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A Series of Unfortunate Events: Hair Edition

We’ve all been there: you step into the salon excited and ready for a new ‘do, only to walk out holding back tears. Things don’t always go as planned, hair included. For me, that tends to be an understatement. I changed my hair an absurd amount of times in high school; from forehead bangs to bobs to being bleach blonde for two years, I really left no hair-related stone unturned. I thought I was done with all that once I got to college, but old habits die hard I guess. Allow me to share with you the most recent development in my struggle to acquire perfect locks.

For reference, my natural hair color is a deep chocolate brown, closest to this. It slowly began to fade throughout the quarter because every time I washed it, traces of brown dye would rinse out and the blonde underneath began to show through, from when I was blonde earlier in the year. It’s a lot I know, I’m so sorry. But now that I’ve got you guys caught up, I’ll get back to the mayhem.

Last month, I had a particularly good weekend. After a grueling application and hiring period, I landed my first job, and it just so happened to be my dream job. Here is what my hair looked like at this time, prior to the disaster that is about to ensue.

Naturally, I decided to reward myself for being newly ~employed~ by getting a snazzy new haircut. In the midst of all the excitement, I booked the appointment for the same day, and headed to chop my long hair all off. The result may actually be my favorite look so far! It was short, trendy, lightweight and naturally highlighted in all the right places. Too bad I had to go eff it all up!

I enjoyed my perfect new hair all of 24 hours before I decided that the responsible thing to do with my new short hair was to get a keratin treatment. You see, my natural hair is really thick and wavy, and while that works for a lot of people, it tends to look frizzy on me so I straighten my hair every day. Short frizzy hair looks especially bad on me, so I reasoned that a keratin would help smooth my hair and protect it from constant straightening. So I marched into the salon with my hopes high and my brown hair ready to be silkified, only to walk out GINGER. The keratin treatment apparently lightened my hair so much that it began to pull reddish tones that I did not even know I had! I was about to cry. My hair was straight, but at what cost?? Major disclaimer: I think red hair is gorgeous and I WISH I could pull it off, but the thing is, I definitely cannot and that is why I was so distressed. Enjoy this unfortunate picture of me during the brief but sad 48 hour period when my hair was bright orange. It just so happens to accurately reflect my feelings towards my new hair as well.

I tried my hardest not to panic; at this point, the only thing that needed to be done was to deposit a little bit of color onto my hair to darken in. This is the easy part! The hairdresser offered to do so at no cost to make up for turning my hair ginger in the first place, so I thought I had nothing to lose. I arranged to go back to the salon to have my hair colored back to some sort of brown. And oh my gosh this was the worst one yet. I had one request: for my hair to not be black. Once again, I think black hair is beautiful but just not the look for me. As the hairdresser was rinsing out the dye, I noticed that my hair was ridiculously dark. Like vantablack. She dried and styled it, I thanked her for her time, and I went home and cried. It literally almost looked green, it was that black. Here is a picture of me smiling through the pain.

So I've resorted to rinsing my hair for an insanely long every time I shower in an effort to fade the color and it’s working moderately well. A few weeks later, my hair is still dark, but it’s getting back to a shade I can tolerate.

All in all, I learned that I need to leave my hair the hell alone for a while. And that it’s possible to solve nearly any hair related issue with time and patience, two things I severely lack. So I guess that leaves me with the option of leaving my hair alone, which I am perfectly content with doing from now on. Lesson learned.

I am a second year MCDB major at UCLA.
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