I’m going to color my hair right now. I’m feeling confident. I can read directions. How hard can it be?
Step 1: Smile calmly and think benevolent thoughts while staring into mirror just like woman in picture.
No problem. I’m smiling. I’m in a zen place. I’ve also removed the bathroom rug and my shirt just in case there is a tiny drip during this “oh so easy, anyone can do it” process.
Step 2: Twist cap, pierce other cap and mix the dye together by shaking.
Alrighty. Just a little overzealous in the cap removal process, but it didn’t really spill, and now I’ve squeezed the daylights out of some type of hair color into the mixing bottle. Feel a little bit like the girl on the “Shake Weight” commercial. Must check directions to find out how long I’m supposed to shake this thing. “Shake well.” Hmmm. My arm is getting really tired, and I’m pretty sure the tip of the bottle just pierced my plastic glove. Must not give up.
Step 3: Evenly part your hair with bottle tip and apply color from root through ends of hair.
In the picture, the thick color streaks are zig zagging down this woman’s hair as though her head was some sort of blue diamond ski run. And yes, she’s still smiling—a symbol of ease and comfort to all. In the meantime, I can’t really see the dye because when I part the hair with the tip of the bottle, the dye goes under the hair, but I’m trying to use my left hand to sort of pat the color down into the hair while squeezing the color out with my right. All of this would be much more successful if my hair wasn’t quite this long because all this “gentle layering” of color is starting to turn my shoulders and arms purple. Not entirely purple—just gigantic slashes of purple, really. Also, should I be alarmed that it’s purple? Is praline normally purple? I don’t think so.
Step 3: Make sure that your hair is completely saturated with even amounts of color.
I can’t see the back of my head. Why didn’t I realize that I can’t see the back of my head? How important is it that the color in the front isn’t on 20 minutes longer than the color in the back? I’m twisting and turning trying to get a glimpse of my hair in the back—which naturally means that the slices of color are now on the walls and mirror as the strands go along for the ride. What if I found another mirror? I could put up another mirror so I could see the back. If only the hand mirror wasn’t in the back of the cupboard in the hallway. Clearly, not worth the risk, I continue to pat copious amounts of strangely congealing purple goo in hopes of reaching the elusive saturation point.
Step 4: Wait 10 minutes—15 minutes for stubborn gray hair.
Ten minutes from when I started or from when I gave up adding color? Just in case, I’m going to leave it on an extra five or ten…
Step 5: Cup a small amount of warm water onto your hair and massage.
I got this one. I have a hair washing attachment in my shower. Also, I turned it on before I started this process. HA! Take that for forward thinking. Unfortunately, as I open the shower door (which I had to close because the spray was getting everything wet), I notice that I’m leaving more purple hand-prints everywhere. Also, I sort of forgot about the small amount of water part. That’s probably the only real explanation for the rivulets of color running over the tile (though it’s beginning to look like I stabbed Barney). Now what was I supposed to do? Oh, right massage. Got it.
Step 6: Rinse until water runs clear.
This might have worked better if I had been in the shower at the start. I’m standing here in soaking sweats watching the attachment swing wildly. Clearly, all is not lost. I can just get into the shower right now. Anyone ever try removing soaked clothes and underthings without using your hands (which are… wait for it… still covered in dye gloves)? Not easy. Also, quick question, how do you know if the water is running clear if your eyes are closed to keep from getting blinded by the dye? I guess you don’t. I guess you just sort of stand here for a very long time and hope for the best.
Step 7: Something
Yeah. Just realized that I left the directions with the next step on the sink.
Step 8: I think it involves adding super conditioner for a length of time.
I’m not really sure what it says. I stepped out to grab the conditioner pack and the directions, which are written on paper, and things sort of went soggy because naturally I brought them into the shower with me. What? It’s not like they were going to do me any good on the counter, and apparently my short-term memory is gone because I haven’t retained any information on the future steps.
Just realizing that there is no clock in the shower so actually knowing the duration of the conditioning phase would not be all that useful anyway. Probably.
Step 9: Dry hair and style normally
If only there hadn’t been so much standing water on the floor…
New Year’s Resolution: Never again fail to make hair appointment with skilled professional.