color me bad.

All I have to say is don’t always do what you think is best in the name of customer service.  Yes, this sounds totally counter-intuitive, but let me explain.

I work with several hair salons as clients, one of whom is my personal stylist.  He mentioned that they were hosting a ‘color demonstration’ and needed hair models.  He assured me that the experts who were coming in to do it would give me total say and not do anything crazy.   Even though I’ve had many issues in the past with colors gone wrong (ex: asked for dark brown and got black, which if you know me and my Victorian-pale skin would tip you off that I shouldn’t rock that look for fear of looking goth) I decided I’d do it in the name of customer service and also just for a change.

I arrived last Monday afternoon and cut my work day three hours early to be there.  I did my consultation with the ‘expert’ who exaggeratedly said she ‘was so excited to work with my curly hair!’ and ‘had such great ideas for it!’.  We looked at sample hair locks in different shades and made a plan.  My instructions included, ‘It’s spring so nothing darker.’ Also, ‘I don’t want any shade of red.’ The intention was to take my dirty-blond hair and intensify the ombre look (dark roots to lighter ends) that already existed with my natural color.

I sat in a chair in front of 20 salon owners and stylists while they doused my hair in color.  An hour or so later, I was having my hair dried and staring at myself in the mirror praying the dark look of my hair was all due to it being wet.  To my chagrin, once dry, that ‘prayer’ was not answered.  I had DARK brown hair with a very serious red undertone, particularly around my face. Awesome.  Glad this woman passed ‘follow instructions’ class in kindergarten.

Not wanting to make a scene in front of the audience, I was asked, “SO, how do you like it?”  I replied, “It’s growing on me…”

Not able to look myself in the mirror without getting angry, I texted my stylist the next afternoon asking if he could do some ‘editing’ to which he agreed, admitting that she did nothing close to what she promised and he’d fix it.

So, the next day, I cut my work day short again to cram into his schedule for a color fix.  Three hours later, my color looked almost identical to when I’d walked in the door.  No bueno.

As the days have passed and I get a combination of comments like, “You have a cute face. You can pull it off.” Or “It will fade/grow out.” Or “It’s not so bad.”  It makes a girl want to crawl into a hole.

I’ve learned a couple things from this experience: 1. Don’t do just anything in the name of customer service. And, 2. A girl’s hair is deeply tied into her identity.  It’s strange to admit, but this color-gone-wrong has really done a number on my self-esteem and how I think about myself when in public.  If that sounds strange to you, you’re either a guy and/or have never had a bad hair color or cut before.  Try it out and then get back in touch with me.


  1. Methinks that’s a common question when you live in the South!

  2. I have been enjoying my hair a little longer lately. Probably 9 months ago I asked my barber-lady to leave it a little longer in the back. She said, “you want a mullet?” Awesome. No. That’s not what I said. We cut it shorter again.

  3. I’ve been there before! It is a terrible feeling and makes you feel completely uneasy.

    Sorry you had to go through this, but you handled it with class. I can almost guarantee I would have let her and her audience know that she screwed up.

    At least you didn’t self-dye your hair a shade of Lucille-Ball-female-impersonator-red. I’ve done that and it’s the worst because I did it to myself and had no one to blame. EMbarassing!

  4. I am sure that you still look like Sarah Jessica Parker!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recent Posts