July 22, 2010

Fact #11: My hair looks this nice because I'm a dirty hippie

Every time I go get my haircut (always at a different place - I know tons of people that only go to one hairstylist and have gone to the same person for years, but I've never formed that kind of attachment to the person who cuts my hair), the stylists ask where I get my color done.

I always feel a little point of pride when I tell them that I dye it myself, with henna.

My hair has been many, many colors over the years. I think the original color was sort of a dark blonde, but it's honestly hard for me to remember, it's been that long since I really saw it. I've done highlights, lowlights, varying degrees of blonde and brown.. then of course the blue, magenta, pink, green, and back to bleach blonde in between each. But several years ago, I found my favorite color. I was working as a receptionist at a salon and used to let the girls mess around with my hair. One day my friend Josie dyed my hair a sort of red/burgundy, and I just loved it.

She did my hair for the rest of the time I worked there, then I graduated on to boxed hair dyes once I moved to Chicago and found myself too poor to keep up the professional color without my salon hookup.

But as I rubbed the dye into my hair every month, smelling the semi-sweet perfume they add to cover the smell of the chemicals, I always felt a little guilty. I had no plans - at all! - to stop dyeing my hair anytime soon. But when I did the math on how many applications of chemical grossness that would add up to over a lifetime, I could feel 'future Laurel' looking back at me and shaking her head all judgy-like.

But then.. (cue dramatic music).. I found henna! I was nervous to try it the first time, partly because of an urban legend I'd heard that if you put henna on over chemical hair dye, it will melt your hair. Whoever told me that, um, thanks for the visual but, wrong.

Since then I've learned a lot more about it, found a way higher quality henna, and even started making my own 'mixes' with a little indigo added. The best part is, henna is supposedly good for your hair, so instead of ripping it to shreds I'm actually conditioning it while I dye it. Whaaaat?

The only drawback is that I look super goofy smearing green goop all over my head. And the day after I dye my hair, I smell a little bit like a dirty hippie. But it's totally worth it. Hippies deserve to look nice too.

Til tomorrow!


Rick said...

Yeah, henna mixed up in the bowl always reminded me of ... well, just imagine.

marianne said...

Henna - it's great stuff!