Me And My Hair-Brained Ideas

Y’all, we really, really need to talk about my hair.

I mean, I know you have other stuff to do like “making cookies” and “eating chocolate” and “cutting out paper hearts,” but I’m having a bit of a hair crisis, and I don’t know what to do.

Here’s the deal.

The natural color of my hair is dark blonde. At least I think it is. I really can’t be sure since I haven’t seen it since around 1998, but as best I can recall, it falls somewhere along the darker end of the blonde spectrum.

And for many years, I have enjoyed the luxury of going to the salon, sitting in a chair, and letting a talented color specialist apply golden blonde highlights while I thumbed through the latest issue of InStyle.

Sure, there were moments of home hair color weakness, moments when I couldn’t bear to fork over the big bucks, moments when I convinced myself that I could do just as well with a $10 kit from the drugstore.

And then, last year, the most unexpected thing happened: I did just do just as well with something from the drugstore when my friend Tracey highlighted my hair. I LOVED IT. The color lasted until the beginning of summer, when my hair gets naturally lighter anyway. When I got ready for some touch-ups back in the fall, I coerced someone else into giving me highlights with a home highlighting kit. It didn’t look quite as good as it did when Tracey worked her magic, but it was fine.

About three weeks ago, I pushed my luck and tried to go the home hair color route for the third time in a row. I talked a friend into doing the whole pull-my-hair-through-a-cap deal, and the results were, well, iffy.

With “iffy” being a really generous term.

Because now my hair is way too blonde on the ends, way too dark on the top.

In fact, I look like someone dipped my head in light brown dye, flipped me over, and then dunked the bottom half of my hair in a vat of bleach.

It’s a really attractive look, in case you were wondering, and it’s especially convenient when you’re trying to coordinate your hair with an ensemble (as I know so many of us do), seeing as how you have the bottom way-too-blonde part, which is great for those cooler-toned spring clothes, and then you have the dishwater-brown-etched-with-gray top part, perfect for those warmer-toned winter separates.

(I’m trying to rationalize. Indulge me.)

But then. But then.

But then you catch a glimpse of yourself under the flourescent lights in the Lifeway restroom. And you realize that OH SWEET MERCY, something has got to give, because OH SWEET MERCY, there’s no way to ignore your the horrific state of your hair affairs for even one more second.

And that’s exactly what happened to me this afternoon.

So do you know what I did?

I made my way to the front of the store, quickly paid for my Lifeway purchases, grabbed my child’s hand and said, “Come on, baby. Mama’s got to get her a little hair color at the Walmarts.”

Because no kidding, people: I look like the “before” picture in some gigantic magazine spread entitled “OUR MOST CHALLENGING MAKE-OVERS EVER!!!”

So here’s my dilemma.

I bought some hair color at Walmart today. Not highlights. COLOR. It’s some kind of temporary deal – Natural Instincts Coastal Dune. Clearly it’s a high-end product because it does make reference to the beach, and I’m certain that if I use it my hair will instantly acquire an artfully-tousled look, almost as if I’ve just walked in from, well, the coastal dunes (not to be confused with the non-coastal dunes, those piles of sand that have magically appeared in densely-populated metropolitan areas).

And here’s what I’m thinking.

It’s pretty much a given that I’m going to have to do the Home Haircolor Walk Of Shame into my salon at some point in the near future. The guy who cuts my hair hasn’t seen me since I received the latest round of ill-fated highlights, and you can trust me when I tell you that he. will. be. mortified. if I walk in there with the color looking like it does right now.

Which leads me to think that maybe I should try this Coastal Dune business, primarily to see if I can’t get everything a little “evened out” color-wise. I’ll still have to the do the Walk Of Shame the next time I get a cut, but maybe the Coastal Dune-age will cover up everything nicely enough that R. (my hair guy) won’t immediately throw me in a colorist’s chair and charge me an arm and a leg so that he can get everything back to normal.

(And by “normal,” of course, I mean, “my usual totally fake color.”)

OR – should I just go ahead and be a big girl, make an appointment, confess my home highlighting sins, and let R. fix it? I SO don’t want to spend the money. But girls, you KNOW – especially if you’re a big-haired girl from the South – when the hair doesn’t look good, it wears on you. Oh yes ma’am it does. It takes a toll on the ole self-esteem, and OH MY WORD I know that as Christians we’re not supposed to be concerned with self-esteem, we’re supposed to be concerned with God’s esteem, but I am not kidding when I tell you that what’s going on with my hair right now GRIEVES THE HEART OF GOD.


Come to think of it, we might need to have us a hair tragedy altar call, y’all. Can’t y’all just see it? First we’d insist that every head be bowed, every eye be closed, and then we could minister to the hurting: “YES, Sister. You right there in the back. You tried to perm it yourself, didn’t you? And you, sweet sister. Over to the right. Thought you’d trim those bangs on your own? And ooooh, sister. A banana clip? Really? Bless you.”

And just so you know? I’ll be the sister up at the front. Holding a box of Natural Instincts Coastal Dune in my hands. Waiting for some divine direction from my bloggy sistah hair accountability partners about what to do next.

Preach it in the comments.


Preach it.

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  1. Hello. I am a tightwad. HOWEVER, the one thing I think I will always pay a professional to do is highlights. Personally, I would do the walk of shame! Anyway, you will make your hair guy feel good about himself because he will feel so needed! Good luck!

