Thursday, November 26, 2009

Tearing my hair out.

There's few things more beneficial to my soul than time spent getting a good haircut. It was one of the few luxuries I have kept when acrylic nails, salon highlights and massages fell by the wayside. Granted, sometimes the good haircut comes courtesy of my mother's pocketbook, but few things make me feel better than going in looking like I'd been dragged through a thicket backwards, and come out an hour later coifed, cosseted and feeling great.

One of the luxuries I gave up was having someone else colour my hair. I've been a box brunette for 20 years, and for at least half of that, I've been colouring it myself, with a great deal of success. I even custom blend 2 shades to make one that I like. I've learned how to adapt the colour to get what I want, and I've always been happy. Until yesterday.

I decided to forego the Amber/Golden variations of my hair colour this time, and go back to basic brown. I haven't liked how it's looking, so I thought I'd go with a plain slate and then paint in some highlights. I chose basic, Medium Brown, L'Oreal Excellence, a brand I've been using since Clairol discontinued Hydrience.

I mixed the formula and it looked like a light blonde colour. No worries, it darkens as it processes-I know this from years of experience. I started applying the colour with the professional brush I bought a while ago that makes it much easier to banish the grays.  That's when odd things started happening. As the colour started processing, instead of the rich brown I was expecting, it looked more like wet charcoal. I checked the box. I checked the labels on the colour and the activator. Yep, Medium Brown. I kept applying, but became more and more alarmed as the colour started to process because it did not look like any medium brown I've ever seen (or used). I know from experience that the colour when it's curing doesn't usually look like the final result so I took a deep breath and waited and rinsed.

I don't know what this is, but it isn't Medium Brown. I had coloured root to tip, combing the colour through half way through the processing time so that the previously coloured roots didn't go too dark and the grey crap had the full benefit of camouflage.  (I always know it's time to do my hair when people start talking to the skunk stripe of gray on the top of my head). I know from long experience how long to leave the colour on for optimum processing and when to comb it through.

Roots, where they took, which isn't everywhere, are a murky, brown with charcoal gray tinges. Middle, variety of shades from old to new, depending on how the colour combed through. Ends, despite my efforts-WAY TOO FREAKING DARK. I'm not happy. I'm not happy at all and I think this is more than a box of highlights will fix.

Before I mucked it up more, I called L'Oreal Canada this morning. A few times. I kept getting caught in a voicemail loop- "appuyez sur le 1, press 2 for English". I kept pressing 2 and getting re-routed back to the "Bienvenue à L'Oreal..." Merde.  I hung up and called back. Same thing. 3rd time, I got put through to Customer Service, only to be advised that "to help to serve me better" the whole freaking customer service department are in training all day and the place is "extraordinarily closed."  Epic Customer service FAIL. There is no way to contact them on their website other than this number and their website has no information. Looks like it's in training too and is "extraordinarily closed."

I had an old box of Hydrience kicking around, and I called the Clairol line a couple of days ago. I got a real person, with real answers who advised that the discount CNE hair colour had expired 3 years ago. (Note to self, don't buy from them next year no matter how cheap it is). That lead me to this current mess on the top of my head.

I understand that I have to wait a few days before trying to fix this. I know that going to a salon to have it fixed is not in my budget. I don't think highlights are going to do it, but now given the fact that there was not one living, breathing body at L'Oreal who could:

A-explain to me why Medium Brown turned soggy charcoal when applied (and others who commiserated with me yesterday noted the same thing. Medium Brown should NOT have dark gray/light black tinges when wiped off the skin. It should be well, Medium Brown)

B-What shade I use to fix this.

C-How long I have to wait until I can fix this,

I don't have much faith in their newly trained customer service department answers. I mean seriously, who closes a whole freaking customer service department right before holiday social season?

I've had a challenging few weeks with my small child because my husband has been working long hours, and she's been acting out because she misses dad. My grey hair makes me feel ugly (and before the fingers fly, that is my personal opinion about only my hair. I know and respect and in some ways envy women who went grey early and went, oh well. I am not one of those women.) and all I wanted to do was restored a modicum of my previous well coifed existence before the advent of small child, work from home and business casual meaning I get dressed in something other than jeans or my pyjamas. I'm not a rookie at colouring my hair. I've been visiting Aunt Clairol, and now Tante L'Oreal every 6 weeks for over 10 years. I can't change the mess currently irritating me on my head. I can only go forward to a salvage operation.

I guess I shall throw myself on the mercy of the cosmetician at the local Shoppers Drug Mart. I shall wait for the Goth, and by-pass the one who argued with me for 10 minutes about a notice that the store itself had sent me about a gift with purchase, even when I had said notice with me but it was different from what the flyer said. (not my problem the flyer was wrong). I shall similarly by-pass the blonde with the cell phone permanently afixed to her hand, even when supposedly helping customers. It is not going to help my present frame of mind to have to wait for her to stop txtg her BFF.

I need to fix this mess because it's making me feel ugly at a time when I don't need any help in that department. I need my hair to look good again. Because I'm worth it. Right, L'Oreal? L'Oreal? L'Oreal?
Hello, aunt Clairol...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for making me laugh on a very rough bad hair day, Lisa. I know it's
"just hair," but it really makes a difference to how we feel, doesn't it? Thanks for sharing.

Heather (Born-Again Blonde)