The response to the Easter perm was so wonderful. I loved reading your responses and hearing your stories very similar to mine—great stories and memories. As I was thinking about women and their hair, I remembered another spring hair moment that I thought I would share.
It was a beautiful spring morning many years ago, and I was making my monthly trek to the drugstore for my natural hair color. Or as my mother answers when asked, “Where does your daughter get her pretty hair?” Out of a bottle. It was that time, you know, when you can no longer hide those little blonde roots that show themselves every six weeks.
I liked the shampoo-in products as I could quickly maintain my youthful look in the privacy of my home. This particular Saturday morning, while everyone was still asleep, I decided to do the necessary touch ups. But when I was selecting my usual hair care stuff, I spied a new product that was designed to be kind to your hair. It was natural color—no chemicals. Guilt overcame me. Had I been harming or hurting my hair? Shame on me. So I took home the new product in a lovely shade of medium auburn.
I put the color on my hair, waiting the appropriate time, and jumped into the shower to rinse it out. Then in a quick time, I expected to be as good as new. As I blew my hair dry, I noticed this lovely shade of Christmas Red appearing the dryer my hair got. OMgosh. When I was completely dry, I was totally devastated and looked like my hair was burning.
“Ok, be calm,” I said in my mind. “The box said six washings, and it will be gone. Since everyone is asleep, I can wash it six times, and no one will know of my disaster.” I ran and got the dishwashing detergent that removes grease from dishes to be sure I had a strong soap. Six washes, and it’s gone. Wrong. Six washes, and it still shone bright.
Panic was setting in. What happened? Well everywhere the previous chemically enhanced hair color had been completely absorbed the pure color pigment. I was done, and this was permanent.
But wait, what would be wrong with putting my original, tried-and-true hair color over this? Now we are thinking. So I put on one of my son’s ball caps, rushed to the store, and returned home with old faithful. I repeated the process, rinsed, and whaaa laaa…..worse.
Everyone was waking up by now, and I was in shock. Now at this point, why didn’t I go to a salon, lie on the floor begging for help, and pray someone would show mercy? No, I was going to solve this by myself.
I returned to the store, this time hunting for the little bottle of toner that everyone has used for generations: Chocolate Kiss. This will turn red into…hopefully something near chestnut color. Well lets just say, almost brown with a red underglow.
Did I mention I was the church organist, and there was nowhere to hide? And that I was to stand and be introduced during baby dedication the following day?
Sunday…a day I will never forget. Raining. And we all know that when it rains, temporary toner runs. Could it be any worse? I guess I should be proud it had not fallen out at this point.
After the day was over and the somewhat horrible comments had been delivered, I was totally exhausted and ready to run. Then another brilliant idea hit. I thought, “Wow, if the first red color was absorbed completely, why wouldn’t brown be absorbed the same way?” So you got it…repeat the process. Well it worked enough to cover most of the red, but I can’t even describe the texture to you.
Today, every time I visit my local hairdresser, I always ask the question as the color is rinsed out, “Is it a color found in nature?” Ahhh, peace.
Got any good hair stories? Come on, let’s share!
At 16 years of age I decided to try To be a sexy blonde! It turned out a beautiful carrot orange! And like you, I tried everything to change it! No such luck!
My Lord are you funny. Now I’m sure you have realized, that you do nothing to your hair before a holiday. May it 8 weeks before. If you like it, you can repeat it, if not, it will rinse out. I have done this so many times, I gave up counting.
I am sorry for your mishap, but you did entertain me for a few minutes.
My funny hair story is actually a nonhair story. The first time I had cancer I had to undergo chemotherapy which completely obliterated my hair. I bought a short wig to wear to work. One day during a faculty meeting I accidentally dropped something. While I was under the table retrieving it, my friend sitting next to me accidentally bumped my head. I couldn’t resist the opportunity this presented. Loving jokes the way I do, I was rotating my wig slightly while she was apologizing quietly above the table. It was decidedly askew. As I resurfaced, I asked her if it (the wig) was OK. We nearly got put out of the meeting. She was laughing so hard she started snorting.
I have had several “Lucy” hair experiences-the ones that you can laugh about years later. One of them happened this past week end with a new hair dresser and I have been contemplating trying to fix this purple hair myself,but after reading these stories of hair falling out I believe that I will just stay a punk rock grandmother.
