I've been wanting to touch up my roots for weeks now. I've been saying almost every night to Patrick, "If Jules goes right to sleep tonight, I want to do my hair," but either he didn't go right to sleep, or I was tired, or I wanted to veg out on the couch. I bought the little root touch up kit a long time ago but it's just been sitting there. Meanwhile, my roots got longer.
Last night I finally had a chance, so after getting the boy snug in his bed, I went in the bathroom to do my hair.
You should know: I suck at this kind of thing. Not just my hair, but makeup, manicures, pedicures, whatever. I want to look nice, sure, but I lack the sort of girly patience or coordination necessary to do these things. I don't spend a lot of time on myself on a day-to-day basis, but you know? A little upkeep now and then keeps me from sliding into that whole baggy cargo pants + sweatshirt category.
And then, in regards to my hair, I'm a little ambivalent about it. On the one hand... what's wrong with a little gray? I'm only 40 and I don't really care who knows my age, and my mom never dyed her hair and she had beautiful salt and pepper hair... and on the other hand: I'm vain.
I'd been getting my color done at the salon where I get my hair cut, and I was fine with that arrangement, but one day the cost of it started making me feel a little guilty. And some friends, who do their own roots, convinced me that it was easy and doable, even for me.
Now, I've had experiences with home dye jobs before - I've tried this in the past, with mostly disastrous results. Tragedy has struck (my hair was an unfortunate shade of auburn once, and that's not a color that flatters me) before. But the root kits are pretty simple, and the time involved is minimal, and you would think that opportunities for screwing up would be few.
It turned out that I bought a different brand of color. No biggie, I wasn't concerned with matching: dark brown is dark brown is dark brown (thank you, Gertrude Stein). What was different was the process of mixing the color. My usual kit comes with this great little tube of white stuff. You open up one end and add the other little tube of brown stuff. You put the cap back on and shake it up in the tube. Then, you take the cap off and replace it with the stiff little brush you use to apply the color to your hair.
It's a genius-y little arrangement, and it works great.
The kit I bought this time around had none of that. Instead, they provided a cheap, tiny little plastic tub in which you are supposed to mix the two things together (what are these mystery substances? I have no idea. Obviously, when mixed together they create the color. Maybe if they packaged them together it would invoke some dangerous reaction?). The instructions clearly say to put the little tub on a stable, sturdy surface. My bathroom counter top is small. My bathroom is straight out of 1940, and I seriously think everything in there is original. The bright green X-Files paint I chose 12 years ago when we moved in doesn't help anything. It's not a great room. Still: the 4 inch rim to my bathroom sink is pretty sturdy. It's definitely stable. However, my husband's electric shaver, which was perched on the edge of the shelf above the sink, apparently is not.
Minutes after putting the little tub down (fully mixed) on the edge of the sink, the shaver, plugged in and everything, took a dive and knocked my color onto the ground. About a quarter of it landed in the sink. Another quarter of it landed on the floor. I didn't wake up the baby, but my "Oh shit!" was loud enough that Patrick heard me from out in the living room.
Instead of giving up, I decided to soldier on. I cleaned up and used the remaining color. My hair is still kind of short, my grays are not pervasive, I thought it would be enough.
It wasn't enough.
I had enough for the crown of my head, but not for the hairline around my ears.
Oh, well. The package says the color only lasts for 3 weeks anyway. Aside from the little spot on the wall that I missed in my cleaning, nothing bad really happened. I did decide one thing, though: I'm not doing it myself anymore. It's just too much of a hassle. I'm good at lots of other things: this just isn't one of them. Maybe I won't be able to get it done quite as often anymore, but I need to just put my trust in the professionals and pay somebody to do it for me.
Lesson learned. I already have an appointment at the salon where they cut my hair for next month.