After talking DIY haircut tales of terror earlier this week, naturally, we started thinking about other beauty disasters we’ve suffered, and hair color mishaps topped the list. Personally, I’ve endured them all. There were various Sun-In incidents (and yes, I went from brassy orange to green on that trip), cranberry juice-fueled binges, at-home highlights (do not attempt at home!), henna, the time black did not look as cool as I thought it would, bleached blonde (also not as rad as in theory), and a million and one crazy-looking streaks in between. But there’s nothing so seductive as the pretty model with perfect hair on the front of that cardboard box filled with promise, even though we now realize, in this age of the airbrushing revolution, that her ‘do is as fake as the dye itself. For the past few years I’ve sworn off coloring my own hair, but as every professional colorist I’ve ever interviewed has asserted, color correction is their bread and butter. After the jump, The Frisky staffers share their own experiences with hair color.
“I was living in Chicago. I had brown hair. I thought, ‘You know what would be really dramatic? Black!’ Over-the-counter black, at that. So, for around $8, I went noir. The hair was nice — on someone else. It made my skin look … sea foam green. I got the color stripped and returned to brown for several hundred bucks more than it took me to make my mistake.” – Susannah
“The first time I put blue dye in my hair (circa 9th grade), I had the brilliant idea of getting in the shower, pouring it in my hand, and applying it like shampoo. Except that the dye is liquid and got all over me, and my shoulders and scalp were much bluer than my hair. Now that I’ve been doing it forever, I have the application process down to an exact science. No more Smurf skin for me!” – Kate
“My red hair started fading about five years ago when I was 27-28, so I decided to punch it up with some color. I’d never dyed my hair before and didn’t see any reason why I couldn’t get the same effect from a box job as I could at the salon. I did a Clairol kit at home and turned my hair bright orange … like Crayola orange. I had a date that night with my stuck-up doctor boyfriend who decided we should skip dinner with his colleagues and go to the after-party at a dark bar instead. I told him he could go without me and I stayed home and spent the evening trying on hats. The next day I made an emergency appointment at my salon and had the color stripped. It was two more years before I attempted color again (this time with a professional).” – Wendy
“Oh, lordy. In 9th grade I dyed my hair Manic Panic blue with a bottle I bought from Ricky’s. I had no idea what I was doing. I thought I should dye my dark, dark, dark brown hair blonde first, so I lightened up, and then dyed it blue. So the blonde looked horrible, but I put the Manic Panic right over it, but not before sloshing a little dye in my eyes. Hair dye in the eyeball hurts like a motherf**ker. I remember my mom heard me crying out and ran into the bathroom, where she started to yell at me about spilling hair dye on the sink. I seriously couldn’t *see* the sink. I frantically washed my hands and took out my contact lenses before they, like, burned onto my eye. I washed my eye out and all was OK, but my blonde-plus-blue dye had actually made my hair bluish-green. Fortunately, it was still kind of cool-looking, I thought.” – Jessica
“I am such a wimp. I’ve never colored my hair.” – Catherine
“Neither have I!” – Lily
“Yeah, my perfectly hi/lo shade of baby blonde is 100 percent growing out of my head too. Right. But I did have a run-in with Sun-In during my senior year in college. It was at the point that my blonde was getting a bit dull but didn’t want to admit to either myself or anyone I knew that I wasn’t a ‘natural’ blonde anymore, so I figured, it was going to look like it grew out of my head if I used Sun-In. I applied, then reapplied, and reapplied again, every single day for a month. At one point my hair was breaking off about an inch from my scalp, clumps of it were washing down the drain every shower. I had to quit it and go to a pro, he took one look at my hair and said, ‘You need to grow out some of these ‘shorter layers’ because there’s nothing I can do.’ Awkward hair phase.” – Nina
“My hair color horror story lasted, oh, eight years? I was born blonde but my hair started to darken as I got into my teens. For whatever reason, I had always associated beauty with blonde hair and I was a convinced I was a blonde inside, dammit! So for eight years I dyed my hair varying shades of blond — platinum, honey, golden, whatever — sometimes myself and sometimes at a salon. The thing is, no one ever sat me down and said, ‘Amelia, girl, give it up. You look like s**t with blonde hair and you’re ruining your locks with all that peroxide. For what? Nothing.’ Finally one random stylist convinced me to go back to my roots (chemically) and I’ve been a content brunette ever since.” – Amelia
OK, your turn people.