The first time I used a curling iron, I burnt my bangs off…
Phyllis, your story gave me a good chuckle……my only experience was getting it colored too dark. It was jet black. I looked like Morticia on the Adams Family. Looking back at the time I thought that was the worse thing that could happen to me. As we get older we realize it was just a very small bump in the road!!
This reminds me of the time my friend bought the “all natural, organic” hair coloring at our local natural food store. No, it didn’t turn into a lovely shade of light brown. It was maroon! You could have been twins. I learned then that when I needed to start coloring my hair to always consult a professional! I love my hairdresser.
I love the way women share so honestly with each other about the human things they’ve done!
My mom was a blue-eyed blonde until she passed away at 86. The way she accomplished the never ending blonde began with me when I was five years old and could dip a cotton ball into a bowl of LIGHT AND BRIGHT and dab it on her roots from my perch on a kitchen stool over her head. I hated the smell but felt so grown up, I learned to live with it! My mom always boasted she had never seen a gray hair on her head.
The beauty salon was, is, and always will be a priority to the women in my family. I have had many lovely shades of color over the years and plan to be a natural redhead until join my mother. I can say to her then that I’ve never seen a gray hair on my head either!
My daughter, a blue eye blonde like her grandmother, began her hair coloring behavior as an adolescent, initially with “blonder” highlights and with my approval. Then she went to a smoky purple, which was changed to shocking pink with black tips, and then a dramatic blue black. She loved freaking out the rest of the family, but I maintained a close relationship with her by being a supportive mother. She remained on the Dean’s List throughout hair color changes, which allowed me to be objective when it came to appearances. Now, as a beautiful woman, she shares the love of salons. She just booked our Mother’s Day Spa appointments for the works!
I had a good chuckle this morning while reading your hair-raising confessions! I have tried some crazy stuff, but my hair stories just can’t beat yours!! I had red growing up (now faded to blonde), and as a child I so wanted to dye it black. Reading Anne of Green Gable’s story where Anne’s her turned green prevented me from daring to proceed. Your writings today reminded me of Anne.
Actually, I do have a hair color horror story. AT the time this happened, my beautician, Rita, and I had a deal where she told me the specific hair products to purchase and I would bring them to the appointment when she cut my hair, and she would apply the color (semi-permanent) for just a few extra dollars. This had been working out great for several years.
Then, just before Thanksgiving one year, my freshly colored wet hair was a brilliant orange instead of the dark blonde and light blonde which she always mixed for me. I can only describe it as carrot orange ! My beautician was very nervous, but I stayed calm because I knew she would fix it some way. it was NOT her fault but I learned a valuable lesson that day. always
check the inside tube to see if the color on the tube matches the color on the box. apparently, someone had mistakenly put the orangey color in the blonde box and neither of us thought to check. After a very long extended appointment, Rita applied this and that in order to get me somewhere in my normal looking color range. Afterwards, everyone asked why I remained SO calm and I replied that I had faith in Rita, I knew she would and could fix it! Rita thought that was funny since she was not so confident during the process. Orange is not my color !
In case you want Rita’s name and salon, sorry, she has now retired !
I used to high light my dark brown, (almost black) hair when I was in hotel management. When I was assigned to a Holiday Inn Florida, I would arrange my vacations home to Northern VA. around the time my highlights needed touching up. One year after trying a salon in Orlando, (disaster does not begin to describe it), I decided to fly home and ask my home town salon to fix the problem. My hair dresser suggest we dye the highlighted areas a shade of brown, this sounded reasonable so I agreed. My hair ended up with burgundy highlights!! Never again. Now I have Mother Natures highlights!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
All too funny! I am giggling out loud while reading these stories and I’m making people wonder what I’m giggling about….that’s o.k. I love to have an air of mystery. Not that I want to re-live my bad hair experience (actually…there have been many) but I can’t resist. First, I have to ask “why, as women, if we have a painful rejection experience, do we feel that we must change something drastic?” When I was in college, I experienced a heart renching breakup with my boyfriend who I had probably only been dating a few weeks. I remember being terribly hurt and decided I would highlight my hair. They had just come out with a new and easy brush-on highlight kit. That sounded wonderful as I hated to wear that funny cap and pull my hair out through those tiny holes. As a brush-on, I could do that myself…so I did. My previous hair had been a nice shade of brown. After the brush-on experience, the top layers of hair were now blond and everything underneath brown…so If I pulled my hair up I was two-toned…which also became my new nickname until the color grew out. I was a poor college student, working two jobs to pay for tuition and living on Lorna Dunes and couldn’t afford to fix my mistake.
