Step Two: Avoid a mess by cutting head and arm holes into a trash bag and making a protective tunic.
Step Three: In a shallow ceramic bowl combine one part powder bleach with one part 20 volume creme developer. Mix these with your long tinting brush from Sally Beauty Supply. Are you wearing gloves? Great!
Step Four: Paint the bleach mixture onto the bottom five inches of your hair. There's no turning back now. Open a window and let it sit for 25 minutes, or until your hair starts to feel and look like straw. Rise the bleach out. Dry your hair carefully.
Step Five: Take a picture of your trendy new ombre 'do.
Step Six: Consider just stopping at this point. Isn't this the boost you were after? Doesn't this look cute enough? Spend some time feeling OK about this while you watch the Internet.
Step Seven: Start to meditate on your lost punk youth, specifically the bright colors you wore to match your spritely teenage personality. Think about how happy and how simple it was to sit with your best friend Lauren, watching The Real World London and eating frozen lasagna while she carefully tinted your hair violet or fuchsia. Recall how when you became an adult you made a big show about renouncing your former colorful look, declaring something vague about beauty on the inside. Think of the years you spent being studiously dull looking, buying your clothes from Old Navy and letting your hair become long and brown and forgettable because what did you have to prove? Remember how wrong it felt to look into a mirror a see such a bland reflection, but how silly you thought it would be to have pink hair at your age.
Step Eight: Get over yourself.
Step Nine: Put your trash bag back on. Start painting dye onto the bleached tips of your hair, layering the light pink Manic Panic at the top with the deeper Punky Color toward the bottom, creating an ombre effect similar to what you did for your ikea lampshade. Try not to think too much about how you are carefully matching your hair to a lamp...
Step Ten: Tape the bottom end of the trash bag to your shoulders to trap the mess you've made and avoid it getting onto your nice things (like the white sofa you got from Craigslist that was originally from Pottery Barn, aka Grownup Land.)
Step Twelve: Realize that no one is arguing with you.
Step Thirteen: Rinse your hair in the sink until the water runs clear.
Step Fourteen: Begin to dry your hair with a dark towel. Get overly excited. Take a laptop picture to send to your sister while everything is still wet. Start to feel like some sort of rock star. Get suddenly embarrassed about being so happy over something silly and superficial like pink hair. Wrestle with your feelings while you put your shoes on to go walk the dog. Realize on your walk that you have a spring in your step. Take the long way, feeling the sun on your shoulders and the soft breeze in your colorful ponytail. Come back home and look in the mirror.
Step Fifteen: Feel like yourself again.
Step Sixteen: Wonder what took you so long.
(print behind me by my pal Ken Garduno)