Save yourself money, time, cleaning, and sanity. Put the box dye down!!!

Save yourself money, time, cleaning, and sanity. Put the box dye down!!!

We know how it is. You’re home alone late on a Friday night and you get this craving to change your look. You venture out to the nearest drug store and scope out the endless boxes of home hair dye kits…so pretty, so alluring, so cheap! I mean they have names like Chestnut Brown and Honey Blonde, and at only $14.99 plus tax, that’s way less than going to the salon!. You’ve always wanted hair the color of chestnuts…how can this be wrong?

Now it’s 11:30pm and you’re rinsing out the color in what is no doubt a messy bathroom at this point, only to find that the color “chestnut” feels more like the color Marilyn Manson. Ack! You weren’t going for the goth look, BUT in your calm and exhausted state, you wonder if maybe you sleep on it, you’ll like it better in the morning. Besides, it’s just hair color – it will fade out, right?

Enter Saturday morning:

You wake up from a wonderful dream about you and (insert hot male movie star here) stranded on a deserted island. You put on a pot of tea/coffee and wander blissfully to the bathroom for your lazy Saturday morning routine. WHAT THE HECK! Why is my bathroom covered in greasy hand prints?! Was a mechanic washing up in here after fixing my car? Wait…you look into the mirror and only NOW remember with horror your mistake from the night before, and after having slept on it, and seeing yourself in the clear light of day, you realize there is NO way you can go to work like this on Monday. Thankfully it’s the weekend, and you have 2 whole days to fix this fiasco. It will be okay.

Certainly, anyone with any wisdom would have learned their lesson and called a professional at this point, but you’re independent and resourceful. It’s just hair color…you can fix this on your own, and still save yourself some money!

You decide that the drug store brands of color are the problem, so you venture to your nearest Sally’s Beauty Supply to get “professional” products and guidance from the staff there. These women sell these products all day, so they must know what I will need to do to fix the problem (Buyer beware – most of Sally’s staff are NOT trained or licensed cosmetologists). You explain that you wanted a pretty chestnut brown, and the box said chestnut, but look at this hair! It’s nearly jet black! The woman understands and nods her head. She suggests using bleach to get the dark out, and recommends using a 20 volume developer. “Huh? What’s 20 volume? Is the bleach going to sing to me? Whatever,  just sell me the products”, you think to yourself. You want to get this over with before your friends call and want to hit the town tonight. Bleach, developer, color bowl, brush – check! OK, $30.97 and a messy reddish orange head of hair later…WHAT THE!!!?, WHAT HAVE I DONE NOW???

Enter Sunday morning:

Pinup: Thanks for calling Pinup Salon. This is Jen, how can I help you?

Client: I’d like to make an appointment to get my hair colored?

Pinup: Ok – what day would you like to come in?

Client: As soon as possible (panicked sounding).

Pinup: We have availability tomorrow at 4pm. Would that work for you?

Client: How much is it going to cost?

Pinup: Are we doing all over color or a foil application?

Client: (Insert word vomit about the weekend’s fiasco and how the hair is now dark reddish brown on the ends, but orange at the roots, and all she wanted was CHESTNUT BROWN!)

Pinup: Oh my gosh, you poor thing! Hair color involves a lot of complex chemistry and unfortunately those box dyes, being a one-size-fits-all approach can cause people a lot of problems. I’m so very sorry you’ve been through all that. (sincere, empathetic frown)

What you’re going to need at this point is a color correction, because we will need to extract the dark color you initially applied to the hair, and sometimes it can take more than once to get all the pigment out, depending on how dark it is and how many times you’ve applied that color. Since you just did it, I hope we’ll be able to extract the color in one attempt. After extraction of those pigments, we’ll need to apply a couple of formulas to deposit properly over the multiple colors you have in your hair now. It sounds like the roots being so orange will still pull really warm, so we’ll want to counteract that for sure to achieve the true chestnut color you had originally wanted. Our color corrections are at a rate of $75 per hour, and I would guess your process will take about 2-2.5 hours, not having seen the hair obviously, but since you’ve only colored it dark the one time, I think this should be enough time.

Client: Your website says color starts at $65.

Pinup: Yes, this is true. Had you called us before all of this and booked an appointment for just a regular color application, it would have been $65, but we have to now add 2-3 additional steps to achieve the color you want, and keep your hair from falling off your head. Our main priority is to maintain your hair’s integrity and it’s been through a LOT in the past couple of days.

Some color corrections can take 3-4 hours, but based on our conversation, I highly doubt yours will be that long. I can also happily have you stop in today for a brief, free consultation so I can see your hair first hand and better prepare you for what we might need to do tomorrow.

Client: Well, I already spent almost $50 coloring it and trying to fix it myself, and now I’ll have to spend another $150-250 to get it fixed?

Pinup: I’m afraid so. I understand it’s a lot of money, but unfortunately color isn’t as simple as it seems and once you’ve deposited a dark color on your hair, there is no easy way to just make it evaporate, or to simply color over it lighter. The chemistry of hair and artificial hair color just don’t work that way, unfortunately. Light colors don’t remove dark colors, and bleaching can work, but is very harsh on the hair, and as you found out the hard way, can create a very uneven color outcome if not applied and processed properly.

Client: Well, I can’t go to work like this tomorrow, so I guess I’ll try to find a place that can fit me in today.

Pinup: I understand. If we get any openings today, I’ll give you a call. I’m sorry we can’t fit you in sooner, but I do hope you’re able to get it fixed. If you’re not able to find another salon with openings today, since it is Sunday and most salons are closed, please do give us a call and I’ll put you down for our opening tomorrow. Perhaps you can get away with wearing a hat to work tomorrow, for just the one day?

Client: Maybe. I’ll call you later if I can’t find another place with time today. Thanks for your time and I will NEVER make the mistake of coloring my own hair again.

Pinup: I’m so sorry again for all you’ve been through. I hope we’ll get to help you out tomorrow. Just let us know. Good luck!

Enter the moral of the story:

Drug store hair color: $14.99 + tax
Soft Scrub with Bleach: $4.99 + tax (remember the bathroom you need to clean?)
Sally’s corrective hair products and tools: $30.97
Gasoline to get to and from the nearest Sally’s: $1.95
Total Cash Out of Pocket Cost of Do-It-Yourself Hair Color: $54.80
Total Cost of Salon Color Correction: $120-$300

ONE relaxing visit to Pinup Salon and leaving with the amazing feeling of perfect hair color: Priceless