I feel blessed that my hair color is now what I have wanted since I was 8 years old! My father had “salt and pepper” hair which I adored. I asked if I could have that same color – his response was “maybe when you’re older.” Finally I am older and my hair has gradually turned “salt and pepper” since my early 60’s. As a teenager, I always complained about my naturally curly hair. Needless to say, my short curly gray locks make me happy now. I’m also pleased when I get compliments from older ladies who tell me they wished their hair looked like mine. Growing up, I wished that my hair was straight like most of my friends. I guess the tables have turned.
My grandsons have curly hair. They like to have it shaved off, not bald, but close to it! I tell them, “Do you realize how much people pay and go through to have curls like that?”
I had curly hair as a child, and my sister had straight, “cotton” hair. As we grew older, my hair darkened and became straight, with a little wave. Her hair became so curly, she has it straightened! My mother blamed my change on having ether when my children were born. She blamed that on her blonde hair turning dark after we were born. My sister never married or had children, so she didn’t get the ether! I don’t really believe that. I think it has more to do with DNA, etc.
Thanks, Cecelia. I hated my curly hair and paid to get it straightened – I still remember the horrid chemical odor and sitting at the beauty salon for hours on end. Luckily, curly hair – or any type of hair – is in these days. Half the time, I don’t think any of us is completely satisfied with what God gave us or what genes we inherited! Take care.
When I was a Senior in Nursing School with only a few weeks before graduation, I decided to rebel. Since we were always told how to wear our hair and how short our uniforms could be, I decided what could they do to me this close to graduation. I have very dark brown hair, what would be better than a few highlights in my hair, as everyone had highlights in their hair in the 1960’s. Well I had it done by a professional hairdresser, so what could go wrong.
Well I looked like a skunk or someone graduating from Nursing School in their 70’s. I tried to put a rinse on it for graduation. Needless to say, I haven’t had highlights in my hair since.
That is hilarious. thank you for sharing.
When I was in high school many, many years ago my mother insisted that I take social dance lessons. I liked dancing, but everything else was awful, especially learning and practicing social etiquette. I was socially awkward, shy, and although very musical and coordinated, I always ended up with clumsy boys. I dreaded those classes! The worst time was the big dance at the end of the year. I had to dress up and wear make-up (including garter belts and hose in those days), and I did not want to do either. At the last one of these big events I had to go to the local Beauty Parlor and get a perm. When I got home I became very ill. I had an allergic reaction to something in the perm chemicals and I broke out with hives in my stomach. I remember laying in my parents’ bed dozing and watching the 1944 version of Jane Eyre on their TV. I was physically miserable, but SO RELIEVED because I was too sick to go to the dance! My mother was not so happy. To this day I do not get perms!
Ouch….that will do it!
Ahhh, does this post bring back memories of a Thanksgiving past! We had been transferred to NE Ohio and were going down to North Carolina to spend the holiday with family. I ran out of time and did not get to the hairdresser to get the roots taken care of. I decided to do it myself. And, I did it early in the morning of the day we were leaving. My hair was a glow-in-the-dark carrot orange! I wore a baseball cap all the way to NC. When we arrived, my cousin and I were going to quietly duck out to the local big box store for color to cover up the “glow”. It turned out to be a trip with my son and nephews in tow. We got another color, covered up the “glow”, had hair that felt like straw, and I acquired a new name…………Aunt Punk Mama! To this day, when the boys want to tease me, they will call me that. It was horrific at the time, but a cherished memory now!
Aunt Punk Mama…..that is wild. I love it. Those are the times you wish no one had ever seen you.
I am a natural redhead now turning grey. I use a natural from health store, the others have chemicals. I’m a chemical free person, plus the others burn my scalp, the chemicals, duh? Now I want it foiled to blend in with gray roots & that won’t touch my scalp. Some women look so beautiful with gray hair, but mine isn’t there yet. Lol!
