Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Is it worth it?

I've spent the better part of the afternoon having a bad hair.

See, here's the thing. I'm blonde.  At least that's what the world thinks.  In reality, no one knows what my real hair color is. Not even me.  Ever since I decided to dye my hair red for a Halloween party, long ago, my true color has never again seen the light of day.  I was a good redhead too.  So good, in fact, that my husband married me thinking I really was one.

He says I tricked him.  But since we're still together 18 years later, I guess he didn't mind too much.

But he still doesn't know what color my hair really is, since I've been varying shades of red and blond over the years, all of them artificial.  One of my kids asked me the other day what color my hair really is, but I was at a loss for an answer.  Twenty some odd years ago, my hair was a sort of light mousy brown, and it probably still is. 
Okay, between you and me, my roots say I'm still a light mousy brown brunette, albeit a greying one, but since those telltale roots promptly get silenced by regular dye jobs, to everyone else, I'm a sun-kissed blonde.

And that requires some work. I need a base color to hide the greys, and then highlights, because blonde hair straight out of the bottle is just, well, blah.

I could just go to the salon, shell out my eurobucks, and let someone else do all the work.  But I'm just too cheap to spend 70 euros to get that lovely I-can't-believe-it's-not-blonde .  Okay, it's not that I'm too cheap, it's just that there are lots more important things I should be spending that money on.

So, I settle for the DIY version.

Now I know what you're thinking, DIY and hairdye can be a dangerous combination.  I should know.  My sister-in-law's husband has had white hair since he was in his twenties, and once we convinced him to let us dye it, and let's just say that the result wasn't entirely desirable.  Unless you like green.  So, you've got to be careful.

But I've been pretty lucky so far, and my hair has never turned green, so I keep risking it.

And I save loads of cash.  All that it costs me is the base color, one highlighting kit (actually half, so even cheaper), and an entire afternoon.  I sit around wearing a little plastic cap, poking myself in the head with something that looks suspiciously like a crochet hook, blindly trying to find tiny pre-perforated holes that are supposed to make the job of pulling out strands of hair easier.  Easier than what?  Okay, maybe it's easier than, say, trying to paint the Mona Lisa, but it's not exactly what I would call easy.

This, to me, is a real bad hair day. Oh, the things we women go through to look good.  But hey,  I guess it beats having to do this:

Curiously enough, I found this picture on a site for the "enhancement" of certain male body parts.
And after around two hours of poking and pulling, and inevitably tearing the easy-to-use-my-ass plastic cap, so that now I'm worried that I may end up with euro-sized bleach blotches all over my head, I am ready to put the goop on.

All afternoon I get "hilarious" comments like, "You look like an astronaut with that thing on."  And my kids never fail to ask, "What are you doing?"  Like they haven't seen me do this hundreds of times before.

Still, they ask.

And you might ask, is it worth it?

Um, let's see.  My arms are tired and my hair hurts from being yanked through those pesky holes. But at least it didn't turn green.  Or make me end up looking like Medusa.  In fact, it looks every bit as good as when I go to the salon.  So, it's been a bad hair day well spent.

And what about you?

What are you willing to do to look good?  And this goes for the guys too, because I just know that you do worry about your looks.

Even though you pretend you don't.


  1. LOL, this is just funny! Um, let's see, I pluck my eyebrows and take meticulous care with my skin (even choosing to not wear makeup most of the time so it will be clear), but I don't use anti-aging products and I don't color my hair at all. But I think I would if my hair was like Mike's, which is mousy brown with lots of gray. Mine's dark brunette without grey as of yet. I get the occasional pedicure but keep my fingernails short and unpainted. So overall I am really low maintenance, but a lot of that has to do with being lazy, lol. I know that blonde requires more upkeep than I am willing to do.