  2. It’s probably a good thing they did specify Coastal Dunes – there’s a Sand Dune National Park in Colorado, which is, you know, a landlocked state.
    My experience with Natural Instincts is that you can’t naturally color your hair blonde.
    No ma’am, you’ve got to haul out the big chemicals to get a proper tousled blonde. It really stinks in the highlight department – the expensive L’Oreal stuff does better. Of course, you could always buy dirty blonde Dark Moonlit Sand and dye your ends darker before you hit the salon.
    Mama Says

  3. I, admittedly, used to use the store bought stuff…then became friends with a couple of ladies who happen to be amazing hairstylists…they would DIE if you continued to color your hair. They would much prefer you make the walk of shame (although a bandana/scarf could solve the initial reaction being terrible)…I would make the appointment…I keep telling my BEAUTIFUL mother to STOP coloring her own hair. At the very least, I would get my hair professionally colored at least every third time. Although doing this, you might have to change hairstylist’s each time you return to a salon? You, my dear, are in a pickle…but you are still beautiful, trust a girl from Tennessee!!

  4. Confess!

  5. Since you already have the box, I say go for it sistah. Even those of us not in the South understand the importance of good hair. I believe that is why the Bible refers to hair as an ornament. Glory, hal-le-looo-yah!

    (To save a little dough, have you thought of going to one of those hair stylist schools. I know you think they might make your hair green, but they have all of their instructors around, and they usually ask them before they do anything. And it is SOOOOO much cheaper.)

  6. Be a big girl. Walk the hall of shame. There’s no point wasting any more time or money to look…unsatisfactory.

  7. As the Queen of hair color, I have to say call the salon. My all time worse was after my second son was born. My natural color was medium brown and I put in Very Blond highlights (professionally). The epidural causes my hair to fall out at the part and around my face. When it grew back it was almost black with gray. I looked like a skunk head. Girl, the salon can do wonders. I now have 4 different colors in my hair (medium brown to cover grays, light blond, and dark blond highlights and dark brown for low lights). I am totally cheap (and I mean CHEAP) but one thing I never skimp on is my hair. Treat yourself and get it done right. The more color add the harder it is to fix sometimes. JMO :)

  8. Girl.




    I could have written your friend Camille did some killer home highlights on me but i have never been able to duplicate..

    in fact i had a conversation about this with someone the other day and she said the dyes you get a drugstores are so not quality..not like what you get at the beauty supply.

    GET THEE TO THE SALON. Confess and move on.

    I KNOW it is expensive but really it is worth it. You family can eat next month;

  9. I’d take the walk of shame and I’m feeling your pain. I’m having some bad hair too! I’m actually headed your way for the weekend, my mom’s sister’s family live in Hoover. One of my cousins is having her first baby and they are having a shower for her this weekend. Lucky for me one of her sisters is a hairdresser and she’s going to cut my hair for FREE!!! Yeah, only 3 more days of terrible hair. The last time my sister and I colored my hair it was the night before Thanksgiving 2001, it was a tad white blond!!! Lucky for me we had this family of cousins at the time who liked to experiment with different colors of hair like purple and blue. So, I didn’t stick out too much! :) Good Luck!! :)

  10. oh… and sorry to be harsh..just “speaking the truth in love.”

    …from someone who has lived in the bad hair color pit;

  11. hmm well there was a lady on oprah whose hair all fell out due to bad dye, so I’d say to pro boomama! xoxo melzie

  12. Dye it, curl it, cover it, whatever, just DON’T braid it. That is forbidden in scripture.

  13. Take the walk sister, confess at the altar of R. right now. One mistake, on top of another, makes a very,very, verrrrrrry short haircut. And there is no room for pixie cuts in …… your part o’ the world.

    Your body, which means your hair, is a temple.

    Get thee our store-bought hair disaster! Get. Thee. Out.

  14. I do not color my hair. . .and I have the gray dishwater blond to prove it. . .but for all that is good and holy, Boomama, go to the stylist, ’cause after TWO boxes of Wal-Mart(s) hair color, even bald-headed Dr. Phil would be forced to ask you that decades old question. . .”How’s that workin’ for ya?”

  15. My advice would be take all the money you are going to spend to try and get it right, and go one time to a professional and get it done right Sista, you wont regret it. You are worth it Boo!

  16. My experience has been that the fixing is best left to the pros. It will save you money in the long run if you just put on a baseball cap, some dark sunglasses and take the walk.

  17. I color my own hair…but every 3 months like it says. I’m not sure that the bad highlights mixed with the cheap color will work out well. I say go to the salon. And NEVER highlight your own hair. LOL

    GOOD LUCK! I too need to get my butt in the salon. I haven’t had mine cut in 8 months!!! :::hangs head in shame:::

  18. I’ve been fully gray since I was 20 (thanks to genetics)so I have no choice but to get my hair colored and I’ve gradually gone from dark brown to blond. (and we do have more fun!)I have to get it done every 4 weeks and it’s so time consuming and expensive – I just hate it.
    One summer I was a bridesmaid in an out of town wedding and between salon visits and I decided that maybe I could just touch up my roots a bit the night before the wedding. Yes I had orange hair in all the poor girl’s wedding pictures.
    Go to the salon!