I have a happy story! Last year a dear friend colored her hair and I really liked how it looked….sort of reddish. Well, I had always been a natural redhead, but when I had chemo, it turned a very mousy brown. So, after a lot of thinking about it, I asked my friend if she would color my hair using the same shade as she did her own.
When our son came to visit from England, he walked in and thought to himself, ” wow, Mum’s or has turned red again!”. When I saw my oncologist, he threw up his arms and said, ” You look fantastic! There’ s this energy about you!”. He never guessed I changed my hair color and now I look myself again!!
Your story makes me smile. Thank you for sharing!!!
My recent disaster was to find clumps of hair coming out. I had shingles over Christmas (jingle bells bah!). Can this be the reason? I too color that gray away but I may not have to worry too much longer.
Story was so funny. What we women due to maintain our beauty.
We suffer to be beautiful…….
Several years ago, my hair was coming out in clumps. I was teaching at the time and, one day, my doctor called me out of class to tell me that I might have Leukemia and sent me to an Oncologist in another city. I had to wait an unnerving month to get in. When I tried to get on the exam table, I told the doctor that it was time for a shot in my knees as I had trouble getting on the table. He ran to a computer and said that it was those shots that were the problem. Each time I got the shot, my white blood cell spiked higher. With the last one, it looked like I had Leukemia. Relief! But, why did my hair fall out? Doctor then sent me to a Dermatologist. He was sure that I had experienced some life changing event , like the death of a spouse. No. I had been divorced for 25 years! The only thing that I could think of was that I had learned that two of the boys I dated in college days, had died, a few years previously. I think it must have been the shots. By the time I saw the Dermatologist, the hair loss had slowed, some roots were more normal. The specialist was stumped.
I was just happy that I could touch my hair without a handful of hair coming out!
Drs dont know everything. Ill see what happens
One fine summer day. my sister and I were outside. She lived in a different city and was down for a visit. She was looking at me rather strangely. I asked her what was wrong. She said. “Your hair is green.” No way. She was going color blind or some such.
I proceeded to get a mirror and inspect my, I thought, golden locks. Sure enough my hair had a most definite GREEN sheen. Panic city.
I drove to the beauty shop with much haste. They, with all their wisdom, determine I had been using a hair color with an ash brown base. Over time this ash brown builds up and turns the hair GREEN. Imagine that.
The beautician could either cut my hair short or bleach the color out. Well, I was terrified of that word BLEACH so I had my hair cut short short. That summer I spent a lof of time at the city pool and the chlorine and sun took out the rest of the green.
Since that time my beautician has become my best friend when it comes too hair color.
My hair is now snow white. About a year ago I decided to go A NATURAL. I get a lot of compliments so am happy about my hair, for now. Tomorrow is a new day and all of those glorious colors in the hair care department are TEMPTATION. Ha
I had a cousin who had 3 little children, lost her husband, and had very little money. So she tried to do things herself. She decided to give herself a perm, and a little boost to her brown color. She didn’t realize that you should wait a while between the color and the perm, and did the both the same afternoon. Her hair did turn green! She was so upset! She just wore a scarf until it grew out and she could cut it off. She still did her own perms, sometimes with the help of a friend, the rest of her life. But she read the instructions more carefully!
My aunt had x-ray treatments on a spot in her scalp by a Dermatologist back in the ’40s. She had a little spot of dandruff. She was just 18. That spot turned white and remained that way . (They gave x-ray treatments for everything back then.)
My aunt has black hair so she started having her hair colored, and no one knew. Until she told me when she was in her 80s!
When the “Bubble” hair style was popular, she wore her hair that way. Went to the beauty shop each week to have it done. Someone told her that it looked good, so she would not change it.
She had a stroke that affected her vision, first, and her doctor sent her to a nursing home, since she lived alone. Bad experience!
But she still wanted her hair done the same way. The home wouldn’t allow her beautician to do her hair there, so she told us how it was to be done. Permanent color, and, in between, temporary color for touchups. Well, the home beauticians insisted on their way. We bought the temporary color as instructed. But that’s all those ladies would use. What a mess! It cameo out everywhere. Linens, towels, clothing, her hands, the nurse’s hands, and she started pulling her hair out. Her fingernails were stained with black dye.
We told them the problem, but they didn’t want to fool with it, and insisted that her hair had to go natural.
