Thursday, October 6, 2011

A Very Long Hair Story - Part One.

I talked to my friend and sometimes stylist Donna back in June about going back to red hair. She sent me to her stylist, Amy, a lovely woman with over 20 years experience, who worked in a plush, reputable salon about an hour away.

I scheduled a consultation first. I met with Amy for about 15-20 minutes, explained what I'd been using for the last two years (Pravana Chromasilk in Black), my goal (vivid violet based red), that I expected it to be an all day event and likely need a second visit, particularly if the black was stubborn and wouldn't come out. I also talked about the possibility of losing length if the black didn't come out on the ends. Finally, I told her I was worried because my hair goes *poof* and turns into a triangle on my head when there's not enough length to pull it down.

my goal shade, Pravana Chromasilk Light Red Violet Blonde, 7.62

Amy reviewed each of my concerns, and although I still wasn't positive the black would come out, I felt comfortable with her and scheduled an appointment for two weeks later.

Here's my "old" hair, long and solid black, still damp in the pic but you can see my s waves forming. This was in early June. I've cropped out my nephew Oliver since I didn't get a chance to ask my sister if it was ok to post his pic. He's really a cutie pie though!


The day of my appointment, I arrived a few minutes early. I had a book with me, water, Clif Mojo bars, paper and pencil to take notes. Amy introduced me to her assistant Mark, who was very professional and really seemed capable. I didn't specifically write each time they shampooed my hair (I think it was every time they rinsed) but here's what happened:

Mark washed my hair and conditioned it.
Amy applied the color remover.
I sat under a dryer for approx 15 minutes.
Mark rinsed, reapplied color remover under Amy's guidance.
Sat another 30 minutes with a cap under the heat.
Mark rinsed, reapplied color remover.
Sat another 30 minutes with a cap under the heat.
Mark rinsed me again, then did a deep conditioning treatment.

Amy moved me back to her chair to see how much black had lifted, and she seemed disappointed. There was a very small change, but the last 6 to 8 inches hadn't budged. We agreed to cut at that point, going shorter than I wanted, but I was willing to sacrifice length for color. She talked about adding highlights to further lift the black and get more red in.

Amy applied one more application of remover (the 4th), and back under the dryer for another 30 minutes.
Mark was busy, so a second assistant rinsed and washed me.
Amy applied an all over semi permanent glaze.
Mark rinsed that out, then Amy applied highlights throughout.
Mark rinsed that out, then he applied a second deep conditioning treatment.
I sat under the dryer for another 15 minutes or so.

Amy blew my hair straight, which I did not enjoy because my scalp was sore from all the chemicals. I'd been at the salon for six and a half hours and was tired, hungry, and just wanted to go home.

These pics were the next day. I used the flash so you can see the red.



Although I wasn't happy with the results, I had known all along that the black might not come out and I'd lose length. The last time I had a salon take me from black to red, it took 7 hours, I lost 6 inches of hair, but I did leave with vibrant red hair. I felt more disappointed, felt I should've just done it myself because I could've gotten more of the black out in less time. I reassured myself by realizing that at least my hair felt great, still soft with minimal damage despite all the chemicals.

It took about 2 weeks before I decided that I was ok with it. I felt I should go to the second appointment and let Amy continue, since I had already invested so much time and money into it. I was hopeful that the next visit would get me closer to my goal.

Part Two of this very long story will follow.

Very Long Hair Story Part Two - click here.


  1. I actually love it. The cut is so pretty on you..Really highlights your face which you are beautiful. I llike the red. Adds some fun to the cut...

  2. Wait, 6 hours?!! OMG, I'm sorry... :/ I do love the length though.

  3. Thanks Krista! It's grown a bit since then, but I don't think I'll let it get as long as it used to be again.

    Wendi, thanks! Yeah, it was a long day. But I knew it would be, so at least I had a book to read!

  4. When I went from an near-black brown and red on the ends to white, I was sitting at the salon for 6 hours too. But it was only $180, so...yaaay! The cut is gorgeous, really suits you.

    Don't they give you tea and coffee at that salon? Ditch them! At mine, I get asked within five minutes if I want tea or coffee, and it's complimentary. If I were hungry at lunch, someone would usually pop out to get everyone lunch and the cost would be added to my whole bill.

  5. They did provide beverages, and asked if I wanted lunch, but I had brought water and energy bars with me. I didn't want to try and eat with all the goop on my hair and going back & forth to the sink.

    The price was reduced since Amy couldn't get my hair anywhere near where I wanted, so I only paid $310. It should've been closer to $500. I know that's lot, which is why I only go to the salon for major jobs like this.

  6. Waitwaitwait.

    $500 for the COMPLETE job if it had turned out properly?!


  7. Kitty, you'd better not read when part 3 appears or your head might explode! BTW, the prices didn't include tips. :0

    But at least everyone can understand why I was so upset. I don't mind paying when I get good service and get what I want.

  8. $500=/=a good price. Do you know how much the materials cost?

    $30 at most. :|

  9. I know, it's awful. When Donna did my hair, I'd buy the supplies, she'd come over, put color on, cut it now & then. I'd give her $20 and she'd drink a bottle of wine while she was over!