Months ago, I colored my hair black at home, as I have at least five times before. As always, I liked the results and as always, I got bored quickly. As I usually do when I tire of the black, I let it fade/grow a little, then put on dark brown color. When I washed out the dye, I was left with… black hair. And red roots. I was completely shocked, as I’d made the change successfully in the past. Everything I read and all the stylists I asked claimed the only way to successfully go lighter from black is in a salon. I just could not afford that. I let it fade a little more, forcing it to do so with a clarifying shampoo and frequent washings. You can actually wash it with Dawn for quicker stripping, but that will really dry your hair out, which I was not willing to do. Even with tons of at-home coloring, I’ve always maintained healthy hair. Anyway, I let it fade while thinking about my next move. I have been trying to grow my hair at least until my birthday as part of my 30 in 30. Considering this, I didn’t want to rid my hair of the damage by simply cutting it short.
Once I was satisfied with the fading and my roots had reached an unbearable level, I decided to try coloring with brown again. So like millions of times before, my mom came over and coated my hair with the dye. Twenty-five minutes later I wash it out. Two minutes after that, I want to cry. Black hair, brown roots. Nice. I continued to just let it be, thinking I would just go to a salon as soon as I could afford to go.
Yesterday, a package arrived that I had been waiting on for weeks (gotta love slow deliveries). ColorZap by L’oreal. I did my research on color removal products for home use and the most highly-reviewed was ColorZap. I read over 60 reviews for this product and only found a handful of negative. The negative reviewers obviously did not read the packaging before applying the product. Most told of the procedure resulting in yellow hair. The instructions on the box clearly tells you that your hair WILL BE yellow or orange. You are to color immediately after. The reviews were definitely helpful. I knew I needed two boxes unless I had really short hair (which I don’t). What I wish someone had said in the review is that gloves are not included. My mom had to use the gloves that came with the hair color, then rinse immediately after use so that they could be used to color as well. Anyway, it sells for about $10 a box at Sally Beauty Supply, but I lucked up and found it for half the price from an Amazon seller.
So anyway, package in hand, I called my mama to come over and get to work!
My mom mixed the first package and said it was really watery. It wasn’t anything like the consistency of hair color. The instructions say to start at the tips on the bottom layers and work upward. By the time mom got to the top of my head, we knew we needed the second batch and the bottom of my hair was crunchy and nearly dry. I tried not to panic and imagine my hair falling out. I mixed up the second package and was shaking vigorously. Mom commented that she didn’t do hers that way. When she started applying it, she noticed that my batch was much thicker. I’m guessing it was my thorough shaking. We still aren’t sure which was was “correct.” Once the application was complete, we watched as it quickly went to work.
After waiting an HOUR for it to process (please read the entire instructions in the box before trying this at home. not everyone has to wait an hour!), I eagerly rinsed it out and shampooed my
straw hair. Now, I knew it would damage my hair, but holy wow.
Thankfully, I wasn’t done! My mom quickly got to work on the color part, which we’ve done so many times, it can be applied in about 15 minutes. Twenty-five minutes after application, I rushed to wash it out, hoping for perfection and restored health.
So. It’s not perfect. It’s close to my natural color, just a little redder. The color I love (other than the bright part at the top). The damage is unacceptable to me. I’ve always prided myself on having healthy hair. Every stylist I’ve ever had has remarked on the the health of my hair, despite all the at-home color changes I’ve inflicted on it. Well, I have finally pushed it to its limit. No more. I have decided to chop it short again to take off most of the damage. As for coloring, I’m done for awhile. I have been doing it primarily to cover my grays. All three of them. I think I can tackle that with a brown mascara wand and be done with it.
Mom texted to ask how it turned out. My response?