By then, she had broken a hip at the home, and had dementia. She didn’t know if she had “The Helmet”, as my sister called it. But they fixed her silver hair in what I call the typical “old lady” style. I guess it is pin curls. Everyone thought she looked beautiful.
I could not recognize her! When my sister and I went to visit, we might walk right past her, unless we looked for our great aunt who had died in the ’80s.
My aunt would have really had a stroke if she could have seen what she looked like!
That dye never rubbed off on anything, until they didn’t want to fool with it at the nursing home. I’m sure they just didn’t do it right, so they could do what they wanted-the easy way.
A similar situation befell me, but I went to the hairdressers to get fixed. I never forget what my husband said as he saw me turned from a sunny golden blonde to a dark drab brown, “honey, who did this to you?” And I could only answer “me.” As an aside, why were you dying your blonde hair brown in the first place? That’s unusual.
I have to laugh as I read your story. I have two hair disasters of my own to add. The first involved a trip to Florida and Sun In my junior year of college.. Remember that product. Trying to get the long desired blonde hair that I always wanted, I used it at the beach. It didn’t look too bad until I went in the hotel pool. Instant brass. It took it until Christmas to grow out. My other story involves my first perm. Unlike your mom my mother believed that no artificial hair products should touch her daughter’s hair. Needless to say I was 25 before I ever had a perm. Well it was the 80’s and super curly hair was in style. I went to the salon had it done and loved it. But oh that smell. I washed my hair as soon as I got home and washed the perm right out. I was devastated. The beautician couldn’t believe my stupidity. Oh well, she agreed to redo my perm at no cost if I promised I wouldn’t wash my hair for at least 2 days. Who knew! Live and learn.
Hi Phyllis….who hasn’t had a hair disaster, we can always laugh about it later but not at the time! I ended up with bright orange hair once (thanks Sunin) lol…now I have wised up and never ever trust myself but leave it to the pros:)
How about the time I was getting ready to go to a wedding and turned the faucet on only to find it was already set for “shower” and soaked my hair. This was long ago when hair dryers were a big fan attached to a hose which hooked onto a plastic cap. No way to style – you had to set your hair in curlers before you used the dryer. No time for that. But like I said – long ago – so we all wore hats to weddings. Fortunately I had a cloche type which matched my dress. I looked adorable! But, oh if they could have seen me without my hat!
Then there was the Christmas party where I colored my hair pink to match my dress, my dyed-to-match shoes and purse. I thought I was a real stunner. After all, the box said that I could wash it out the next day. Ha! They lie! Like you, I decided to cover it. I put on a blonde rinse and went to work that week with hair which looked like peach sherbet.
So funny! Love the pink/peach hair! Back in the ’70s, I had several wigs so that I didnt’ have to worry about my hair. It grew like crazy while I wasn’t paying attention to it! As a teacher, they didn’t look kindly on people with unusual hair, makeup, short skirts, etc. I think I could get away with a little more because , as an art teacher, I should be “colorful”! But I didnt’ dare do muchmore than the wigs, when they were in style.
It’s a wonder your hair didn’t fall out! I have made bad colour choices but suffered through the next six weeks before the next attempt.
As a one time hairdresser I can tell you that the picture of the colors on those boxes are done on bleached hair which means the color will be about five shades darker on your hair. When picking a color from the picture on the box, always pick one many shades lighter than what you actually want. A good lesson for everyone. Love your magazines. They are my favorite.
I had golden blonde hair complete with Shirley Temple curls as a child. Turned darker, with a reddish tinge when I was older. I always thought I should have red hair to go with my green eyes. We were brought up to think that only “loose women” wore makeup, etc. We wore only Natural lipstick for every day and could wear red for special occasions. My cousin bought a little box of Maybelline mascara, (for 17 cents!)with a little brush. To apply, we spit on the brush and rubbed it on the cake of mascara, and applied to our eyelashes and eyebrows. We had no idea of germs or how to use it properly! It’s a wonder we didn’t all go blind! We had to hide it so our mother’s wouldn’t see it and wash the stuff off before we went home. Only my cousin ahd the mascara, so we passed it around at school.
When I was away at college, and alone in my dorm room, I would use my watercolors and paint different make up styles on my face. Didn’t go out that way, of course!
