Tuesday, 19 February 2013

On undyeing

I decided to undye my hair. I didn’t even know you could do that until I had not lunch with my friend Rachel (font of all hairdressing knowledge) and she told me you can get this stuff that just take out all the fake colour from your hair leaving it…virgin. 

So why did I want to do it? Why now?  Well I’m not entirely sure but maybe it’s because I’ve been looking through old photographs again and I just sort of wondered what the hell colour my hair is now – cos, seriously, it’s been thirty years since I looked.  And when I was very young it was…this colour…  

Well, actually, that looks a bit light. Could be the film. But, if not, wasn't it nice of my parents to design a whole room around my hair? Or maybe they just wanted me to blend in. 

This is a bit more accurate (at least according to my memory which is, as we know, not too good).  Yes, that's my foot (bad habits start young). No, those weren't my glasses.  

Anyhow. I bought a box of stuff called Decolour Remover. Nice, no-nonsense name there.  ‘Safely removes all types of artificial colour pigments’ it said. So there are unsafe types?  ‘Ultra kind,’ it said.  Hmm, does that mean it proffers tissues and pats you on the back when your original hair colour proves to be solid grey?  ‘Precision “non-drip” cream’ it said.  Well, fine. Whatever.

So it sat on my bathroom shelf for…weeks.  Cos, really, I kinda got a bit scared.  And then, one day, I just thought, sod it. It’s only hair. I can always cut it off or dye it if it’s ghastly. 

Except. No instructions and no plastic gloves. Now the gloves weren’t a problem (I have a whole box of surgical gloves – don’t ask) but the instructions were kinda vital.  So I told the guys from Decolour and a nice chap sent me another box, no questions asked.  So now I had two boxes. But hey, I also have a helluva lot of hair.

First up. The “non drip” thing – might be great once it’s on the hair but the bloody stuff wouldn’t come out the bottle.  Second up. It stinks. Really stinks. ‘No ammonia, bleach or peroxide’ it says. So they must have used extract of cat piss instead. 

But hey.  It sort of worked.  Okay, I missed a few bits and the ends are still suspiciously dark but…yeah.
And I was quite pleased.  Except…
‘What have you done to your hair?’ said James.
‘I’ve undyed it,’ I said.
‘This is the real me.’
‘I’m not sure I like the real you.’
‘What?’  Cue hurt look.
‘Nah. I mean, I do like the real you. Of course I do. It’s just I hadn’t realized what the real you was.’
‘You said your natural hair colour was red.’
‘It is.’
‘Nah. It’s ginger.’
What?  After all these years of teaching my boy to know that racism, sexism, homophobia and so on are all totally risible – and I’ve brought up a gingist?  Holy smoke.
‘It’s okay, Mum. I love you. Even though you’re a ginger.’
‘Unconditional love, huh?’
‘You bet.’

PS. Apologies if you thought this was going to be a post on rejuvenation or immortality. It's all in the e.  :-)


Izabella01394 said...

I do love o..so so funny!!!!!!

Sessha Batto said...

I did that about 6 or 7 years ago - sadly the hair underneath was mostly white, with some strange pink and orange bits :( so now I bleach the weird parts and make it all white.

Ivy said...

You had my daughter and me laughing our heads off :)
Does that work for bleached hair too?
And yes obviously I thought it would be an esoteric blog ... how did you know?

Cait O'Connor said...

I love red hair Jane, why dye it? I thought you were goingt to say it was grey! :-)

Frances said...

Jane, could we have another photo of you with your back to natural hair? Is the texture different and will you be using lots of conditioner?

The photo you've posted looks great to my eye. I'm much older than your are, and perhaps lucky that I still have mostly what I recall as my natural color. What I like is the shiny surface, and the lack of chemicals. As more white hair invade, let 'em.


Catherine said...

Love it!

Anonymous said...

Well you learn something new every day!! I actually love red hair and had mine red for a few years before going back to my original brunette. With grey highlights. Very natural.

CJ x

F said...

Was seriously considering dying mine about a week ago. Like I'd just about decided to get something lovely and dark and exciting.

Then the consumer reports came, and what had they done this month? Yep, all the carcinogens with unpronounceable names in hair dyes.

Natural it is, then.