Scalped

blue hair didymos petrol fish shortie

February. PS the sling is a petrol fish shorty a lovely friend lent me so I could learn rebozo carries

I’ve had dark blue hair since early January. My hairdresser does a great job, I love the colour and cut, so I wonder what happened today…?

This morning my hair was pretty yuck, so I washed it, but didn’t condition it because I knew it was being bleached again at lunchtime so that the blue would be more vibrant. I got the minxes ready for a 2hr session at the hairdresser (made up a packed lunch, snacks, toys and books) and went to drop one minx off at a friend’s, who’d kindly agreed to mind one for me. All the minxes cried and the friend’s grandchildren were disappointed at only having one minx to play with. She offered to take the 2 eldest minxes. I relented. Mini Minx then sobbed her heart out at her sisters’ gleeful disappearance upstairs. My friend persuaded me to leave all 3. It felt like I was cutting my own arms off, but I felt that if I’d refused, I would have been being rude: don’t slap someone in the face when they’re offering to help. So I unloaded lunches, gave lots of kisses all round, and set off to the hairdresser.

It was my usual session: we blethered, had a laugh, had a chunter and a moan about stuff, drank tea and coffee and put the world to rights. My scalp tingled more than usual when I got the bleach in the regrowth, but it wasn’t painful per sec, and went its usual pale yellow. We talked about how the salon owner hadn’t stocked up on blue and that only one tube was left. Was it enough? My hairdresser agreed with me that if she cut my hair first there would probably be enough. There was: the blue went on, and although it was a bit ouchy on my scalp, it was no more than usual. Uncomfortable is as bad as I’d describe it. While we waited I related the many tales of evidence I have about what a jinx I am. God, how we laughed! “There we were at 30,000ft…” I’d start. Though her phone went non-stop and she had to keep stopping applying bleach/colour to answer it.

Timer up, she washed off the blue. And I have no idea what happened, but the right side and the back were not blue at all, not one little bit: they were still yellow. Even the top was a bit patchy. Now I know she’d covered them, and checked that it was properly distributed. I wondered if it was because she’d applied conditioner after the shampoo between the bleach and the colour? I’ve no idea. She looked horrified. I laughed it off. Why? Well, do you think I’d have gone blue in the first place if I cared all that much about how I look? It looked very bizarre. And? I’m sure I’ve looked worse in the past, and will again. As there was no more blue colourant in the salon, I reassured my hairdresser that I’d just book a time to come in next week and get it sorted.

I should have stopped there. No. Me and my bright ideas. When I’d originally come in she’d suggested going purple instead of blue, and I’d wavered, but decided not to. She also was cross that she didn’t have blue to sort it there and then. I put 2 and 2 together and made 7. “Why not just put purple over the top to cover it up now, then?” We looked at each other, then the clock. I phoned my friend to check a 1 hour delay would be ok (and mentally plotted where the nearest florist was to say thanks with flowers); she mixed up the purple.

blue purple hairWell, as soon as it hit my scalp it burned. I wondered if it was me being sensitive. After all, freezing cold goop on a tired scalp does feel sore initially. I mentioned that it was nippy, but joked that my body was saying, “You’ve sat on your lazy bum for 2 hours now, and had 2 cuppas made for you – time to get up!” But it kept burning. I told the hairdresser it was burny. She was alarmed, but I said it was ok. Actually, it’s still hurting, I said. Sitting upright, I noticed I had red blotches down the side of my face and neck. My chest looked red. My hairdresser said my scalp looked normal. She asked if I was ok and fetched me a glass of water. I suggested we keep going. For now. My heart started racing, from being a dyed-in-the-wool drama queen rather than from an allergic reaction, I’m sure. But my scalp really hurt, so 10 seconds later I said, “OK, stop. I think we need to wash it off right now”.

My hairdresser looked instantly relieved, poor soul. I confided that I was a little bit proud of myself for being brave enough to say, “Stop”. I’m not very good at confrontation or nay-saying or anything other than mild-mannered-ness. I joked that it was either yell, “Stop” or “Pass the gas and air”. As the purple was on the yellow bit of my hair for only 20 seconds rather than 20 minutes, I didn’t expect it to cover it at all – maybe some of the patches on the top. I braced for impact as I looked in the mirror, expecting leopard print. In fact, it’s ok! Which is a bonus, I suppose.

Pink, purple and blue. Just practising for those old lady rinses...

I’m booked in to get it sorted out next week. Both my hairdresser and I simultaneously suggested skin tests again. Although I’ve used that colour a few times, I guess you can suddenly develop a sensitivity. So we’ll see on Saturday (and the 48 hrs afterwards) if I’ll be getting a colour (ever) again. There’s no harm in checking.

Since I got home, though, my scalp has blistered. It’s not actually painful, just very tingly. And if I run my hands through my hair, my fingers come away with droplets from burst blisters. I’ve also consulted Professor Google, and it would appear that the fault of the blistering is mine – I should never have washed my hair this morning. As for the patchy blue, I’ve no idea. Could it be because it was from an opened tube? Could it have been the conditioner between bleach and colour, maybe not rinsed out properly? Who knows. What I *do* know is this:

  • bleach hurts. Really hurts.
  • it’s only hair. Why suffer pain if the alternative is just to look a bit weird / wear hats for a few weeks?
  • it scares the hell out of your hairdresser when you give her a reassuring hug as you head out the door.
  • rain on freshly-coloured hair makes little droplets of dye drop around your face and neck and makes you look like you’re melting.
  • I’m a tad concerned that my hair will fall out. I’m comfy having weird-coloured, even patchy hair. But I don’t fancy looking like I have mange.
  • this wee innocent mid-life crisis is certainly giving me new experiences…

*Note: I’ve not identified my hairdresser even by her intials because I don’t believe today was her fault at all, and would hate for anyone to read this and cast aspersions!

5 thoughts on “Scalped

  1. Really love the colours of the ‘dip dyed’ look… very on trend. I remember, back in the day, when it was the in thing to have a perm I was always left with stubbly bits of hair where the lotion must have burnt some of the hair clean off. Good job I have thick hair.

    • LOL, like I’d ever be trendy – quick, I’d better dye it brown or something 😉 As for your perm – aieee! Ouchie. So far (touching wood furiously) I’ve still got all my hair. Scalp’s a mess still, but the hair’s still intact. For now…

  2. Quick update: the blistering scabbed over. As the blister-scabs have hair through them, holding the strands permanently in crazy directions, my barnet looks a bit screwy and skewed. The skin test was negative. I’ll not be getting it coloured for at least another week now, as I want to wait till my scalp is entirely healed up, and then some. Tell you what though – my days of bleach are over!

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