  19. Ok, you need to just make an appt. and ‘fess up. Do not do anything else to your hair. It might make it a lot worse and then you will really have a big, expensive problem to fix. I also have dark/dirty blonde hair that I have highlighted “forever.” A couple a years ago, I decided that no way was I going to keep paying this ridiculous amount of money to get my hair done. How hard can it be to do a few highlights, right? I went to Target, bought me some highlights, and my hair looked AWFUL! I had to call my hairdresser and I didn’t even have to worry about confessing, she knew immediately what I did. I told her is was just so expensive and I was trying to be more on a budget. She saidd she would work with me and even go a little darker on the color so I could spread out the visits if I promised never to do my own hair again! And I haven’t!

  20. Girl, I have been there and done that. From my own experience — and the advice of my husband who knows it’s expensive, but doesn’t know exactly how expensive –pay the money and get a professional! If he even so much as sees a box of hair color in the house, he begs me to take it back! He does not mind the splurge of a trip to the salon for highlights and I have to say it is worth every penny not to have the anxiety of hair that LOOKS like you did it yourself! :-)

  21. As the self-professed Clairol Queen I say…go and never look back. I went through 9 boxes from WalMart trying to go from darkest of night to goddess on the beach and my hair was so fried it was smokin’. I did the walk of shame and had it fixed and vowed to never purchase another box again. (I did backslide once around Christmas…times were lean back then.)

    “Hair tragedy altar call.” That’s just funny right there.

  22. I’m just too cheap – can’t stand to pay someone $60 every 5 weeks to color my hair. So I taught myself. It does help that I have those mirrors that flip out so I can see the back of my hair, and oh yeah, that my hair is about 4 inches long too. I have the oh so lovely ‘dye your hair’ wardrobe to go with it, and I just finally told my hairdresser something like this, “See, I’m cheap so I’m going to color it myself. Can you work with that and highlight it 4 x a year for me?” She now calls it, “doing my own base” which is such a nice alternative for being cheap. Cut and highlights, no color, is still $100. That’s about as awful a bill as I can stand to pay.

  23. Those who know go pro.


  24. Walk the gauntlet. But at least treat yourself to a pedicure to help ease the pain of what they will charge you. Thataway you can say it was a color, style, and a pedi.

  25. You know how weird it is when you write an extra-long totally serious post, baring your very soul, and then some freak comes along and picks out one obscure point and comments on that and nothing else, and “that” was so far from the point that, really, the point is a dot to “that”?

    Prepare yourself.

    Not only do non-coastal dunes exist, but when I hear the word “dune” the first thing I think of is the sand dunes in West Texas, far from the coast, where we visited one year on vacay and slid down them on big plastic discs.

    Oh, yes ma’am.

    The second thing I think of is the movie “Dune” which would probably be the first thing I thought of if…I had…actually seen it.

    I won’t address the hair quandry because I’m so cheap I won’t even pay full price for the Loreal; I hoard my coupons and wait for a sale then stock up when I can get it for $3.50, which is why I have at least 8 boxes of 5A Ash Brown in my linen closet right now.

  26. Oh wait! I think you should call Traci and get her to do it again. Yeah. Final answer.

  27. Walk of shame. From one big-haired Southerner to another.

  28. I’ve just come across your blog via the LPM blog and I have to say I’ve enjoyed reading. You are hilarious!

    Yeah, go to the professional to get the hair fixed. Loved the story though.

    god bless.

  29. Ahhhhh ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! I’m laughing with you not at…

    I color my own hair, but only b/c I go darker and not lighter. I would never do my own highlights or bleach of any kind. Once you strip the color out via highlight or bleach it takes many moons for it to take color again correctly.

    So, I am in agreement with everyone else–go have someone color correct it for you. If you open that box of color, Pandora will be there.

  30. Emma Kate says:

    Missy! Missy! Now let’s not be ridiculous!! Do you want me to call for you? Even though, I don’t recall it looking bad — I really don’t!!Make the call today!!!!!!!!!

  31. DON’T DO IT!!!!


    This kind of damage requires a professional. Yes, it does.

    I had the exact same degrees of darkness, my friend. I went to a salon and they had to apply one thing to the blonde ends and an entire other chemical formula that isn’t even on that chart on the wall to the dark stuff.

    You might end up splitting an atom or something.

    Seriously, go ahead and take a big bite of that crow and call the salon.

  32. Favorite post ever. I know by faith that your hubby will recite these verses to you once you’ve turned from your self-coloring ways.

    Your head crowns you like Mount Carmel.
    Your hair is like royal tapestry; the king is held captive by its tresses. How beautiful you are and how pleasing, O love, with your highlights (delights)! (Song of Solomon 7:5-6)

  33. OH MY WORD.

    This so reminds me of the time I bought the “quality” hair color on sale at the Wal-Marts. I got it home, and for some reason decided to use it on SUNDAY MORNING BEFORE CHURCH. Now, being as I’m a light ash brown, and I had purchased the box that SAID “Light Ash Brown” right there ON it, I stupidly thought I would end up with light-ash-brown-colored hair.

    Unfortunately, the actual color in the bottle was “Deepest Black,” as I found out when I rinsed and dried. AND washed, and rinsed and washed and rinsed and ….you get the picture.

