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Fresh out of the salon, the highlights were subtle against my black hair.

Fresh out of the salon, the highlights were subtle against my black hair.

I had wanted to do something “drastic” with my hair color for quite some time but had never found the time to go to a salon. I’ve been dying my hair black since I was 13-years-old and have always wanted some purple or red to add some spice and pazazz. The problem? I didn’t trust myself enough to bleach my hair at home.

On May 7 this year I finally took the leap and went to the salon to get a fun color put in my hair.

To start, I would like to point out I take care of my hair. After nine years of dying my tresses black multiple times a year, I’ve learned a few things along the way. First, don’t wash your hair every day. This is a general trick used by people whether you’re trying to keep your dyed hair hydrated or your natural hair healthy. Second, my conditioner, Wen, helps keep my hair hydrated as well. Third, don’t dye it immediately. I usually let the roots, or my truth as I call it, come in a few inches before re-dying in order to avoid adding layer upon layer of dye to “fresh” hair. I don’t use any product in my hair either and can probably count on one hand the amount of times I’ve had to use hair spray.

All of this has helped keep my hair from feeling like straw or even, in more drastic and pun-ny terms, dying.

I had just switched salons in March and liked my hairdresser. Because I had been growing out my roots (to the point of my hair looking like it had been dip-dyed) she asked me about my natural hair color and as she sheared off the old black I told her about my desire to put some blue highlights to stand out against my normal black. I was lucky because my hairdresser loved the challenge of “funky” colors, particularly the ombre hairstyles.

Here, two months later, two of the highlights are visible against my faded hair.

Here, two months later, two of the highlights are visible against my faded hair.

My present to myself after another semester of college down was getting teal peekaboo highlights. For anyone not familiar with peekaboo highlights, they are highlights between layers of your hair. They don’t sit on top but they’re not the bottom layer like what was so popular a few years ago. They literally are a peek of color.

After an hour of bleaching and re-dying I was walking out of the salon with dark teal/blue highlights peeking out of my black hair.

And here’s where the purpose of this blog post comes into play.

At the salon as my hairdresser was putting bleach into my hair, the receptionist came over with a clipboard, a pen and what looked like a release stating I understood by getting a fashion color the salon was not liable for the quick fade. I had already planned out how I would keep up with the color but, as explained to me by my hairdresser, many girls come in getting a fashion color thinking it will last for months without fading.

Wrong.

Fashion colors usually last a couple of shampoos and start fading quickly, kind of like a slippery slope of fade. Some ways you can avoid it are using cool water when washing your hair and a color save shampoo but in general you only have a few weeks with peak color. The salon had everyone who was getting a fashion color sign the release in order to prevent angry customers from threatening litigation over their hair.

Because they would likely be laughed out of any judge’s courtroom.

So from May 7 to today, July 22, I have still managed to keep my peekaboo’s in pretty good shape.

When I brush my hair back, the highlights are fully visible.

When I brush my hair back, the highlights are fully visible.

First of all, I kept my normal rule of not shampooing my hair everyday; your color can’t get up and walk away unless you give it the means to. Second, I bought Redken’s Color Extend Shampoo as soon as I left the salon. Third, I use started washing my hair with cool water but have gradually made it warmer. By no means is the water hot but it is basically lukewarm. Fourth, I don’t go into the sun as a general life-rule so I don’t have to worry about the sun naturally fading my hair.

And you know what? My highlights look great two months later.

I did buy a semi-permanent teal hair color to do touch-ups if necessary but I’ve been lucky enough in not even opening the bottle yet. I’m sure other colors fade faster no matter what precautions you take, like red for example, but I’ve been exceedingly lucky. Maybe it’s the formulas she used or maybe it’s just the color but my black dye has faded more than the teal.

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