I have this rule: if I think about a big change in my appearance, I’ll wait six months and then get back to me. Do I still want this change? If the answer is yes, I’ll do it – that’s how I got gum-pink hair. My hair has become my identifier (people I haven’t seen in years recognize me from a mile away), and while it takes a lot of time and money to look after, I’ve never felt freer. Here’s what I’ve learned so far:
Your colorist is your new best friend
Bleaching hair, especially hair as dark as mine, is an intense process that inevitably damages it. You should go to a colorist. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and be honest about your budget. A bleaching job becomes more expensive when the stylist is more experienced. So if you’re nervous about a break, it makes sense to pamper yourself. You will be spending a lot of time with the person you choose (my first appointment was eight hours and each touch-up takes about four). Hence, it is important that you and your colorist click. In case you’re wondering, I’ll see Erika Caggiano at Spoke & Weal in SoHo.
Although the process is long, your hair probably can’t be
Bleaching your hair tends to dry it out and straighten curls as well. I have to get a cut once a month to make sure my hair looks fresh. And I’ve also found that my hair looks healthiest when cut over my shoulders, which is fine because I’ve always been a fan of short hair anyway. I’m 4’11 ”and when I cut my hair my co-workers said I look like a little baby punk. I kind of love that.
You may not get your favorite shade the first time
It can take a while to finally decide on a color that you are really happy with. So trust is the name of the game. There’s a learning curve to getting used to the bleaching job and grooming, and adapting to it has also taught me to be more relaxed about how I look. Now I trust my colorist to choose a shade that she thinks will suit me: I was every variation of pink, from coral to purpley-magenta to my current chewing gum. Since it is the bleach that causes hair damage, not the color sheen, letting my colorist try different shades is low risk and exciting. Every repair is a little different!
And since light colors are unusual, home care is limited
Overtone, a line of color tinted shampoos, conditioners, and masks, is my preferred method of keeping my color fresh between touch-ups. But it’s always sold out in the shade I want. I usually use Vibrant Pink, but once I bought the Extreme version instead because it was the only one in stock. I tried it the first time the night before an important meeting and it turned out to be looking wild – way too bright in a way I hated. I panicked and pushed my hair back with a large headband, which made me look like a floating head on zoom. The lesson here is: Better to let your color fade while you wait to buy your favorite shade than get impatient and buy everything that is in stock or take a chance with another brand. (Or maybe it’ll buy extras if you can.)
The whole thing is expensive
Each touch-up ranges from $ 250 to $ 300 every four to six weeks, and all of the products on my daily schedule add up to $ 333. Rebuilding and moisturizing hair products are important to keep my hair looking and feeling healthy so that I can’t really save up. I wash it about once a week (more often and my hair starts to frizzy) with Olaplex shampoo and conditioner. Pureology’s Color Fanatic Leave-In Spray makes my hair look so much healthier that people notice it when I use it, and I switch between Verb and Olaplex hair oils on my ends. Gel is a must for fried hair, and I like using Ouais Finishing Crème to smooth the top and her matte pomade to keep my ends in place. And hair masks are a must – my staples are from Overtone and Olaplex No. 3, and I twist the honey hair mask from Santa Maria Novella and the rose mask from Aesop. It makes sense to stock up when you see a sale. I’m also trying to save money on tools like combs (this one from Giorgio is only $ 10) and boar bristle brushes to stimulate my scalp (the Mason Pearson kid’s brush is cheaper than the adult version and works the same way).
And despite all of this, you are going to have bad hair days
But it’s worth it for me. On the worst hours of the morning, I still like the way my hair acts as an accent to my outfit or my makeup look.
Plus, people will always have something to say about it
Whether positive, negative or neutral. The last time I saw my doctor he said, “Oh no, there’s a new condition that doctors just discovered and I think you might have it! The first symptom is that your hair is turning pink! “Boys who think they’re creative ask,” Is this your natural hair color? ” I’m a graphic designer by day, and although piercings, tattoos, and dye jobs are linked to the creative industry, I feel like people are staring. Sometimes I wonder if the judgments they might make are worth it, but then I correct the course. Everyone will have an opinion, but when it comes to my hair, mine is the only one that matters.
– Madeline Montoya
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