    I, like you, went back to the Wal-Marts to get a remedy, and THANKYOUSWEETLORD

  34. (continued) I did NOT use it. Otherwise I might have ended up purple or green or (heaven forbid) LILAC.

    Take the Walk, Sis. Take the Walk.

  35. I’m with the majority… go to the altar. We all know what a good five minutes spent confessing at the altar can do. Two wrongs don’t make a right, now, do they? If you want to keep the big-haired southern look, the walk of shame will have to do.

    And, honestly, I AM sorry for you that you have to deal with such a hairy mess. Been there, done that. Last time I had highlights put in, I was told my hair looked green. GREEN. To my face. I hurried myself on over to the salon the next day and got a nice cover-everything dark rinse, even darker than my natural color, which is really saying something!

  36. I have to agree. The walk of shame it is. I would hate for you to fry your hair and have to cut it all off. That would be just awful.

  37. Bailey's Leaf says:


    Please o’ please just kick the extra cash over to the hair dude R, and fix that which makes you crazy. I understand the money issue, as I live and breathe for the clearance rack and have self cut and boxed dyed my hair, as well. Don’t be like Annelle in Steel Magnolias! Don’t do your own highlights! Truvy can spot a bottle job! Get it fixed, girl! Get it fixed!

  38. Get foils at the salon!
    Can I one up you on the hair color story? I went to visit family out of state with my girls when they were 1 and 3. My cousin and I decided she would “strawberry blonde” my hair for me – because the color was getting so washed out and looked bad. What I ended up with was something just shy of the golden arches guy – you know him – the one with the clown face and big shoes?? But it gets worse -I had to RIDE A TRAIN home to my husband! I was mortified. Fortunately the two wee ones kept my mind occupied elsewhere!

  39. Forget about walking, you need to take the run of shame to the nearest hairdresser. Confess your sins and the truth will set you free.

    Just remember, it’s not how you feel, it’s how you look that’s really important.

  40. The devil is dancin’ at the bottom of that Walmart hair color box, BooMama! Get thee to the beauty shop and confess your sins to R.

    Go t’ward the light, BooMama…Go t’ward the light! ;-)

  41. Allow me to talk you down from this ledge:
    S T O P! (in the name of love)

    Have you lost your ever lovin’ MIND?

    I’m calling him if you don’t.

  42. Rocks in my Dryer says:

    Go see the colorist. Hang your head in shame. There are just some things that we southern girls must be willing to fork over the big bucks for.

    I know, I just ended that sentence with a preposition. I’m tired.

  43. I agree with Mama. L’Oreal is much kinder than Natural Instincts. L’Oreal is my best secret, I mean friend. L’Oreal’s Feria is wonderful…it truly has built-in highlights. You will much better taking that walk of shame after using this. :)

  44. Giggle, giggle, giggle. I posted (on xanga, didn’t have a blogspot then) about a year ago about a horrible haircut I got. I hated it, cried and cried, tried to wear a ball cap to church (not really, but it was that awful.) It’s just now growing out to where it was a year ago, and I am finally okay with it, but I wish I could have looked upon that situation with as much humor and joy as you have. My vote, make use of Walmart’s very forgiving return policy, return the sand dune dye, and go see your beloved R. Trust me, you’ll be glad you did.


  45. I am the cheapest hair person you can imagine. I get mine cut three times a year. And yes, it’s layered…it’s just that some months it has long layers and some months it has short layers…..I CANNOT ever justify spending money on my hair. I even use SUAVE shampoo!!! I just can’t STAND it! You can get it cut or colored or whatever, and it IMMEDIATELY starts growing and messing it all up!! IT’S TOO MUCH MAINTENANCE!! Nothing ever LASTS!! At least the cute sweater you buy lasts a few YEARS before fading or shrinking into oblivion! But HAIR!! Hair just betrays you every time. I cut my own bangs and I color my own hair. If I were you, I think I’d get it ‘fixed’ by the pro, and then in a few months just do your *own* FULL color (not highlights) if you’ve got grays, otherwise let yourself be and save the money. ‘Nuff said.

  46. You, as usual, are a hoot. But I do believe this post will become a boomama classic.

    My advice is, take the walk of shame. If you try to apply another treatment and then go to the salon for yet another after that, you are running the risk of frying your hair for eternity, or worse, risking it all falling right out.

    Do let us know how it goes.

  47. Go to your hairstylist and let him work his magic!!! I need a trim myself!! LOL and you can get an amen on the hair deal!! Hope you’re all feeling better–Sister said you’ve all been sick.. Hi Sister!!! HAPPY VALENTINES DAY TO YOU ALL!!

  48. Being a southern big haired girl myself I can totally relate. My vote is take the walk down the hall of shame.

    You are so right, when your hair ain’t happy…we are not happy.

    Trust me you will feel better.


  50. Go to the salon, confess and feel so much better. I made a pact with my “stylist” (sounds so chic, doesn’t it) that she won’t spay her cat, if I don’t cut my own hair (it’s ok, I’m a vet, I CAN spay cats….). We’ve kept this pact for the last ten years….I’m sure you can find a similar vow to take with your stylist….

  51. I SEE that hand!

    My hair was once the color of Ocean Spray Cranberry Cocktail. Lovely.
    I don’t do it often enough – but I definately turn the hair over to my hair do-er when I can’t take it anymore.

