Saturday, December 27, 2008

what have i done?

File this under "S" for stupid things that women do to try and improve their looks. A couple of friends have recently coloured their hair, and their locks look gorgeously shiny. I coveted their glossy manes, and wanted to acquire some of that glimmer for myself. I found an over-the-counter product today at the drugstore - Clairol's Shine Happy - which promised a clear shine treatment in only 10 minutes! How could I resist?

I don't colour my hair. I'm not interested in colouring my hair. I love my natural colour - which some people refer to as "mousy" - with its God-given highlights and blonde streaks. There are now some healthy grey streaks mixed in there, too. Bring it on, I say.

My hair does look kind of dull, however - at least compared to my salon-treated friends'. I just finished with my box of instant head-bling, and am wondering what could have possessed me to do this to myself.

Notice that I am drenched. That's from the showerhead in my tub - but I'm getting ahead of myself.

First, I read the instructions found inside the box. Dire warnings about not getting the solution in my eyes nearly deterred me before I even got started. How to explain that one to the grandchildren? Yes dearie, I blinded myself trying to get shiny hair...

Armed with a makeshift eyebath should things go awry, I suddenly realized I wasn't going to be able to see during the 10+ minutes my hair was getting glossied, since the solution wasn't supposed to come into contact with metal (my eyeglasses' frames), and, due the abovementioned potential for blinding, the wearing of contact lenses was not recommended.

I memorized the instructions and pulled on the gloves supplied with the kit. Double-checking to make sure I was adding the correct solutions to the appropriate containers, I mixed everything together, and quickly applied it to my damp hair. Got some solution on my forearm, which was immediately bleached white. Decided now was a good time to dampen a towel as recommended in the instructions, and wipe all excess solution from any exposed skin (including my forehead, ears and neck).

Also decided that if I ever do this again, I'm going to leave it in the hands of trained professionals at a salon. Hard to tell if one is giving oneself chemically-induced vitiligo when one can't see two inches in front of one's face.

After the longest ten minutes of my life (which were really only eight-and-a-half minutes, because my scalp was burning and I was tired of waiting), I bent over my tub and rinsed out my hair with the new adjustable showerhead that my parents gave me for Christmas. Proceeded to get water (and possibly some of the solution, I worried) everywhere within a three-foot radius, including the inside of my right ear. Was wearing gloves as the instructions suggested, so I couldn't tell when my hair was clean. Couldn't check to see if the water was rinsing clear (also as the instructions suggested), because I was keeping my eyes fiercely shut in order to avoid blindness. Couldn't have seen anything with my eyes open anyhow, because I wasn't wearing my corrective lenses.

After rinsing for what I hoped was a sufficient amount of time, I removed my gloves to apply the conditioner included with the kit. Squirted the recommended dime-sized amount halfway across the bathtub. Scooped up as much as I could (by feel - still couldn't see) and rubbed it into my slippery locks. Wasn't convinced I'd rinsed out all the previous solution, so after some back-and-forth debate with my inner hypochondriac, who was convinced she was starting to feel a burning sensation in the corner of one of her eyes, I rinsed out the conditioner a minute early and stood up, damp, sweating and swearing with my outside voice.

I just checked my nearly-dry hair in the bathroom mirror; am disappointed to report that said hair does not seem noticeably shinier. My neck, on the other hand, feels itchy and irritated, and the skin on my hands is dry and tight. Maybe this stuff has some potential as a mild skin peel...

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