  2. I get my eyebrows threaded semi-regularly and wear a light dusting of makeup when I wake up early enough (I've been heading to work bare faced this whole week ... a few more minutes of sleep is TOTALLY worth more than the effects of a little eye shadow and mascara!). My only beauty splurge is getting my hair professionally colored every 12 weeks. My natural color is dark brown blah (with some grey sprinkled in ... I'm not really sure how much grey, because I try to keep it hidden), so I trust my stylist to transform me into a semi-redhead every now and then. I was blonde(ish) for a while but I like my hair darker. Now if I could just find a hairstyle that won't frizz out ten minutes after I comb it in the morning ... I'm too lazy to actually STYLE it in the morning. :)

  3. Sunshine Alternative Mama: You're lucky! Life is so much easier without all these things. But I started having grey hair in my twenties, and I just wasn't ready to let them all hang out...and I'm still not. :D

    Bud: Sleep is definitely worth it! Were you blonde? I would like to see a picture! I remember you as having dark hair and it's hard to imagine you as a blonde, but I've seen your red haired pictures, and it suits you. My hair gets frizzy too, but I use the fiendish thingy and then it pretty much behaves.

  4. Mike started getting grey in his 20s as well; I think it is more common when people have ash tones in their hair.

    I love the pictures of J's hair red and you of course look fabulous blonde! Mine is just brown, lol, but I have zero concept of frizz. My hair is so straight people ask if I iron it with those "fiendish thingies", but I don't. Downside is that I don't have nice thick hair like both of you.

  5. My beauty regime gets longer and longer as I get older. I turn 47 on Monday, but I don't look 47...or 48. My goal is 28. Too bad my thighs don't look as good as my face.

    The hair thing? It's artificially blonde. I just saw a t-shirt the other day that said, "Blonde By Choice." I thought it said it all.

  6. I am a real redhead with a salon color phobia. But the grey was getting me down. Luckily, I found the perfect solution. Henna is the exact color of my hair and covers the grey. It costs a euro for a packet of henna from the Moroccan market, then 30 minutes of life with a saran wrap turban. And if it amuses the family for an afternoon, even better.

  7. Me ha encantado tu post de hoy. Me he reido. Y sí, peor lo pasa la pobre mujer de los collares, todo lo que hace para estar bella, y la pobre cómo ha quedado más fea todavía, jajajaja.
    Así que no eres rubia no? jajajaja
    Yo lo tengo negro, porque lo es, claro. Felizmente no tengo una sola cana, bueno, hace un tiempo me salió una y me la quité, eso que dicen que te salen más, pues no, mira tu. En fin, que en el momento que me salgan no se qué voy hacer. Ahora mismo digo que no pienso teñirmelas, para parecer Lili Monster :D, pero luego no se realmente lo que hare. De todas maneras uno se vuelve esclavo del tinte, y si tienes raices como las mías, pues mira, supongo que tendría que ir quincenalmente y el presupuesto no me da. En fin, dilemas en lo que por el momento no quiero pensar, porque si ya me como el coco con cualquier cosa, comenzaré a comerme el pelo, las uñas y todo :D
    Un besototote.

  8. Sunshine Alternative Mama: Oh, but my hair isn't thick at all. I've got fine frizzy hair and it doesn't take the beating I give it with the fiendish thingy very well, but it beats looking like a dandelion. You're lucky to have straight hair.

    Lanita: Oh, happy birthday in advance! Yeah, the more time passes, the longer it takes, but it's worth it, isn't it? And I think there's a point where you have to choose between thighs and face...they say you can't have both. ;) I really think I would love that T-shirt!

    Rea: I used to do henna too! I would mix it with walnut to get something a little more auburn. But it always took so long for it to take on my greys, like two hours, and some never did get completely covered. You might like this page, they have a lot of different mixes and advice about henna:

    giozi: Que suerte la tuya de no tener canas. Yo antes me quitaba las mías, pero eso ya no es una opción. ;)
    Sí, es una esclavitud lo del tinte, pero las mechas por lo menos solo me las hago cada tres meses...el resto del tiempo es retocar un poco y eso es fácil.

    Well, it looks like the guys were too chicken to show their faces on this post. But we know you're out there, and that you do have your own "beauty" rituals.

  9. well i absolutely refuse to dye my hair and i don't own makeup so i am unwilling to do either of those things to look good. i do however pluck my eyebrows because, like heads, two are better than one.

  10. mamii! "what colour is your hair??" haha.... by the way you have to do my highlights again...