I find myself in unfamiliar territory.
I've been a client at This Particular Salon for a little over a year now. I started using them on the recommendation of a friend, after my fabulously amazing hairdresser in Albuquerque refused to move to Arkansas. (I can still see the look on Jack's face when I suggested he and his tight leather black jeans, floral lavender silk shirt, and boyfriend might enjoy relocating to the Bible Belt.) My regular stylist has been on vacation, so this past weekend I decided to try Perky Girl - the new super cute, super fashionable stylist at This Particular Salon. (Does anyone else do this: We look at the stylists to help assess their hair-cutting abilities? If they're cute or cool with cute hair, we think hey!, they can make me cute and cool, too! If they have fried orange hair or they look like they're channeling Farrah circa 1979, we strongly consider feigning an illness and high-tailing it outta there.)
I went in on Saturday basically just wanting her to touch up my color/highlights. I normally just add some auburn and chestnut highlights into my natural medium brown base for shine and depth. Nice, boring, and easy, right? What can I say, I like ruts. Perky Girl and I talked extensively before she started coloring. We studied my roots, I showed her some pictures, we looked at the little "hair swatches" in the book...yada yada. I could see some hesitance on her face. I don't know, something just seemed to be off. She seemed slightly timid (which should've been my cue to bolt from the chair), but I ignored the Inner Voice and
Four hours later (yes, you read that right), I walked out with very dark, very I-did-my-own-dye-job-out-of-a-box-at-home hair. You guys have been kind in your critique of it on Facebook, but in person it looked like a bad toupee. Cruella deVille, with a bad toupee.
Maybe with a pointy hat and a broom or Seven Dwarfs, it would be a fun twist for Halloween. But it was certainly not what I had in mind.
So I went back yesterday (she assured me she could make it right, and she really is a very sweet girl, so I wanted to give her a chance - plus I'd already plunked down my ridiculously large sweaty wad of cash, so I felt like I was kind of up a creek in terms of options). This time, instead of using pictures from a magazine as a reference, I printed out several pictures of myself, to remind her what my hair color used to be and what I wanted it to be again. After sitting in her chair for a few minutes, Perky Girl let out a big sigh and admitted that the color had turned out "quite a bit darker" than she'd expected. She apologized and thanked me for the opportunity to make things right. Ah, precious darling. I resisted patting her. No problem, we all make mistakes. The room was all 'a twinkle with sweetness. And actually, her admission gave me a bit more confidence in her ability to get it right this time. I mean, at least she could recognize a botched job when she saw it! A step in the right direction, right?
After the tick-tock crawl of yet ANOTHER four hours in her chair, she lifted the towel to reveal my new 'do. I clapped my hand over my mouth to suppress a scream. I'm crappin' you negative, I looked exactly like a character from Knots Landing. Turns out, unbeknownst to me, she had used bleach (as in: what you use to disinfect your toilet and whiten your socks) to "highlight" my hair and then she had painted on a toner over it. The finished product was kind of a gray-green hue with billions of platinum blond/almost white streaks. It looked like the old frosted hairdo of the early 80's. It was AWFUL. I didn't have my cell phone/camera with me, but rest assured, had I, you would have been provided a quality wet-your-pants momento. It was all kinds of comical. Or it would've been had I been able to take it off, put it on a shelf, put my real hair back on and walk away.
I know it's just hair, but I immediately burst into tears. When Perky Girl saw how distraught I was, she burst into tears. I was squalling. She was squalling. It was quite the display of Estrogen Fabulousness, let me tell you. Another stylist who was there late with a client came over to see who had died. After sizing things up, she said the only thing that could really be done at that point was to put another toner on it, so that's what they did. Which was supposed to slightly darken The Trainwreck and give it some nice auburn undertones, but which actually just reverted it back to its previous flat Cruella color.
So eight combined hours later (approximately the amount of time it takes to do a complex surgery), I walked out with my toupee again. Only now it has kind of a burgundy glow to it. Very special. Especially in the moonlight.
The words that escaped my mouth on the drive home, admittedly, were not very lady-like.
No, they were not.
At this point I'm not sure what to do. Really, I'm scared to let anyone do much of anything, for fear my hair will wave the white flag of surrender and just start jumping off my head in clumps. Which, actually, might be a preferable look to what I have now.
A little perspective, Kristy. Think of the starving children in Africa.