    Repent and Be Saved. Go to the salon.

  52. don’t do it. but if you do–post a picture.

  53. Walk it, girl! : ) You’re better off spending the money and having it look all nice and pretty again.

  54. Phyllis R. says:

    My word, there are already 54 (!) comments, so there’s nothing new I could add, but I just had to say this: OH HOW YOU MAKE ME LAUGH. That altar call is the funniest thing I’ve read in a looooong time. How does your highlighted head think up this stuff?

  55. Okay. Be brave, be apologetic, be almost tearful…and go back to your hairdresser. I had to go back to the expensive hairdresser once after I had found a cheaper one who pretty much chopped my hair off! It was awful, but I think the bottom line was the expensive hairdresser felt sorry for me and was glad to have the business back! I reminded my sister recently, (who colored her hair and it ended up looking like Elvira :) lucky for her it was Halloween!), that it always drives us crazy when people without a music degree teach piano lessons (we are both music ed. majors/teachers). So, maybe I am going out on a limb here, maybe we should not try to do hair ourselves and just let those with a degree handle it :0!! Now, Boomama, I am speaking for my sister and I. You will have to work out that one on your own ;).

  56. Two wrongs DON’T make a right. Step away from the box, Boomama!!

    Your stylist is an expert–he’ll (she’ll?) know immediately that you did a home dye job attempting to cover a bad home highlight job, and you’ll still be humiliated, but with more damage done. Leave your hair to the experts.

    I speak from MUCH experience on this one. I have stories that could make grown women cry. :)

  57. I’m sending you pictures.

  58. Here’s what you need to do–Get an agent and get a gig as a stand up commedienne–But not until AFTER you take the walk of shame and let R get the do done!

  59. Walk of shame. No question. Tell him a friend did it! You are speaking to the woman who tried to put highlights in her daughter’s hair, and she ended up with a dalmation look. Giant circles of highlights. Quite fetching as she said. No-one can see Mum, only every person taller than me, on a bus, truck, escalator, balcony, every man I know etc etc. I had to pay for repairs. GO! NOW!

  60. Walk of Shame, Sistah! Take it, now! If you don’t, you may not have much left to salvage.

  61. Well, I’m reading late, so you have probably already done what you are going to do. I am a professional haircolorist and I beg of you PUT DOWN THE WAL-MART BOX! If you are already having issues with the “do” don’t try to rememdy that yourself. I have 10 years of experience so let me just scare you a little- if you hair is that blonde on the ends you could turn your hair green from that box if it does not have the correct tone of color.

    Now, for next time. This is very important – we are not allowed to work from home under our license for money, but we love a good barter/trade agreement. You need to find a mommy-colorist to help you out. Most stylist, even in the salon have a couple of people that they work with like this.

    P.S. NEVER EVER pull through those caps, it’s bad everytime!

  62. “Just as I am without one plea, but that thy blood was shed for me.” Oh Lord Help me Jesus. All I got to say is Girl, go to the salon. It’s worth the money not to be embarrassed. And well we all know that us good Southern Women must have beautiful hair. After all what if we had to go to the hospital? Bad hair is just like wearing underwear with holes in it. And we all know that if we feel bad about our hair it affects every area in our lives. Get the sin out girl, get the sin out. Please, Please go to the Salon. And when you do, the whole congregation will break out in a tune of the Hallalujah Chorus. I’m telling you they’ll be rejoicing.
    Law me, we’ll even take up a “love offering” to help you out if you need it.
    I don’t have a Blog yet and it’s probably
    a good thing. But you know I like to lurk around and read others. Sometimes I feel like a criminal. HA

  63. I had my husband do my highlights at home to save money. They didn’t come out to bad, BUT girl you NEED to take the walk of shame. Put. the. box. down. get. to. the. phone. and. call. R. right. NOW!

  64. I can’t handle it…that was the funniest post I’ve read in a long time. WHEW!!

    Amen to those that have said, walk away from the dunes and get yourself in the salon chair…wear sunglasses to hide your shame, if you must…but really, it’s for the best.

  65. Sweetie, how can I say this…well, delicately? Bite the bullet. Take the walk of shame. Get over yourself and get into the chair of a loving professional! I have been in your shoes of having done a not so special job on my hair. So bad in fact, the hairstylist would not color it forever. Step away from the bottle. Give yourself a fighting chance.

  66. Girl, you crack me up! Just had to add my “Southern girl colors own hair–bulletin at 10:00” story. I tried coloring my own hair, starting with a dark blonde like yours. I just wanted a few highlights. And it said “temporary” color, right on the box.
    Oh my word.
    What I got was CARROT colored hair. I washed it 16 times that night, and it just got brighter and more orange, sort of like day-glo orange kool-aid.
    GO TO R.
    We Southern girls know the importance of good hair!

  67. This is the funniest thing you have ever written. Seriously.

    Go to your stylist, confess that you were unfaithful, and beg him for mercy. I just did something similar while my stylist was on maternity leave and I just HAD to have those highlights for the Christmas card pictures that are still addressed and not mailed in the basket on my counter… whew, confession is good for the soul! Anyway… I heaped on the praise about how she was the only one I could trust and how desperate I was for her to make it all better and she smiled, and then she did. I am back to the real me… or the real I should be, I guess.

