The last time I got my hair colored was back in January, when I went to my girl Nikki at Marie Robinson Salon to match my hair to my dog Rufus's fur. Well, not match match, but pull in all of his beautiful, warm tones into an ombré-esque melange that would grow out gracefully as my dark-brown roots started to show.
It's been over half a year and I haven't kept it up, slightly in denial about how blunt my dark roots were looking.
"You should do something about your roots," my mother told me after seeing a recent photo. "And the ends."
Ugh, I hate when she's right.
But yeah, in addition to a couple inches of almost-black growing in at the top, my very long hair was starting to look like alien pubes at the bottom, fried and split and unwilling to respond to products.
As much as I loved my Rufus-inspired color, I like switching things up, so I decided to try the whole gray trend; except I didn't want to do the super-pale silver or even slate color I'm seeing on so many people. I wanted to try what I imagined to be a subtle, witchy-looking combo of medium ash brown with gray highlights.
"I don't get it," my sister said. "You're not even going gray yet."
Why do lawyers insist on being so damn logical?
Anyway, I went back to Nikki last weekend and told her what I wanted. "You know how everyone's talking about brownish-blonde hair and calling it 'bronde?' Well, I want a gray-brown combo, and I'm gonna call it 'bray.'"
"Hashtag bray!" Nikki exclaimed enthusiastically. YES! Let's start a new viral hair-color portmanteau!
Before she started in on the color, stylist Liana Le cut off about four inches and cut in a few movement-improving layers to help my hair look way healthier. Then Liana handed me over to Nikki, who warned me there was a lot of orange to try to cool down.
Nikki used a higher-volume peroxide on my warmer ends than on the roots. Then she started speaking in code.
"I think I want to tone with mostly 9B, tiny bit of 6NB, and a couple drops of 1B," she said to her assistant, Mae. "I could even change my mind and go for 6GN," but Mae vetoed that.
"Now I have to add more silvery smokiness," she said after the initial lifting process. She decided on a gloss, which, depending on what you're trying to achieve, can be sheer or intense: "Do equal parts 6/1 and 7/89, double 6 volume."
Not too long later, and after a much-needed conditioning session, my new color was revealed. But it wasn't exactly "bray." Some blondeness carried over from my previous warmth, and I actually ended up with a grayish-brownish-blondish shade that looks different in every light, as if it had an iridescent quality.
That Instagram photo above was taken in the salon's building lobby. But I discovered way more tones and highlights outside on a sunny day, even just by changing angles.
So I have no idea what to call this color! Is it "grownde" like I said on Instagram? I asked some friends, and Allegra suggested we call the color "Streisand."
(Coincidentally, Hannah's in town, and we're planning on doing karaoke tonight; I was totally thinking of trying "Woman in Love." It's a riiiiiiiiiiiight I defeeeeeeeend...)
I think I'll probably ask Nikki to go grayer and cooler in a month or two—I really want something I've never done before for fall—but in the meantime, I want your objective input on what you'd call the current color.
So, for this sunshine-soaked Open Thread, I ask thee:
- What should my new color be called? I'm starting to think "Iridescent '70s Streisand," but that's a mouthful.
- Should I go grayer next time?
- Are you thinking of switching to a new hair color for fall?
- What's your favorite Barbra Streisand beauty look?
- What else is lighting up in the beauty section of your brain right now?