So I’ve wanted to dye my hair since I was 11. My most consistent color desires have been blonde and crazy, bright colors. For whatever reason, I’d never gone through with it, probably because I was nervous to go to a salon. But this December, one day when I was thinking about how I wanted to dye my hair, I finally said to myself, I think I’ll do that.
For reference, here’s what my hair naturally looks like:
At first, I wanted to do what I’ve been dreaming of for so long – blonde. As a natural dark brunette, being blonde would be a huge change for me. Plus, I wanted to see how it changed people’s reactions to me. When I do go blonde (which I plan on doing when I’m done with the color[s] I currently have), I can’t wait to see how many more guys suddenly seem interested in me.
But that’s a blog post for another time.
What I decided to do this time was something a little more out there. As I was thinking about what color I wanted, I decided I would rather go blonde in the summer. A darker color would be better for winter. Which led me to purple, my life-long favorite color and one that looks great on me. So I looked at tons of photos of purple hair on Google image, as one does when they want to know what something looks like. As I searched for specific shades and styles of purple hair, this image showed up.
And in that moment, it was decided. I needed hair inspired by a galaxy.
I’d had no idea that this was actually a pretty popular trend. The style is called, strangely enough, galaxy hair. I watched youtube videos by people who had galaxy hair and I went over tons of pictures of colorful galaxies (Google image, again). With all the different styles of hair and the different color combinations I found in galaxies, I kept coming back to that first photo I’d seen. That galaxy is so bright and colorful, and has the tones and shades of color I wanted.
I’d already researched salons in the area, and I’d come across a highly rated, relatively natural, friendly but professional salon’s website, Casa Verde. I found them slightly intimidating with how professional they seemed, but I figured that was a good thing. I needed a true professional to deal with my tons of dark hair, which is why I didn’t try it myself. If bleach is going anywhere on me, I want it to be as controlled as possible.
First, I had a consultation with an absolutely lovely stylist, Dena, on December 29th. I showed her the picture above, and she was excited about doing galaxy hair, telling me she’d wanted to do it for a long time. I was thrilled to have someone excited about my hair. By total chance, my appointment for getting my hair dyed was made for December 31st, New Year’s Eve.
On the day, I was nervous but excited. This was going to be a huge endeavor, dying all of my two-foot-long, dark brown hair tons of bright, intense colors. Lots of room to go wrong, or for it not to come out how I wanted.
But also, GALAXY HAIR. So I was super excited.
After going over what I wanted with Angie, my stylist, I was pleasantly surprised with a shoulder and scalp massage! I’m not sure if that’s just something they do because they’re a luxurious spa, or if they like to calm their clients before surrounding them in bleach so they don’t start hyperventilating (bleach smells REALLY STRONG when it’s all around your head), but either way, it was very nice. (I could use those more often.)
Once my hair had been brushed and sectioned, it was time to begin. Angie used foil to lay tiny pieces of my hair on and soaked it all with bleach. At this point I realized just how long and tedious a process it would be to bleach ALL OF THAT in such small sections. I said to Angie, “I am so sorry for making you do this.” She, of course, was sweet and lovely about it.
I’m not certain how long the bleaching took, but I think it was over an hour. Partway through, the stylist stationed next to Angie, Lucia, helped Angie with the bleaching for a bit while she waited for her next client. One other stylist, though I’m not sure I know which one, asked Angie if she was doing my whole head, which was the first of the whole salon’s fascination with my dye job. (I was a bit of a star that day, if I do say so myself.) The only part of my hair that was left untouched at this part was a couple inches of my roots. Since my hair is dark, Dena suggested a shadow root of dark purple so that it would take longer for my roots to show and I could go longer between touch-ups. Because I wanted purple to be my main color, I was a fan of this idea, so we went ahead with it.
As Angie put the bleach in my hair, other stylists would periodically ask if she needed help, and she would sometimes ask them to bring her more bleach. I asked her if big projects like this particular dye job always ended up being a team effort, and she told me that the stylists do always help each other and work together. I loved that, the team-oriented atmosphere. Plus, the stylists seemed to all be very familiar with each other and genuine friends, not just coworkers who put up with each other, which was really nice to see.
When the bleach was all in my hair, Angie left it in for 20 minutes. During this time I was brought to, if I remember the name right, the Color Bar, where a sweet woman (I can’t remember her name, many apologies) gave me a complimentary hand treatment of an exfoliator and moisturizer. My hands haven’t felt that soft in a long while. (I’m not very nice to my hands.)