  68. I hope I’m not too late… Don’t do it. Go to the salon. I tried to fix my daughter’s hair that was bleach blonde at the end and dark brown at the top a few months ago and she ended up with reddish brown and pinkish hair. It was horrible. Apparently there was red in the color that I thought would best match her roots. She cried. I felt horrible.

  69. I’ve never used store dye, but boy did I spray on the “sun in” back in highschool. Nothing like brassy blonde hair. My hairdresser about died, but I thought it looked fabulous (after all, I was 16)! From one dishwater blonde girl to another – Highlights are so important!! If you don’t want to make the walk of shame, I have an alternative. Go to someone else for a fix – and he’ll NEVER have to know. I LOVE LOVE LOVE Jennifer at Tangles. It is on Rocky Ridge Road right by the Western. She is very reasonable and hightlights everyones hair in my neck of the woods. Amen.

  70. …hairdressers are like bartenders…they are set up to take confessions and know when to cut you off the bottle! One more bottle and you’ll need someone to drive for you around (while you hide your head!)

    …become a designated driver and hold your beautifully (professionally) coloured head high!!

  71. dallimomma says:

    OK, we don’t ‘know’ each other in the literal sense of the word (IRL) but I feel a kinship, having experienced my own self-inflicted hair disasters (yes, plural) in the past. If I were to call my stylist and ask her your question she would say, “Lay down the pride and get yourself to the salon. Do NOT, under any circumstances, apply one more drop of product to your already suffering hair.” It will only make it harder for your guy to fix it. It’s tough, I know. Take it from the woman who caught only one side of her hair on fire lighting a pilot-less gas stove (thankfully I turned my head just before the mushrooming inferno engulfed me from the neck up. Did I mention it was the day before my 15th year class reunion? No? OK, that was on purpose.) There are just some things that are worth spending the money on (like Heinz ketchup) and while your esteem is firmly rooted in God’s everlasting love for you, remember, He knows how He made you and it probably wasn’t to look like this! Hope it goes well.

  72. I will give you an AMEN, sister! You and I are probably genetically related, as you have described my hair and my hair issues perfectly.

    I had the same issue–the same dishwater, once was delightfully blond but now is sort of vaguely light hair, and I highlighted it myself after getting tired and poor from dishing out the bucks. It looked GREAT! So, I did it again. It looked, um, GOOD. So, I did it again. It looked, um, Hey, what color did you buy this time? And I think when your hair is naturally blond, there is some reaction to that hair dye, and mine got lighter and lighter at the tips even as the roots stayed dark. This was a problem even when I tried to (gasp) DARKEN my whole head myself back to it’s original color, which I have to tell you, NEVER NEVER ATTEMPT THAT AT HOME! It was a complete disaster, and I took that walk of shame into my hairdresser, who was truly horrified. As well she should have been. She made it all pretty again, but I faced the same dilemma, even with her professional help–the tips still got lighter.

    Then add in a summer in the South with long days spent at the pool, and you get the crunchy green look (which is SO attractive), and the chlorine bleaches everything even more, and well, we blondes have issues. I have reconciled the situation by having occasional highlights done to my hair, which makes me look like I’ve been to the beach, which makes people think the lighter stuff on the bottom is just leftover summer fun, which, of course, it is. Sorta.

    So you go and get that professional job done, girl, and hold that big Texas hair up high. Don’t do the home job first,though, just because it will fry those poor blond tips even more. Wear a hat until you can get to Mr. R. Pick a cute one that sets a new fashion trend.

  73. BooMama (and anyone reading this),

    Please pray for my 16 year old and her 15 year old boyfriend. They ran away last night. They’re in her vehicle. They’ve got about $230 on them. No one has seen or heard from them since around 7:30 last night. Please pray for God’s protection and their safe return. Thank you.

  74. Hi Boomama,
    Don’t feel bad – we’ve all been there – it’s just those outrageous prices at the salon compared to that little 5-20 dollar box at the store makes you think – maybe I should try it?
    I had my hair highlighted a long time ago when i was in high school and really liked it (I’m naturally a strawberry blonde.) I let it go back because I didn’t want to pay for it again. I’m now 24 and married and thought – I think I want a change – I want to have brown hair! But I wasn’t too daring, so I bought a light brown that also had blonde highlights. My husband helped me (I still don’t know how I convinced him) and what I ended up with was only slightly darked hair with large blonde patches. Very. Very. Scary. I lived with it for a week (remarkable no one said anything and mothers did not shield their small children’s eyes!) and the next week I bought a darker brown with no highlights. I really hoped it would work, because how many times are you allowed to dye your hair before it starts falling out? So this time I did it myself and it came out okay, but it really doesn’t look much different than my natural color! So… maybe next time I’ll just save up and go to the salon.

    I think the worst part of going to the salon when you mess up (I used to try to cut my own hair…) is not even how bad it looks, but having the hairstylist know that you think they’re too expensive and you tried to be cheap! Oh well, I’m sure we’re not the only ones – I guess I’d do the Walk of Shame if I were you.

  75. i could have written this myself. i have used at-home coloring for years, and even bragged about what a “frugal” mom i was. after looking at some pictures, i realized i most have been the laughing stock. it’s worth it to pay the professionals. i recently got to the point where i am back to my natural color. i feel free, hallelujah!!

