I’m Afraid to DIY!
Thursday, September 29, 2011 at 8:19AM
Louise in Finances, Hair

So things are pretty much on schedule. About this time last year, The Candyman and I sat down to do a review of finances. It was painful, as these discussions always are with us. We needed to figure out what our future expenses were going to be, how much money we’d have coming in, for how long and when we’d have to dip into our beloved savings to stay afloat. We had a good, bad and worst case scenario.

Let’s just say we’re right on track. *sigh*

The reality is we’re going to have to tighten the belt in yet another notch. *double sigh* And my car needs new tires. And Christmas is coming. And….blah blah blah. I don’t think there’s a person alive right now who doesn’t have a lot of the same concerns, issues, headaches. The sad thing is that it’s all-consuming, no? I wish the money chatter would get out of my head. Seriously, every now and again I think I could use a break from it. Sheesh.

One of the things I’ve decided to give up is my professional hair color. I can no longer justify the cost against my vanity. We need to save that money. Period.

I went through this madness a year ago and attempted to DIY my hair color right before I left Nashville to come to Charlotte. I was trying to jump the gun on that savings. I had called my hairdresser to ask her professional opinion regarding at-home products she might suggest. Let’s just say this: the bitch was no help at all. In fact, I do believe she was pissed at me for even calling. As a side bar, this TOTALLY pissed me off. I had spent the last SIX YEARS paying her an exorbitant sum of money plus a 20-30% tip as well as buying hair care products from her. The least she could do was give me a phone consult. And it’s not like I was dropping her for some other stylist (which I should have done long before), I was MOVING for crissake. I totally should have followed my gut on that one, but was too scared that someone might jack up my hair again (which is why I went to her in the first place. She does do good hair!).

ANYWAY, she was of no help whatsoever. I went to the Target, got totally overwhelmed by my choices and bought what I thought was the right thing and it totally wasn’t. I ended up with very scary, super-dark brown hair that looked like dark brown, dull, somewhat-ashy straw. I ended up going to J.Bangs Salon where I got my wedding day hair done and they fixed it up for me. Of course, they had to strip the color and all that kind of crap. It was a nightmare. I got scared again and kept paying to get my hair done.

Since then, I’ve done a little bit more research and now know that I should have used semi-permanent instead of permanent color. It turns out that folks with brown hair who have some gray (*ahem*) shouldn’t use permanent color for all sorts of reasons, noticeable root growth being one of them. A semi-permanent color makes your grays fade into “highlights” versus roots. I mean, that sounds like a no-brainer, but I just didn’t get it.

In my research I found that Good Housekeeping, Redbook, TotalBeauty.com  and Consumer Reports all listed Clairol Natural Instincts in their top ratings. Consumer Reports actually listed their Natural Instincts semi-permanent color for women, hair color for men and hair color for women of color as the best all around. Good to know. I trust those guys.


So Clairol Natural Instincts SEMI-permanent color is what it’s going to be. I’m terrified to do this, y’all. What if I pick the wrong color? I think I might turn this into a T30SB DIY experiment because if I’m taking pictures and thinking about how I might write the post, it might help dilute some of the terror involved in doing my own hair.

The reality is this: I have a shit-ton more gray than I think I should have at this age. However, I’m probably just in denial about this age. I’ve got these natural highlights at my temples that I’ve always referred to as my racing stripes. BG (Before Gray), they’d get super-light in the summer and if I pulled my hair straight back, they’d literally show as two lines down my head in a very Bride of Frankenstein sort of way that I thought was cool.


The sad thing is that as I look at my hair now, those stripes are clearly more gray than “highlights” and I’m guessing the B of F look will be adopted sometime in the future. The future being like 20 years from now when I can go gray and perhaps not feel so much like a 12 year old trapped in a 41 year old package.

So now’s your chance. Give me your at-home thoughts ASAP because this shit is about to happen. PLEASE don’t tell me not to do it because that decision has already been made and I must. If you tell me not to it will only make me feel bad. And that “feeling bad” mental real-estate has already got a mortgage payment that smacks of  a 2007 Fannie Mae subprime adjustable-rate loan.

Update on Thursday, September 29, 2011 at 10:57PM by Registered CommenterLouise

OK, I bought 2 boxes of Light Golden Brown, only after calling my mother from Wal-Mart and discussing this color versus the VERY different and possibly life changing Medium Golden Brown. Box said if you were unsure go lighter. So I listened to the box. The Candyman has agreed to help me. It's our Friday night date plan: coloring my hair.

I'm sure the hang-over will be worth the party.


Update on Saturday, October 1, 2011 at 6:54PM by Registered CommenterLouise

OK! I used two boxes of Natural Instincts Light Golden Brown and it looks pretty good! I did it solo and it was definitely messy and it took me some time to get the shit ton of hair I have completely saturated. So I left it on for 12 minutes versus the 15 they suggested for "resistant" grays. I could have better total coverage, so next time will leave it on for a full 15 minutes. I was scared that it would be too dark, but it's totally not. In fact, I think it looks pretty good. Amazing! SUCCESS!!!! And only $16!

Let's see how long it lasts!

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