Throughout the bleaching process, Dena brought colors to Angie and I so we could discuss. It took a while to decide on the exact purple I wanted, because I wanted a dark purple but very much a purple, not something that could be mistaken for blue. Dena and I also looked over the galaxy picture above and discussed which colors from it I wanted to incorporate into my hair. I was worried about doing too many of them, for fear it would look stupid, but Dena convinced me not to worry. (Thank you Dena!!!)
Once the 20 minutes were up, Angie took me to the shampoo bowls and rinsed all of the bleach out. Then she applied what I think she called a toner, which she said would even out the blonde color and give it a neutral tone so that the blues and greens would go on actually blue and green, not orangey. When she started applying this, she handed me a towel to breathe through if the scent of the product got too overwhelming, and oh my, did it. At first I was fine, I could only smell it a little, but after a minute I started to feel like my nose was burning, so I decided that might be a good time to use the towel. The product sat in my hair for five minutes, at which point Angie rinsed it out. Then I went back to the chair and sat in front of the mirror once again and, holy shit! I was BLONDE. My roots weren’t, of course, but I was mostly surrounded by pale, yellowy hair. It was frickin WEIRD, having spent two decades with the same hair color. A nice preview into what it’ll be like when I really do go blonde.
And of course, I had to take pictures.
Dudes, it is seriously WEIRD to know that that’s MY HAIR.
Anyway. Moving on.
At this point I’d been there for two hours. Once Angie was done blowdrying and combing through my hair (during which time I was busy ogling my blondeness and sending pictures to my friends), THE TIME HAD ARRIVED. She started with my purple shadow root, going over my natural brown roots with the beautiful purple we’d decided on. When this was done, Dena came out with an array of colors. (One stylist walked by and said it was like Skittles. I said that hopefully it’ll look good on my hair, and she said it would look gorgeous.) We decided on a multitude of colors. A dark green, a light green, a pale pink, a bright pink, dark blue and light blue, and violet, all randomly scattered through my hair. Then Angie and Dena got to work, applying tons of different combinations of colors on each small section, some sections one color: green and purple, pink, dark green then light green, purple and then pink, on and on. As they applied the color I was bubbling with excitement. IT WAS FINALLY HAPPENING. Another stylist, Siobhaen, came over to take pictures of my hair as the color was being applied. Angie and Dena told me that Siobhaen is the photographer of the group. She was super excited about my hair, too, exclaiming over and over how cool and gorgeous it was.
When I asked Angie if we were going to be able to get done before closing, she said it wasn’t a problem, that they would stay as long as they needed to. I was so thrilled and impressed, given it was New Year’s Eve and she was staying way past closing.
Dena and Angie were tons of fun, super into the creative process of applying the colors and chatting with me. Another stylist, Moriah, was so excited to see the final result that she stayed past when she needed to to see how it came out. While we waited for the colors to soak in, which was about twenty minutes, Dena chatted with me, asking me about why galaxies appeal to me (I have a thing for them, and nebulas), and we talked about my affinity for the Animal Rescue Site and the Rainforest Site, as I was wearing my paw print boots that day. Dena had to leave before it was time to rinse the color out, but asked Angie to send her a picture of the final result.
When the colors had had time to fully soak in, Angie rinsed and shampooed my hair twice in the coldest water possible. It wasn’t too bad, but my head was starting to ache a bit by the end. As she was rinsing, Siobhaen came over and was amazed by how my hair came out. Angie showed me a bit of hair as she was rinsing, and I was shocked by the GREEN. It was so vibrant and beautiful.
I wasn’t expecting my hair to be blowdried, because by now it was an hour after closing, but Angie said that it had been too much work to not see the finished product. And oh my, the finished product was stunning.
View from the back;
And me flipping my hair over my face!
I wasn’t expecting so much green, and I absolutely love it. The green parts of my hair might actually be my favorite. Or the pink. Or the purple.
When I was done with my initial freak out over my new glorious hair, Angie took a picture of it to send to Dena. She sent me home with Aveda Color Conserve shampoo and conditioner.
It was an awesome day, full of super cool people. I’m obsessed with my hair. Any time I don’t have something specific to occupy me, I play with my hair, marveling at the beautiful colors and finding new colors here and there. It was a great New Year’s gift.