Have you ever seen Honey?
Upon further inspection, Jessica Alba’s hair was a little too dark in that movie to make the point I was going to try to make here, but most of the time she’s like the same color. All over. Hair, skin, nails, maybe a little pencil dress? And the color is that of honey.
OK, so that’s not what I went into Sally Hershberger asking for. I actually was pretty clueless. This happens to me every time I make a hair appointment, which is actually a pretty huge event when you go as un-often as I do. Inspiration comes from everywhere; just enough to make me schedule the appointment in the first place, but not stick with me as an actual point of reference.
Like, I won’t be able to remember the ad with that one model with the bangs to Google around and save a photo of her to take to the stylist for inspiration.
And I know I have an appointment next week, this Thursday… tomorrow. But I put off finding my reference photo until it’s do-or-die time and I’m sitting in the chair spilling my overly wordy and one time slightly bitchy explanation of what I want--via words alone. (I was trying to describe the perfect dark, dark brown, but not black. Coffee. “Are you thinking like… Kardashians?” **pause***gulps** “No. Let’s try for Charlotte Gainsbourg.”)
But the problem is, I don’t want the kind of hair that can be described in words alone. You can tell me what a twat I’m being or whatever, but people would literally chase me down--across streets even!--to ask who colored my hair.
My mother would stand a little taller and smugly smile (that’s where I got it) like, “Mmhmm, I made that.”
When I’d say it was natural, the strangers’ countenance would change from one of desperate, reaching hope of a future with great hair at the hands of the mystery colorist to a more content kind of hope, like, “The Lord has evidenced himself in the form of her hair.” And you could tell they found warm comfort in knowing that God, does, in fact, exist.
Then I went insane and colored my hair last summer. Dark brown--blackish--a jarring difference from the hair made golden by the sunshiny summers of my Texas youth. And all the tanning beds. I’m sure those had a lot to do with my highlights.
It’s cool. I guess it’s an experience. Lots of people really liked it. Compliments like “mysterious” and “sexy” and “rock-n-roll” were thrown around.
I think I looked a little meaner as well. I wasn’t told to “smile, sweetheart” as much by creepy old men I had the misfortune of passing by. It’s just second nature to relax my face into somewhat of a scowl. Also, this prevents wrinkles.
But I got sick of the dye always fading to reddish a month or so after getting touched up. It was the convenience thing that kept me from keeping up with the dark hair. It was even more of a convenience to go back to my natural color altogether. Convenience.
I was describing this to the nice people at Sally Hershberger when I scheduled my appointment, and also threw in my scatter-brained “Uhh, maybe I’d like to go a little blonde? I dunno, but also my natural color. I can have everything I want, right?”
Without any inspirational photos to show, all I knew when I walked into the salon that day was that I had an appointment with Marko. Just kidding, I actually thought it was Kristen. I don’t know where I got Kristen from.
I’m so very VERY thankful that the appointment was with Marko and not this Kristen chick. If God was the one who colored my natural hair, then I’d like to be the first to announce that the Second Coming has occurred. Jesus actually came a while ago, but took a few years to travel around doing the hair thing (at the best places, obviously--he’s Jesus), and goes by the name of Marko Tomassetti. So, like, try to book an appointment in advance.
He kind of assured me right off the bat that we’d be there for a while. I’ve hung out at salons for more than a couple of hours before, but I had no idea what I had signed myself and poor Marko up for.
I got a quick once-over, no real consultation. Just me sheepishly blurting, “Uh so I wanna go lighter. Umm… like...“
“We’re going to bring you up to something that looks more natural,” he said, running his fingers over my hair, but not too gingerly or for very long--that would be a sign of weakness. True geniuses like Marko know what you want for you. Also, this was really great, because I didn’t have to think! Lazy chick beauty 101.
“Let’s hope they just used a semi.” He looked like he already knew that some assclown had used permanent dye on me before.
First, he had to strip the color with this sulfur stuff. It smelled bad, and I was sure it wouldn’t do anything. I’d tried the dye-remover washes before with bummer results. AND WHAT THE HELL WAS I EVEN THINKING? Of course it worked, this is why you pay good money to have a professional do this stuff for you.
So I was left with orangey, burnt-caramel hair. It was blow-dried ever so delicately on low heat (probably took half an hour or more?), and then OMG HIGHLIGHTS!
“Yeah, whoever colored your hair used permanent.” Marko sighed. DANG.
I had no idea what that meant. Like, I know semis are less damaging and easier to remove, but did this mean that my hair was completely effed for the rest of my life? 4G was shotty in that side of the salon, and I really, really had to pee. Juice cleanse. So, like I was in a state of terror.
He got to highlighting after clipping my hair into three sections. When he finished with the back section he was all, “Girl, you have so much hair. I just used a full head of lightener on this.” I kind of felt bad but also kind of felt awesome. Like, “Hehe, sorry my hair’s so amazing! Whoops!”
This was where you could really tell that Marko was super Jesus-y: The sections that he highlighted were miraculously TEENY. I’ve always been totally grossed out by stripe-y highlights; it was understood between my brain and my stupid that I’d never do this to myself. I’ve watched as less-talented stylists pieced out what I felt were too large sections of hair to foil. Like, Adidas stripes. Even my untrained eye always knew that the smaller the better.
I think 300 is a good estimate for the number of foils Marko sectioned out and painted. The back part had developed by the time he was half way through one of the front sections, so he had to shampoo those guys before continuing on with the highlights. (Maybe that's normal, I dunno. But it seems like it would be a pain in the ass.)
I had pulled forward a back section to see how light I was going--I still had no clue what my hair would look like when I left--and would have been a little freaked at the HUGE difference between the bleached and darker tones in my hair. But I mean, I was at Sally Hershberger with a dude that clearly knew what he was doing. He has kind of a reassuring swagger about him.
“We always clip this up,” he said to his assistant, “clients will freak out if they see it at this stage.”
Cool, so I knew that this was totally normal. By around 8, the highlighting was done and toner and I think also “gloss” was applied. (Right? Toner’s the dye?) After that had processed, I was shampooed and Marko “kicked out my ends” in the sink with his super-secret method. OMG tip #whatever: your colorist or stylist must have his own, patented technique for something.
Then I started to freak because dude had just spent hours on my hair, and encouraged me to stay for a blow-out, which some nice-guy stylist named Glen had stayed waiting to do. I mean… what salon does that?! Most times when you get your hair colored they cut you loose like a wet dog and leave you to your own devices with a professional blow dryer and a round brush. (I actually am really great at self-blowing--I’ll do a tutorial soon.)
Anyway I was freaking because I totally had not taken enough cash out to tip a fair amount for all the hard work. And it’s Jesus. Can you imagine stiffing Jesus? Eternal hell! I had no idea that this would be some intense “corrective color” six-hour situation. I mean, I totally dig it, I was just clueless.
So, without further ado (this whole article is assuming far too much that anybody actually cares about my hair), here’s the finished product:
Honey, right? I love it!