I heard the ads about blondes having more fun, so I got my dad to buy me a little MG for graduation, and tooled around in it my last semester. And got a bottle of peroxide and bleached my hair. It never did get really blonde though!
Never had to get a perm, until I got married. I wore my hair in Duck Tails, so got a body wave before the wedding.
Otherwise, I usually just rolled it,, when needed.
Back to the red hair. I asked at the beauty shop about doing my hair red. I was told that I would have to have all the color removed from my hair, and then have it done. That sounded terrible, so I left it like it was. Decided that, when my hair turned white, I would have it done red. But that would never happen. No one in my family ever had white hair. Salt and pepper was about it.
I lost my center vision a few years ago, so I can’t see my face. Just the outline of my hair, and blurry flesh color for my face. But I found gray hair in my hairbrush! I think my gray hair must look really ugly, unlike most people. But, since I can’t really see it, I just forgot about it.
I went to get a haircut at a small place in our shopping center. They had done a good job with washing , styling, setting, etc., previously. But, now, they were down to 2 young girls. No longer wash hair, etc. Just cut it and blow dry, maybe use a curling iron.
I was going to my high school reunion the next day, so I wanted the full treatment!
Fortunately, I had washed my hair that morning.
I should have walked out when it took the girl who worked on me, two hours to shave the head of the boy in front of me! Well, she just used clippers all over, not totally bald.
She said that she knew how to cut Duck Tails, but proceeded to cut layers horizontally across my hair! Finally got her to just do it shorter. She wanted to do a “Bob”. I would look terrible in that. Maybe it is all she knew how to do!
My daughter finally intervened after 3 hours! She used a curing iron on top, squirted something from a bottle on it to make it stay.
I noticed that she did not clean clippers, etc. before using it on another customer. When she needed a comb, she had to search through the drawer of stations that were no longer being used. No telling when they had been cleaned before.
I asked her how long she had been doing this and she said 2 years.
I came home with my head burning and itching. I showered to get the spray out, got the scissors and worked on my hair. My head was still burning and itching, I thought from the hair spray. Something different .
Went to the reunion and people complimented my hair!
Soon, I noticed that, when I combed my hair over the bathroom sink, 3 or 4 little tiny dots appeared in the sink. Later, they were moving in the sink. I washed and washed my hair. Still, little dots came. I washed all my bedding, etc., but no dots were there.
My daughter checked my head and said I had “bugs”. She called the dr. and got some treatment for lice. It didn’t work! We repeated it, and it still didn’t work. So she got some hair color, saying that would kill anything. Since I had been saying that I wanted red hair, she got red!
It was too red! It looked like Raggedy Ann and Andy red yarn hair!
Went tot he doctor who said my head was clean, nothing there. Meanwhile, little dots started crawling out of my sink, where I had originally washed my hair after that beauty shop visit.
The pest control people who do our house, came. My daughter told me to spray with Lysol Kitchen Spray, which will kill ants, until the man could get here. That did kill the rascals, when nothing else would!
The pest control man came and said those were tiny little ants. They don’t usually do anything but are pesky. He put out some bate around my sink. they didn’t seem to be anywhere else.
I did have bites in my scalp so my doctor sent me to a Dermatologist. He said that those are “Piss Ants”. Very pesky. I could have gotten them from that comb, which was in a neglected drawer. Or just sat in a chair where someone else had them.
Took months to find this all out. He said that we did the right things to get rid of them. And prescribed a liquid to heal my scalp
I have been so hesitant to go back to that shop, but finally went to another place.
My daughter bought more of a brown hair color to tone down the red, which still shows through some.
Well, I finally got some red hair! I didn’t feel too bad about it after I saw so many people on tv with Raggedy Ann and Andy red hair! I was “in style”!
I think that, now, I am a little too old to be a “Flaming Redhead”! But I don’t feel like going gray.
I never would have colored my hair if it hadn’t been for those little critters! But, now that I’ve started, even my grandsons notice when the gray starts to show.
I do like leaving it to the professionals, but I’ve had such bad experiences in recent years. All the people who used to do my hair, have died. So, for now, it’s DIY, with my daughter doing most of it! She plays around wither own hair, so, maybe she knows what she is did get a pretty good haircut last week, with almost Duck Tails, but the lady didn’t do my neck. My daughter is doing color and fixing my neck this afternoon. More brown over the red,I think!