Thursday, July 24th, 2014
I am a box dye believer, if only for my cheap bitch ways.
Getting my hair professionally dyed has never been in my budget. I can dye my hair myself for about $11, and even if it’s a bit too dark/intense than I’d like for a week, I can deal with it for the price.
But I’ve always wanted to bleach my hair to a Michelle Williams platinum. I was too afraid to do it myself, because my locks are fairly damaged from my hair dye habits.
So having the day off of work, I decided to head to the Carsten Institute cosmetology school and get it done. I’d gone to cosmetology schools for haircuts before in St. Louis, and had never gotten a bad cut. The students are supervised by professionals who tend to watch over them pretty damn closely, in my experience. I called for a price estimate: $20 for a cut, $39 for the color, a price I was never going to find even with an awesome Groupon. So I threw some decent clothes on and headed to Union Square to take the platinum plunge.
It was relatively quiet at Carsten. I generally expected it to be quiet, considering it was 11:30 am on a Wednesday… not exactly prime time for much of anything. I was immediately assigned to a student.
I showed Yolanda, the student assigned to me, a picture of what I wanted my hair to look like. She knew what she had to do without consulting the supervisor and showed me some hair swatches. The supervisor approved her plan and suggested I get a deep treatment after the bleaching to close the cuticles of my hair. It was an extra $20, which really doesn’t break the bank, but I stressed about it anyway. I asked if my hair would have breakage after bleaching it. The supervisor said I shouldn’t worry about breakage since my hair is so short. She suggested I do highlights instead, come back every 2 months to get more highlights added, and gradually achieve the blonde I was going for. I was like “fuck that, I am not shelling out cash for that shit every 2 months.”
I figured if I was going to bleach my hair, I might as well do it right. I went for the deep treatment. I signed a paper that was part price agreement, part “this is a student and if they fuck up your hair we’re not refunding you k bye” agreement.
The entire bleaching/toner process took about 3 hours. It seemed like Yolanda was putting on the bleach too slowly, in my opinion. But hey, she’s going to hair school and I’m not so… maybe I’m wrong. I had mentally prepared myself for a long day at the school anyway. Many of my experiences at hair schools have taken lengthy amounts of time.
After they rinsed the bleach out of my hair, they also used a toner, combined with a purple shampoo. The toner sat on my head about about 15 minutes. It came out to a lovely shade of golden blonde. Yolanda also seemed to cut tiny, tiny sections of hair very, very slowly. But again, students. I expected for the process to take awhile, but my ADHD brain was not happy with me.
In the end, I was really happy with my platinum pixie cut and very pleased with the price. I don’t see myself going to get my blonde ‘do touched up every 2 months as suggested, but I think a little bit of roots will look edgy and cool when they grow in. I’m also planning on experimenting with some fun pastel Manic Panic colors soon. Overall, $89 well spent.