Help, I’ve Gone Orange
Ever had a hair disaster? Ever had a self tan nightmare? With teenage girls in our house we’ve had more than our fair share of home beauty disasters.I still feel a little nauseous when I think back to my il-advised Rockabilly phase and the super-cool cut I had planned, which ended up rather more like a Marine’s flat-top than I had envisioned. Luckily for me that was in the days before digital photography and Facebook, so there’s no documentary evidence. There was no escape from that other than to wait whilst my hair grew back, although I did have fun experimenting with hats and scarves.
Whilst the best advice is not to attempt home hair bleaching, cutting, or coloring if you don’t want to risk a hair disaster, and to ease into self-tanning, teenagers are not known for their ability to take advice and make good hair decisions. There’s no point in being wise after the event, they know you “told them so”, but when their hair is orange, blue or dissolving, or their skin is day-glo and patchy, it’s time to get practical.
Recovery In Action
You can take a bold approach to repair, using the opportunity of having the worst hair color ever to try something you wouldn’t have otherwise dared.If you try this route, enjoy it, but don’t re-bleach, otherwise you risk yet more damage, and the experience of one friend who found her hair simply dissolved after too much bleaching, it came away in her hands. Her only option was to get a short cut making the most of what hair she had left, and allowing it to grow back to its natural color.
Home bleaching is hard to recover from. The bright orange hair with odd brown patches above came from an attempt to lighten up brunette hair for a more summery look. It certainly brightened up, it almost glowed in the dark.Home bleaching is generally a bad idea unless a hairdresser is doing it for you. A friend who has a sister who is dating a hair stylist is not appropriately qualified, nor is someone who has had their hair bleached, or seen someone else do it hundreds of times. Bad home bleaching is really difficult to recover from. If you don’t go far enough you end up looking like a Weasley from Harry Potter, too far and you look a little like Daenerys Targaryen from Game of Thrones for a few hours before your hair starts to snap off.
A skilled hairdresser can help the situation, but if you have to recover at home work hard on restoring the condition of the hair. Attempting to get back to the original color after a full ginger disaster won’t work. The redness shows through as a brassy under current rather than the lovely red warmth you were hoping for. You’ll likely have to go darker for a while.
Start repairing the hair early, it will have taken a terrible knock, and it needs some loving care. Yes, it’s dead already, and was before the bleaching happened, but it will feel better if it’s smooth and carrying some moisture.
For a more affordable hair treatment, from a trusted brand, that you know won’t make matters worse, Neutrogena make a great repair product.
If your hair has gone almost blonde, white, or just plain brassy then you can help it out a little. It may sound counter-intuitive but blue and purple shampoos can balance out the brassiness. You don’t need to go full old-lady blue rinse, and it’s a bad idea to try to dye your hair back with a blue or purple dye yourself, you could end up in an even worse hair situation.
This blue shampoo helped to balance out some of the straw color from a bleaching disaster. It didn’t help with the terribly dry condition of the over-bleached hair, so using the conditioner as well is really important, to stop the hair from becoming really brittle.
Can I Fix It With Duct Tape?
After unhelpful sniggering and teasing, followed by unconvincing assertions that “it doesn’t look that bad”, it seems that the male urge to fix problems rather than indulge in empathy around how upsetting the problem is, moves straight to the buying of a hat in such circumstances. It’s not such a bad idea, and in the case of the “marmalade head disaster” and “technicolor dream hair incident” (it was red and yellow and pink and brown and blue and purple) it was a good option before we could get professional help. Baseball caps and beanies do the trick for boys, but girls have a wider choice.
This hat is great as it allows for the tucking of the offending hair into the top of the hat, whilst retaining a cute, carefree look.
Our other orange home beauty disasters have involved either going full-on Oompah Loompa with self tan, or creating a stripy look. It pays to fully exfoliate before using self tan, and patch testing to make sure you don’t have an allergic reaction, but again, these are bits of advice it would have been helpful to listen to before tanning. If you’re hit with a self tan disaster, then do not add more tan to balance it up. Laundry detergent works well for removing excesses on hands, feet, elbows and knees and baby oil can help to even up the body. Do patch test first to make sure there’s no allergy to laundry detergent. A bright red rash may hide an orange tan, but it won’t be pretty.
The man solution is to wear pants and a long sleeve shirt until it washes off. That’s not bad advice.