Thursday, April 19, 2012

How to Dip Dye Your Hair Pink While Having an Existential Crisis

Step One: Turn thirty. Have feelings about this.

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 Eleven: While you are waiting for the dye to set, consider whether or not you think pink hair is actually about youth. Make the argument that it is more about brightness and beauty and living the one life you have in a way that feels honest and fun.

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)

20 comments:

  1. woo hoo! I have nothing to add.

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  2. Actually? Yes. Which I guess means I really AM old...

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    Replies
    1. in the next shot I am doing "the cabbage patch" :/

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  3. My soon-to-be sister in law is your age, and has pink in her hair. She would say "good for you!" Here's a link to her fashion blog - maybe it will inspire you to keep up the transformation.
    http://www.dresseduplikealady.com/

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    Replies
    1. oh awesome! Thanks for the link!

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  4. "Start to meditate on your lost punk youth, specifically the bright colors you wore to match your spritely teenage personality." remember when Angela Chase from My So Called Life dyed her hair fire engine red and it was the best thing that ever happened, pre-Jordan Catalano? that's kind of how I feel about your hair right now. so good!

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    Replies
    1. Any compliment that also manages to invoke My So-Called Life is pretty much the best thing you can say to me, so THANKS! :)

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  5. You are hilarious. Also, I love your pink hair. Get it, girl!

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  6. OOps typo so excited I went too fast, great writing good instructions esp the trash bag! grownup land! fab results

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  7. Love this. I recently went through some similar steps my 30-year-old self, with "flame" punky colour.

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  8. you. are. awesome. hahah so funny yet informative.

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  9. That looks awesome. I dyed my hair that color in college (all of my hair). One of the added perks was that I kept bumping into old friends a lot more often; they could spot me coming from two blocks away. I also went on a road trip to New Orleans with hair that color, which attracted a lot of attention while driving through small Arkansas/Louisiana towns.

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  10. You are the bravest! Love this. I thought I was the only one that felt like this... reading your blog is like reading my thoughts .. thank you for making me not feel so alone!

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  11. how long does the color stay on

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  12. Thank you so much for this! I've stumbled on your blog after endless google searches for my own "pink hair, should I do it or no" LOL.. it's the middle of winter, I feel drab and I never did get the chance to have fun with this in my youth, now I think it's time, though I am in a "respectable-stuffy-adult job" , I don't care anymore and I want to have fun! LOL thanks for your pics you've inspired me!

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  13. I too stumbled on your blog googling pink dos. Can I just say, even though I did the pink a year after you its as if you crawled into my head (esp step 7). I LOVE your writing!! Please keep your blog going, Id love to follow it :) And what is your book about? Is it similar in writing style (or is it more grownup serious)?

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    1. Thanks so much! I really should update more but I've been pretty focused on the book. Sadly it's a different style, more grownup, a memoir partly about grief, BUT my next book will be much more fun, I promise!!
      Thanks again!

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  14. What color punky color did you use? I absolutely love it and I really want to do this!!

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  15. Hahahaha this totally sums up exactly how I'm feeling right now! I'm 30, used to have bright colors in my hair and am going to the hairdresser in a week to get a pink ombre done in my hair! haha

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