As you’re sitting there with a towel around your shoulders, pieces of foil hanging from your hair and the irritating smell of ammonia tickling your nostrils, it suddenly hits you – you’ve done it. You’ve taken the leap of faith and finally have an exotic pigment seeping into your beautiful mane at that very moment. Your hair’s never going to look the same again; it’s never going to be the same again. It’s going to be some strange shade of red/magenta/blonde/blue/purple instead of the familiar chocolate-brown. And how much of it is going to don this new coat, you have no idea yet. What if it’s not the same shade as in the catalogue? Will it go with your hair colour? What’s it going to look like on your face? Will it suit your complexion? Will it be too flashy? Or too subdued? What if it makes all your hair fall out and you have to live looking like a Buddhist monk?
You walk into the parlour, all set to take the plunge. You’re bored of your plain, monochromatic hair, your boyfriend said he likes women with streaks, you want to get a makeover, or you’re just going through a teen phase – we’ve all been at that stage when dying our hair some weird colour was all we wanted. You’ve spent weeks googling the various hair colours available and the various styles, till you zeroed in on a particular shade and pattern you thought would work best.
Then came the “oh-my-god-how-am-I-going-to-convince-mom” stage . Every Indian mother has the same reaction when her daughter talks of getting her hair coloured: first, “You want to look like a chicken? I’ll disown you!”; and once she’s over that, “No way! It’ll ruin your hair!” Okay, so, outright denial. Now what? You spend further more hours googling whether colouring damages your hair and come across a confusing array of articles; some saying it does, some saying it doesn’t, and some of course, who’re not sure. But heck, you wanna do it anyway. So you choose all the articles supporting hair colouring and present them to mom, which takes us back to the aforementioned stage. After a few more weeks of pleading and grovelling, a disgruntled mother agrees to let you get it done(and pay for it too, if you’re lucky) as long as you’re prepared to face the consequences.
Well, of course you are! Hair damage and the likes are the last thing on your mind as you skip into the parlour and gleefully announce to the hairdresser that you’d like to get streaks. He gives you a catalogue to look through and you immediately point out the colour you have in mind, describing the mental picture you have of how you want it to look. The process begins shortly after, leaving you with pieces of foil stuck to your hair, making you look like you walked out of a sci-fi movie.
A final rinse and blow-dry later, all is laid clear for you to see. When I say “see”, I mean scrutinize every coloured strand and have a series of tiny heart-attacks in the process. So the colour isn’t exactly what you had in mind, and you may have miscalculated the number of streaks, leading to you having more coloured than natural hair on your head. If it’s looking really good, you remind yourself that he’s blow-dried and straightened your hair and this is quite far from what it’ll look like in its usual frizzy form. The ammoniacal smell reminds you of how the coloured parts of your hair now have no external lipid layer and how you’ll have to take so much care of them. And unless you have just ends, you can’t even get it cut off!
Oh, the agony! Getting your hair coloured/streaked can be a rattling decision. Mustering up the courage to finally get it done is just half the story; being happy with what becomes of it is even more difficult. But it definitely does cause a few raised eyebrows, boosting your self esteem and giving you something awesome to flaunt, making you feel all badass and such. So go ahead, get that head-full of colourful badassery and add some zing to your persona. I did, and I don’t know about anything else, but it sure is fun!