  76. Suck it up and do the walk of shame. Your hair will thank you. :)

  77. Obviously, you have your answer in the comments above (and I 100% agree)… let me offer you some support. Jesus loves good hair. You can totally quote me on that even though I don’t have any scripture reference to back it up. Let’s just say that the spirit has laid it upon my heart.

    (SCORE! After many years of searching, I may have found my spiritual gift… hair ministry!)

  78. All I can say is pay the bucks and go to the salon. It is cheaper to get it done right than to have to pay to get someone to fix it.


  79. Ok, you really have to check out my hair post in my January Archives (It’s Labe;ed “Yes I really look like this”), I look worse than normal because I was not wearing any make up but I wanted to make a point. Hair issues can really wear us down!! I hope you make your way to the hair salon, and feel better soon!P.S I Changed the website, in a previous post I had given you the wrong URL.

  80. Walk the walk. Talk the talk. You’re going to have to pay for the salon anyway so you might as well take your Beach Blonde color kit back and just pay for the right look.

    Of course, this advice is coming from a southern-but-transplanted girl with absolutely no sense of style… Never have and unfortunately probably never will.

  81. I have colored my hair for 12 years. With the exception of a time or two — always used a professional. I didn’t want my hair to ever look brassy.

    I had an unfortunate incident last year where my hair was turned four colors (platinum, papaya (YES, like the fruit), cherry red, and purple).

    I went in the salon just to get a few blonde highlights, walked out of the story $180.00 lighter and with hair that only cartoon characters get.

    I’m still scarred.

    Whatever you do, ‘stick to your guns’. Any deviation from the plan can be disastrous. And cover ever follicle in the blood of Jesus. Ask the angels to guard whomever’s hand fix your hair. :)

  82. Wow – 79 comments – bad hair days are popular in the blog world.

    I say “Donate the box of hair color, and get back to the guy who really knows how to do this”

  83. Take the hit to your pocket book and your pride. Go to the salon. This advice comes from someone who has colored her hair for decades. The in home products will ruin your hair. You have to pay the big bucks for the look you want. I know you are a Southerner and us southerners know good hair. Go ahead – make the phone call…The latest issue of People and Style magazine are waiting for you there:-)

  84. I’ve never colored and won’t because I feel like I’ve EARNED every one of the silver hairs on my head. However, if you are going to color, PLEASE, humble yourself and go to your favorite professional! I’ve watched some of the ladies I work with just totally destroy their hair trying to fix bad highlighting jobs that friends have done for them. They finally had to stop coloring/perming/etc. for a space of time and then they looked really shabby!!!

  85. I am a hairdresser! I have a small shop and work alone. I hate to spend more money to get my haircut that I charge but after many years of doing my own I do it. My professional advice is GO TO THE SALON!! Every different color in your hair will take a different color especially with semi permanent color. You will probably still end up two toned. It will be money well spent. I’m just glad I’m not your hairdresser because I hate to fix mistakes! Good luck!

  86. OK, honey, I know by now you are already sitting in R’s chair, feeling so much better now that this issue is resolved…..But I must admit, I was laughing out loud, then I just belly-laughed when I saw that there were 83 sisters preaching in the comments…..this is a HOT topic, one maybe you could even take on Oprah, cause girl, good looking hair is right up there with marriage vows….IMPORTANT!
    I’ll admit I do my own hair, but somebody please do an intervention if it ever looks like some maroon or blue hairs I’ve seen! Anyhoo, I don’t do highlights, but I’ve just been debating with myself on some lowlights, as there is nothing to pick you up like a good hair day, and a treatment to get it that way! I had the BEST stylist in La…..she made you feel fantastic, and I was willing to fork over for her. But here, well, it’s just ok. So, hopefully you have repented and things are looking up for ya…..of course we all want a post about the intervention done by R and what all he has to say about the boxed stuff from Walmarts……gonna be a good one, I can tell already!!!

  87. I am a stay-at-home mom and can’t bring myself to pay over $130 for highlights and a cut when I barely ever leave the house. I do a two-step process of coloring first, highlighting a few days later. It looks pretty good, but it does get brassy. Any over the counter hair color will get brassy over time. There is a product called fanciful that cuts down on the brassiness.

  88. Ok, so seriously…

    You are right that we are not supposed to be overly concerned about our appearance. But the bible does not say that we aren’t supposed to be concerned at all, does it? Image does matter. It can ruin our witness if we look like a slob. And it’s important to be attractive to our husbands. And I believe that we should look clean and put together in order to reflect well back on our husbands, too – so that we appear happy and well-taken care of. I could go on but I’ll keep it short.(-er). So take care of your hair!
    The real question is what is the motivation in your heart for coloring it anyway? Is it vanity? Or pride? Or is it a desire to look your best? That’s the real question.

