DIY (or with a friend) hair colour

On Wednesday I headed over to Jody Schilling’ house, a fellow frugalista who didn’t look too frightened when I asked her to paint my hair!

I arrived at 12:30 and our goal was to finish in two hours.

Here’s all the stuff I bought to bring back my aged locks to their former beauty.

1) Three plastic bowls and brushes (for the three colours I chose)
2) Developer #20
3) Three tubes of colour; Ion crème #7N,. 9N and 12N
4) A measuring cup
5) A bit of oil to prep the hair and colour
6) Foil squares (which we cut in half; they were pretty big)
7) My hair clips and hair cutting comb.
8) Rubber gloves

The directions on the colour indicated a time for each to be left on, with the lightest colour taking the longest. A logistical nightmare, actually. Anything I had heard or read about indicated that the developer that is added to the colour eventually “times” out, without having to worry about over colouring (or bleaching, since one of the colours I chose was a very light blond, for streaks). I decided not to worry too much about it. It would all come out in the wash…literally.

Jody and I have been going to the same hair salon for years now (Jody also colours her hair) so the method we were used to, was familiar to both of us.

Or so we thought. We divided my hair into three sections (two sides and the back) and Jody started by picking up about ¼” strip of my hair and weaving the comb through it, essentially leaving half behind. Once she had half in her hand we were a little perplexed as we realized we never paid attention to what Crysti did with the leftover. We knew some never made it into the foils.

Jody painted the hank of hair she had with the first colour (dark blonde) after setting the folded foil square snugly under the hank of hair and as close to the roots as possible. Jody isn’t the cursing kind, but very quickly she started to get frustrated as the foil kept slipping down as she painted. As this was an experiment and I didn’t want my new hair colorist to get frustrated, I assured her that she should just do the best she could.

After getting the foil back in place and flipping it upward out of the way, we decided that the hair that had been left behind when she weaved, should be flipped up out of the way, too. Then a clip attached so she could move on.

After an hour about a third of my head was done. Obviously practice is the key to speed! I wasn’t worried at all, still delighted that I had talked somebody into doing this for me!

Believe it or not trying to find a woman who would willingly risk another’s tresses is very difficult! There’s something sacrosanct about women’s hair…and yet, our hair stylists are just us with a lot of practice and education. The education part I wasn’t worried about…I figured I’d done my research. But the only way to get practice is to do it for the first time, once. After that, it’s all practice!

And, my hair has become awfully long and I figured if my research failed me then I’d go back to short hair again, separating myself emotionally from three years of growing it out…

Jody and I talked about the kids’ school, her school (she’s finishing up an add-on year of her teaching degree to improve her salary over the long term). We yakked about family, neighbours (yakked, not gossiped!), the weird, warm winter we’re having. In the middle of my hair session Karen, Jody’s mother-in-law dropped by, as did Florence Beharrel, one of our neighbours who was out campaigning for the Heart and Stroke Foundation. Florence is in her early 80s and until last March was our little community’s post mistress. Her husband, Howard, died a few months ago at the grand old age of 91.

So after three hours, we were done! I decided to let the last application have its 25 minutes to develop and sat and entertained Jody’s oldest two sons who did double takes when they arrived inside from getting off the bus. I guess the boys don’t often go with Jody to the hair salon…

When we started pulling off foils to shampoo out the gunk, the stench was unbelievable! It started to make my eyes water. It was weird because the whole time Jody was applying the colour, there was no smell at all!  I had been hoping the chemical impact of this experiment was going to be minimal…

I combed out my hair and it looked great, even wet. I think Jody is a bit of a perfectionist, because she immediately noticed a small (and I mean, small) patch of grey right at my part line that she’d missed. She said I should probably fix it at some point, but I think I’m going to keep it. Sort of like when a historical building is renovated, the city sometimes puts a fancy chain around some of the old crumbling bits so that people can be reminded of what it used to look like…

I dried my hair at home to let Jody get on with her dinner and when I dried it… looked FABULOUS! It was amazing. I can’t express how pleased I am with it. Jody is the bomb.

The light on this picture is a bit funny…it actually doesn’t look patchy…

Chris and I met her later that same night for a meeting and we admired the job she did. I confess I was so pleased I tried to convince her to try cutting my hair, too.

But she wasn’t having any of THAT. Yet.

So after months of pondering the question of whether a person can produce salon results in their own home I am pleased to say without reservation that it can be done!

Total cost of materials and colour: $60. The tubes of colour were about $7 and I still have two tubes that are half filled (the highlight colours). Each colouring job should cost me about $14 now that I have the equipment. It used to cost about $85 each time.
Now I need suggestions for my next DIY challenge…

DIY Hair Colouring

Last Tuesday when I was in Kamloops I stopped by Sally Beauty and picked up everything I need to colour my own hair. I’ve been talking about doing this for some time, especially since my DIY eye brow waxing has been so successful.
I stopped at Chatters first (it was closer to one of my other errands) but they don’t sell hair colouring products, presumeably because there is a salon attached to the store…
The lady at Sally Beauty spent quite a bit of time with me explaining what I needed and how the process worked. I chose the two colours that were closest to what my hair colour is now, which actually mimics the colour of my hair BEFORE the grey set in. We were getting confused about the highlight colour (a blonde) because the saleslady kept talking about it being a two part process and I don’t think Crystie (the lady who, before now, has been doing my hair) has ever messed around with the blonde colour any differently. I’m goning to read the packages I’ve got and perhaps get the blonde colour next time I’m in.
I’ve enlisted a friend to help me (it’s that or get Chris to do it!) and although I think she is worried about wrecking my hair, I’m pretty optimistic it will go well. And, in the end, it’s just hair!

To get all the equipment, foils, and the two colours, cost me $51 taxes in. I figure there’s 4-5 applications in the tubes, so as long as I don’t have to creep back to Crystie for repair work, it should be a great savings.

Update on eyebrows

Since embarking on a DIY (frugal) beauty program (starting with my eyebrows)  I am happy to report that I am entirely satisfied with how I have eventually fine tuned my technique.  My latest hair removal session was done in five minutes, with the use of the regular magnification of the mirror WHILE carrying on a conversation with Helen and Stephen about Heritage Fair.  And as any Barriere Elementary School parent can attest…that can be very distracting!

Next?  Hair colouring.  I’m trying to find a product (salon sophisticated) that I can use (well, get a friend to use) to cover my grey.  I do have somebody lined up to experiement on me but the product I’d like to use is not sold to non-hair dressers by the distributor.  I’m sure I could find it somewhere else…well, I’m not sure, but my next mission is to see if I can find it somewhere else.

Anybody else have a favourite DIY hair colour system?  Do share!