Highlights are a real pain in the ass.
It took no more than two visits to Jason in the very early stages of my blonding experiment for me to realize this. They are expensive, they are a bitch to maintain, and if you go as light as I was for a time, your roots seem to show up almost instantly just two weeks after coloration. If you are a finicky Virgo like me, and you like things to be neat and orderly and seek to maintain a certain aesthetic at all times, such transgressions are bound to drive you nuts. The only way to truly keep up with your roots is to return to the salon once a month (six weeks at the most) to endure yet another three hour foil treatment that will leave your wallet at least $150 lighter.
But I loved my blonde hair in spite of all this...LOVED it, almost unconditionally. Do you want to know how I know this to be true? Because every second of every minute that I spent in Jason's chair at the salon felt worth it to me. Sure, on the one hand I had to be there because I was working on a book about my experiences, and truly, I had no choice but to keep up with my roots if I were to walk through my life as an honest to goodness blonde. But in addition to all that, I really believed, deep in my heart, that I looked more lovely as a blonde. Of course, after a year of this color-happy madness, I was getting a little tired of the whole process. And, in those final, traumatic moments before I went brown, as I prepared to grieve the loss of my lovely goldilocks as one might grieve the loss of a favorite childhood teddy bear, the only thought that could console me was this:
At least I'll finally save myself some money on highlights.
I was smoking the color crack for a few months there are the end of my blonde year. It had gotten to the point where I'd sit in Jason's chair on a monthly basis and beg: "can we go lighter this time? Please? Please? Just a little bit lighter? Just a little bit closer to platinum?" I just wanted to keep pushing the envelope, but somewhere, deep down inside I knew: my hair was starting to look really tired. On bad days, which were becoming more and more frequent it looked frizzy and fried. To be honest, it was probably suffering at the hands of my blondeness obsession.
So, as I faced my day of brunette reckoning and tried to make peace with it all, I'd imagine myself like this: strutting out of the salon, long, freshly dyed brown hair streaming behind me, looking soft, shiny, and healthier than ever. The sun hat had so loved my blonde locks would continue to glint on my hair, only now it would make the brown locks shimmer, accentuating hints of auburn and rich chestnut with it's rays...
And you know what? At first, that's exactly what happened. My hair looked healthy and gorgeous and full and healthy again. Somehow it appeared that the brown hair dye had managed to make my sick hair well again. "Good riddance to fried blonde frizz," I'd think, as I brushed my shiny hair in the mirror. It looked longer to me, fuller, and bigger than ever before. And I loved it.
And all of this brunette magic lasted for exactly four days. Then I made a terrible mistake: I washed it.
Did you know that dark hair dye fades when you wash your hair? Within three washes, my hair looked dull and sad, and those ends I'd friend from so many bleaching processes faded to a mousy, brooding brown. Then, just a few weeks later, these sad, light brown roots (a.k.a. my natural hair) started to reveal itself. I found myself right back in Jason's chair about a month after my initial double process.
"I tried to warn you," Jason said. "It's going to fade because that's just what happens. Your hair is ridiculously porous from all the bleaching you've already put it through. Plus, I'm using SEMI-permanent because you've demanded that I turn it back to blonde in just six months. This is what happens, honey. Unless you want to chop your hair off and wait for it to grow out, it's semi-permanent or nothing."
*Sigh* So there you go. There is truly no rest for the color happy.