Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Hair-Raising Experiences

Hairdressers of the world unite!

Yesterday's debacle made me turn in desperation to a bigger solution. This was beyond sweet Justin's ability, I thought. So I went to a new, more expensive hairdresser recommended by two friends. Julie had the grace not to gasp when I straggled in, looking closer to a bag lady, with the strap on my bag hanging off (it had ripped on the way to Workers Stadium. I kind of love the fact that my hair mistake is being fixed inside China's monument to the worker. Workers Stadium today is dotted with restaurants, high end sports stores, hair salons, and other testaments to the power of capitalism and a good pizza. But I digress)
Me in black.
Step one. Blonde ambition.
It turned out that it was going to cost me to fix my impulsive mistake (Note to myself: Impulsive decisions cost you money. Can you please remember that next time?)

So the first step was to strip the hair of all the black. Because when you go this black, it's hard to go back (sorry, couldn't resist). Two workers started applying a bleaching agent to my hair. One guy was clearly moving fast, which I noticed as a plop of bleach landed on my iPad and another on my nose. I decided to close my eyes. Eyesight is never overrated.
Step two. Is this what being a strawberry blonde is like?

When I opened my eyes again, I was covered with white glop that was rapidly stripping the color from my hair. Before my unbleached eyes I saw my hair turning to a color that was a cross between strawberry blonde and Midwest hay. For a short moment I thought I'd surprise Bob with a blonde on his birthday: me. But then I saw that the color was just not flattering to me or probably to anyone who isn't two years old. Plus, the bleach was burning.

"Is it supposed to burn?" I asked Julie. She assured me it was perfectly normal. After all, I was stripping my hair of all pigment to fashion me into some kind of albino bag lady.

When it was rinsed out and the burning stopped, I looked like someone once again wearing a really bad wig, this one somewhere between the color of a legal pad and a broom. This was not a color that Mother Nature ever created on her own.

Next I received the light brown color that had been my goal all along. There was only one slight problem. My bill after all this was a whopping 1,240 RMB, or $200. It was more money than I had paid Justin in the year I had been visiting his salon. And it was worth every single Mao.
Ta da!


  1. Boy, I was frightened when I saw the earlier photos - but it turned out great!! Ditch Justin, sweetie. Doing you no favors by turning you into a "blackhead" (or a tete de noir)!!! Love the new color!! And I also went yesterday for one process color and two small highlights - $200 as well. I know you don't expect that in China, but you know the old idiom 'you get what you pay for.' xo Suz

  2. Dear Suz, I cannot blame my dear Justin for the black hair -- that was all my doing. He does a great cut. Color, not as good. xxxooo