The thing with dying your hair, though, is getting it back to its natural color ever again, which, when I started dying, was dark, ashy blonde. Once I moved to San Francisco, I just kept getting progressively darker, and darker, until I went jet black. My hair was halfway down my back, and there was no way in hell I could dye over that. That's when I had my hair effasoled-- chemically stripped-- and it didn't really work. We got it to a very dark brown, so I just had red chunks put in it and to hell with it. To finally get rid of all that black, I cut my hair off very short, and to my surprise, my hair had, in the seven years I had been dying it, actually got to that darker brown shade with hints of red I had always wanted! But of course, this newfound joy in my natural color only lasted about a year-- mainly because I lived in my car and had no sink to stick my head under. I went a little lighter for summer, and as the weather cools down, I decided to dye my hair a darker brown, and to use the new Clairol Nice n' Easy Perfect 10 I had read so much about. I love the natural looking colors they offered-- working in classrooms, they want your hair to not look like a circus act. I figured it must be less chemically harmful to my hair and the environment, too, since it sits on your head for less time, and supposedly has no harsh chemical scent-- which I equated to "no harsh chemicals."
Hooey. This product, with its "lovely scent," was more fumey than any hair color I have ever used-- and it did stink like hair color, but with a strong perfume scent over it. Disclaimer-- I did have a terrible chest cold when I dyed (hee, hee), so maybe this irritated my little inflamed lung nodules more than it might have usually, but I had to open the windows and get the fan going cuz this stuff stank. During the dye (that giddy dazed look comes from the fumes):
The product also came with a comb attachment for more even application, but I had a really hard time dragging that thing through my thick-o hair. I eventually just squeezed it through the comb and into my hands and worked it in like shampoo.
It was nice to only have to worry about not rubbing the color off on furniture for ten minutes, though I was reading, and got caught up in the book and left it on for 15. Glad to report no big chunks fell out once I did wash it out. Rinsing it all out was no issue, though it doesn't lather like my old favorite does, and I kept rubbing at my head hoping for some bubbles. The conditioner that comes with the dye, however, is to die for (oh, the puns-- they just keep coming!). It made my head smell like swanky salon, and even my thick mess was glossy and shiny like your hair never is unless you have it styled. The result (I wish I had a wind machine):
I think I basically dyed my hair back to its normal color.
I checked out Skin Deep, a great resource if you ever wonder just how damaging to you and the planet your choice of beauty products is. Perfect 10 has not been added yet, but most of Clairol's hair coloring products have earned a 7 or 8 on a scale of one to ten, one being like chemically untreated water, ten being like Calvin Klein's Eternity for Men Eau de Toilette (no, really-- this fragrance has a 10 on their scale for containing neurotoxins and causing biochemical or cellular level changes). My conclusion is that in order to be effective in ten minutes, they gotta make that chemical stuff strong.