    Now, to get right down to it,.. if you are going to color it anyway, (at a salon or at home) then you’ve already decided to spend money on it. And if you’ve already spent money on one highlight kit and now a box of color… you’ve already spent half of what it would have cost to get it highlighted in the first place, am I right? And if there’s one thing I am good at it’s justifying spending money. :) To continue spending money on box kits that don’t work would be a waste of money. And that’s bad. Ooh, that’s bad, right? So the wise way to spend the money would be to give it to the professional — right? =)

    Side-Note, if it’s a budget breaker, the difference between having enough food and not.. well, that’s a no brainer. I would never advise someone to spend money on indulgences (hair, nails, etc) if it’s going to hurt the budget. And that’s the truth. Amen. But if that’s not the case…

    Confess and repent. “Go and sin no more.” =P

  89. Oh My Word, you are funny! And right! That’s what’s really hilarious!

  90. I have got to say that this ranks right up there with the hilarious post about your mama “tooting”. I read it last night and nearly laughed myself silly. You certainly have a special gift for spinning a yarn, Boomama. I have colored my own hair for 4-5 years but I don’t do anything extra, such as highlights or anything. Just your plain old “Light Golden Brown”. I am on the tail-end of 7 years of 2 children (4 yrs. of it with both at the same time) in college, so the extra expense at a salon is a luxury I can not afford. There is light at the end of this long tunnel–he graduates in May. Woo-Hoo!! Having said that, I agree with so many of the other comments. I think that you should go to R and repent. You will look and feel better inside and out. And all of God’s people said….”Amen!”

  91. Um, I’m hardly an expert on this, except I learned something the hard way. There is this thing called “Hot roots” that happens to processed hair. The hair at the roots can get more sensitized to the color than the rest of your head. My head ended up looking, well like Bozo the Clown on crack. I seriously recommend letting the professionals fix this, because you run the risk of your roots looking like Coastal Dunes on fire as painted by Andy Warhol.

  92. do the walk of shame. I have to do it this friday, and I am going to be hardcore up front about the money too – I tell them at the beginning i do not have unlimited funds at my disposal and just flat out do not have $180 to spend on hair. They may work with you. If you can come to a good arrangement fine, if not, just get a cut and a blow out and ride that train to the coastal dunes!!

  93. I normally read all the comments before commenting, but 92! Geez!

    Anyway, I say try Coastal Dunes FIRST and then see how it turns out before doing the Walk of Shame.

    Last time I had my hair done it took 3 1/2 hours and I spent a fortune. Needless to say, it might be next year before I go back. By then my roots will be all grown out and I can start fresh :) Oh, but that might be tacky. Good Southern gals don’t do that sort of thing. Ok, so maybe I need to rethink this and go get my own Coastal Dunes…

    Let us know how it turns out!

  94. Stephanie says:

    Go to the salon. The Walmart stuff will only wreck the already edgy hair =) Been there, done that.

    Loved the altar call analogy – sounded like a Beth Moore conference LOL You got the lingo down =)

  95. Word of warning:

    Some colors have green as their base (instead of red or blue). If you bought a green based color and now put it over highlighted hair… IT WILL TURN YOUR HAIR GREEN.

    I did it ten years ago. Trust me, it’s not pretty. I had to cut the majority of my hair off. ;(

    If you think uneven color is bad – wait until it’s green.

    Touch ups are fine but know what you’re doing before you switch colors.

  96. I want to tell you to just go to the salon, but I’m also very curious how the home hair color will turn out. I am dealing with some stray grays here and there and was considering the boxed color! ;) Let me know how it goes.

  97. nspiredbyfaith says:

    Oh honey I FEEL your pain! I am a big haired southern girl myself, curly no less. and on occasion I get an extra wild hair to do some colorin’ at home on the cheap! Oh but i have paid for it in the end!! If you don’t want to take the walk of shame to your regular guy, go to the mall sugar! They are great colorists usually and totally anonymous.(Especially if you pick an upstairs-in-the-back-salon! It has worked for me! Good luck!

    ps… I am a lurker on your site who had to come out for comment on this one!love your site!

  98. I really can’t help you on this one. I have never ever once put any kind of color in my hair. It’s naturally blond and that’s the way I like it : )

    I would love to see some pictures of your hair though!!

  99. Sistah, I completely empathize with your fiasco. I am a living testimony of the times that our hair “grieves the heart of God”. Last March we moved in to a “new” (ancient farm house) house with 4 beautiful natural watertables on the property. These watertables contain immeasurable amounts of iron and thus turned my very very light (natural)blonde hair a hideous shade of Crayola orange in 3 weeks flat. My friends’ husbands honestly thought I dyed it that shade :( silly boys. my (now)stylist Ms R almost refused to attempt a Malibu treatment on me, but in the end she did 2 treatments that day, 2 more in two weeks and now I go in every month for a treatment to keep my hair blonde. oh yeah, did I mention that my hair is almost long enough to sit on? Every treatment takes 90 minutes and then Ms R spends another 30 minutes just combing the snarls out.

    Sistah, may I suggest that you beg for mercy and be sure to take him some sweet somethin’ that you whip up in the kitchen “just for him”. Nothin’ worse in the world than pretending that my hair is fine when everyone else in the world thinks that I sleep in a crayola orange vat every night…and think that I like it!

    My sister’s best friend, J, couldn’t convince her husband, D, that I actually didn’t dye it. Her arguement: “It’s ugly, why would Jessica dye her hair ugly?”

    Don’t fall into “dying your hair ugly”

  100. Well, I believe you know where I stand on this issue. In case you don’t, do you remember the time in 1989 that you turned my hair ORANGE? Getting your hair professionally colored is a treat and is money well spent and you deserve it! It looks like the majority of the 99 other commenters feel the same way. So there you have it.