is an opportunity to experiment. I decided it was time to bleach my hair. I made that decision in June. Then I chickened out. Because I hate going to the salon, my anxiety prevented me from seeking out a new place and a new stylist. July rolled around and I was still wishing for lighter hair, but I knew I could not get the red out on my own. Bleaching my own hair seemed like a bad idea, too!

Then in August I had had it. I was so tired of the way I looked. My new hair growth (aka my “roots”) was throwing the whole look off. I felt old. I felt ugly. I felt like someone else–not the fun spirit I have always tried to embrace. Even though I had hair–which I was so grateful for–I wanted it to look different. Shortly after the middle of the month I decided it was time to make a change.

I was having lunch with my friend Sabine and she reminded me that I could go to my friend Karen’s hairstylist. Duh! I have always loved Karen’s hair. Why hadn’t I thought of contacting her before? Karen told me to contact her stylist, Lana, at Orbit salon. I looked her up, made the appointment, and thought about what I wanted to look like.

I knew that I wanted to bleach my hair. I had thought about going platinum and maybe with some colored streaks. That’s actually what Karen and Lana have for their colors. Then I was looking at the Orbit site and found this picture:

I loved it. I loved the color and the style. I thought about letting my hair grow out, and I had been letting it grow, but it was kind of a hot mess. I was ready to let the stylist help me get it back on track. So I decided to use this look above as inspiration for what my hair could become.

When I met the stylist, she was knowledgeable and thoughtful. She was also brutally honest with me. She said I looked about 10 years older than my age. She said my hair looked like a boy’s hair. She said my skin tone would not look good with a pastel pink. She said my hair needed some upkeep. “You have to use products,” she said. She also said that she would help me work on it by trimming the back and sides and letting the top grow out. She made a color lasting condition to help save the color with every wash, and she scheduled a return appointment for me in the fall.

This is what I looked like the morning of the cut:

Here’s what I looked like after the bleach.

OMG, it was hideous. The red was so hard to get out of my hair. Even after bleaching, you could see traces of that red. *Hard lesson*: Do not color your hair red if you want to go lighter. Of course, I knew that, but I had hoped the bleaching would do the trick. For the most part it did, but because of the color of my hair and because I decided to go for a brighter color rather than something pastel, my hair turned out to be this color (which oddly enough looks different in different lighting):

At first I wasn’t sure about the color. The photo to the left looked too dark, a little too magenta. That was the first pic I took. But then the one on the right was a second photo with different lighting. It was more purply, and that was cool.

As I wear this color, as I wash it, it changes:

Gasp, I finally put on some eye makeup.

In sunlight my hair even tends to look pink and match flowers.

I’m happy to say that I have come to like this color. It suits me well. In another post I will show you what I looked like on the first day of classes.


Here is the point in the post where I turn away from talking about me, me, me and start talking about you. Maybe you’re reading this post and thinking, gee I would like to change the color of my hair. You have a few options:

  1. Get a box color at the supermarket.
  2. Go to Sally’s Beauty and get professional level supplies.
  3. Go to a salon and have a professional color your hair.

This year I have done all three. My mom and husband helped with the first two. They turned out successful, but I did not want to bleach my hair, so #3 was necessary. I also did not feel confident in my own ability to mix colors to achieve a fashion color. The box colors and demi- and semi-dyes at Sally’s are simple to use. What I needed was more complicated.

If you find yourself needing a color and a cut that requires expertise, don’t do it yourself. Be prepared to pay a lot of money, though, when you go to an expert. It cost twice as much $$$ as I anticipated. It was worth it IMO, but it was pricey.

That said, sometimes we need to splurge when it comes to something as important as our hair. After losing it, I value having hair so much now. I need to take care of it because taking care of my hair is self-care. Maybe you need some self-care, and your hair is the way to get that. So think about ways to update your look. Cut is one. Color–bold color–is another.

For more information on getting “fashion hair” check out this article.

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