Sunday, March 6, 2011

Dip-Dyed (Ombre) Hair Experience

I don't usually style-blog but I tried this DIY hair color and I figured I would tell you all about my experience.

I always dye my own hair but this morning I decided I was bored with my hair. No big surprise. I do this a lot. I get bored and I cut my hair real short or dye it or get bangs or whatever. In my boredom, I started googling spring hair color trends. I saw this trend called Ombre (see also Color Streaming; see also Dip-Dyed).

Basically, it's the notion that your hair color starts out darker and gets lighter toward the end. It can be the opposite too but the former trend seems to be more popular. I had black dye and hair bleach in the house so I figured I'd give it a whirl. I was midly terrified because I thought, if the line between the dark and lighter color was too definitive, that I'd look like a black and white cookie or something.

(like this. yuck.)

The bleach I had was actually highlight box of Revlon Color Effects but I'm you sure could use whatever bleach or lightener you usually use. I put an old towel over my shoulders, split my hair in two and put one bunch on each shoulder. I mixed up the bleach and, using gloves, began applying it to the bottom 6 inches of my hair. In some spots I went a bit higher and it some spots not quite as high. Remember, I didn't want a hard and fast black & white cookie line going on.

I would definitely recommend using better gloves than the piss-poor plastic baggies they give you with the hair color. The key to this style is to be a bit free-handed but with those stupid things it is hard to be anything but plain old sloppy.

My lightener kit takes about 45 minutes on hair as dark as mine. For me, this is the hard part. I am used to solid hair color that takes 10-20 minutes. The wait was painful.

Now, you may able to be skip the next part but with all my gray hairs, there is no way I could skip it. I mixed up 1/2 box of black hair color and, when the bleach had 15 minutes left, I applied the color to the part of my hair that was uncovered by the bleach. I figured if the color touched the bleach they could fight to the death.

I let the color set for 10 minutes then readied the shower. I am always in a panic about the dye staining my shower so as I am rinsing my hair with one hand I'm rinsing the shower with the other. Once you have rinsed your hair thoroughly be sure to apply a deep conditioner. Both of my boxes of color came with conditioner so either of those should be fine.

I don't really know why I was worried about looking like a two-tone cookie because my hair is so dark that I can not even fathom the amount of bleach it would take to make it truly blonde. I really like the look but it is certainly much subtler than I intended. It goes from black to chestnut brown. It has a beach-bum feel which is just fine by me because I've had more than enough of winter and anything that makes me think of sun and surf is just fine.

Here is a crappy picture (crappy in quality and subject matter; Rachel Bilson I'm not) but you can see the reddish brown hue at the ends.

All in all I am happy with the results. I should've waited until after I got a trim so my ends would be healthier but, like I said, I was bored and impatient. Next time I'll get a trim first and try to get it a bit lighter.

Good luck if you want to give it a try, I would recommend having a box of fix-it color in the house (solid color of your choosing) in case you are unhappy with the results. Or you could just chop the bottom 6 inches off your hair.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Life's Rollercoaster

I was driving in to work today and heard Cake's cover of Gloria Gaynor's 70s hit "I Will Survive".  I love that cover.  Back in college my brother and two of my closest friends were in a band called Hawking 67.  They covered "I Will Survive" at a battle of the bands at my college and won.

Hearing that song today (and, mind you, I listen to that cover all the time) I was suddenly struck by the enormity of how much I miss those friendships.   All three of those men are still very much in my life but in very different ways than they used to be.  My brother is still my brother, of course, but before that, he's husband to my sister-in-law, father to my amazing niece, son to our parents and awesome uncle to my two beautiful kids.

My other two dear friends have wonderful families as well.   I adore each of their wives and their incredible kids but, consequently, our relationships are fundamentally different than they used to be.   We don't see each other as often as we used to.  Hell, in once case we went from living in the same apartment building to living halfway across the country from one another!

In each case, when we do see each other,  it's about the group, not the individuals. It is equally as wonderful, but in a very different way.

On the one hand, I have gained the joy of the friendships with their wives.  I've got a bunch of unique and intensely lovable children in my life, including one beautiful Goddaughter who is celebrating her birthday today some 2,015 miles away. (sad face) On the other hand, I don't have the opportunity to experience those strong bonds that are the foundation our lives are built on.   The bonds are still there, I have no doubt, but I miss the day-to-day of it all.

But that's life's roller coaster, is it not?  People come in and out of your lives.  Some move on quickly but leave a lasting impression.   Some you are glad to be rid of.  Others are always a part of your life, regardless of how your relationships may change. Each day, you know that are lucky to have them even though you may miss them.

Thank heaven for Facebook.