Friday, 12 August 2011

Finally did it.....sort of....

I wrote this post over a year ago.  It was a post about dying my hair properly pink.  I was umm'ing and ahh'ing about it but decided I would probably do it, when I finally plucked up the courage.

I finally plucked up the courage.  And it's sort of worked.  But, hey, look, I took pictures to show you the progress.  However, a bit of backstory first:

I decided last week that I'd had enough of shoulder length hair.  It clogs up the bath plug.  It makes the back of my neck hot which means, every summer, I have to sleep with it pinned up high on top of my head.  It takes an age to dry and I hate, hate, hate it hanging all wet and limp around my neck but I also don't like using a hairdryer.  The plus points to having long hair is that it doesn't cost you anything at the hairdresser because, um, I didn't go to a hairdresser.  When the ends got splitty or the fringe too long, I just took a pair of scissors to it myself, and job's a good 'un. Or, at least, a respectable 'un.

Having a complete restyle in a fancy schmancy salon would cost an arm and a leg but I found a friend of a friend who works in a salon during the day and does private customers (clients? patients?) after work for a very reasonable price.  So I contacted her and she came round on Wednesday this week and she hacked it all off.

In the back of my mind I'd been preparing for this, and the subsequent bleaching and dyeing, so had been growing the old colour out and letting my natural, fag-ash grey colour dominate, so that I could start from a clean slate, as it were.

Anyway, this is what it looked like before I let Hannah get her magic scissors on it:

Sort of fairly nondescript, shoulder length bob that's pink at the ends but greying on the top.

Hannah then did this to it:

And suddenly I was turned into my mother.   This is no reflection at all on Hannah's skills as I think she did a really good job, it's just, all of a sudden I seem to have developed the neck of an almost-50 year old woman which had been successfully hidden by lots of hair before, and even though I am an almost-50 year old woman, I don't really want any of her bodyparts knocking around - know what I mean?  The haircut itself was fine but I was just not sure about it.  I felt a bit 'mumsy'.

TLH arrived home, though, and decided he loved it and made me put my new sunglasses on so he could take a picture and, I must admit, it doesn't look too bad here, but then I always look better slightly out of focus:

Thursday (yesterday), I decided I might as well slap the bleach on that I'd bought and see what happened.  If I didn't like it, I knew I'd got some brown hair dye and also some Eastern European hooker purple colour hair dye in the cupboard left over from when I used to dye it that colour, so, if the worst came to the worst, I could always use either of those.

When I used to bleach my hair totally peroxide white, back in the 80s, I used to use a brand that didn't have added colour - the idea was that you bleached the feck out of your hair, then added the colour that you wanted.  And, stupidly, I thought that was what I had bought this time.  Turned out it was a brand that had a colour already in it.  In this case it was 'gold'.  Oh well, I thought, let's give it a go and see what happens.

So onto my head it got plastered while I sat and watched a minor black and white Alfred Hitchcock flick on the box ('Shadow of a Doubt' with Joseph Cotton - pretty good, actually):

 (By the way, these are all pictures that I took of the process to send to TLH during the day, so he could see what I was up to!).

The end result was quite interesting, a sort of pale goldeny biscuit colour.  And because I had so many different colours in my hair to begin with - naturally dark, grey, silver white, pink - it looked like I'd had highlights:

I actually quite liked the colour, and was half tempted to keep it.  But then I knew that was not going to fulfil my dream of having pink hair so decided that I'd carry on with my plan.

This morning, Friday, I had to nip out to run a few errands before I got down to it, so it eventually took me until lunchtime to get up to the bathroom, brush in hand.

This is the colour I'm using - Special Effects Atomic Pink:

Which looks blood red in the bottle and is, actually, that colour when you put it on, but comes out pink.

I'd squirted out about a third of the bottle into the bowl, loaded up the dye applicator brush, raised it to my head and then stopped.  I almost, ALMOST bottled it, right there.  I started wondering what the hell I was doing?  What was I trying to achieve?  For Christ's sake, I'm forty-bloody-eight years old with the figure of a grandmother, not some willowy eighteen year old art student.  What if I hated it?  What if it looked really, REALLY stupid?

Then I remembered that it's just hair, it grows out.  And I have two packs of back-up 'normal' hair colour that I can use if I freak out.  And - okay, I admit it - while I do want people to notice me, I really, honestly don't give a toss what they think about me; I just don't want to be invisible.  Zandra Rhodes is my role model.

So I took a deep breath and started plastering it on:

No going back now!  Oh God - what have I done?????

You're supposed to leave it on for 15 minutes, and the colour will be brighter depending on how porous and/or bleached your hair is.  I left it on for 45 minutes, as I wanted to be sure the colour was as strong as it would go.

You know what?  It's fantastic:

I think it would have been even brighter if I'd managed to get my hair peroxide white to start off with, rather than biscuity golden, but I still think the colour's pretty good.  Plus it's actually brighter pink in real life, and, yes, I know there's gratuitous cleavage in that shot - don't say I'm not generous to you all...

So here I'm looking like my mum still but at least I'm ROCKING PINK HAIR, DUDES!!!

And here's a final, glamorous, sunglasses shot which I think is pretty cool and badass, melonfarmers!

I'm now feeling MUCH happier about the haircut and am pleased I plucked up the courage to go ahead with it.  Admittedly, I haven't left the house yet to show it off in public but I'm off to London tomorrow to finally meet up with the fragrant Ms Katyboo for the first time so she'll be one of the first of my friends to see it and have her retinas burnt out!


Anonymous said...

It's WONDERFUL! That COLOUR! It absolutely MAKES the haircut! You are one stylin' babe - especially in the glamourous sunglasses photo. I'm jealous of your chutzpa - I don't think I would ever make such a big change in my hair, I'm such a chicken ...

Anonymous said...

It looks GREAT!!

OmegaMom said...


I, on the other hand, am going the opposite way and growing my hair out, at my dotter's behest.

It is very odd to be 50-ish and realize you no longer look like the 25-year-old that sits in your head and looks out on the world...

mountainear said...

Love the cut and definitely love the final colour. It has attitude.

Wish I were brave enough...

Mrs Jones said...

Thank you, lovely ladies, for your supportive comments. I forgot to point out that the Atomic Pink is a semi-permanent colour, which lasts about 6 weeks or so (although it doesn't wash out entirely and you're left with a faint pink tint). Plus it's only hair and you can always redye it a different 'safer' colour if it's really not for you. I think you should all join me and have much more colourful hair!

Anonymous said...

Well done you - looks fab!

livesbythewoods said...

I saw a woman with hair that colour in Chichester last week, and was too shy to stop her and tell her how amazing it looked.

Yours looks amazing too.