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Hair Horrors

Bad Perm, Bad Coloring and More

       We have all been there or heard the horror stories of hair mishaps. The little girl with beautiful long hair that mysteriously ended up with a big wad of Bubbalicious stuck in her locks. Or the time when you decided to try out a new hair color and came out making Bozo's hair look like a super model's. What about the time when a friend decided to trim her hair with a clipper and forgot to put on the guard, and now is the proud owner of her own little piece of naked scalp. And last but not least, you can never underestimate a child's imagination and what they may put in their hair. Well hopefully, this article will help to quell any worries that may arise regarding follicle follies.
 
girl checking her long hair        We will start with, what I like to call the poodle problem. You've guessed it, perm mishaps. Home perming has become much more common in the recent years because of the rising cost of salon perms. What many of us tend to forget, though, is we are paying for more than just the materials used to perm, we are also paying for the expertise and training of our stylist. That doesn't change the fact that many of us, myself included, try to inflict perms on ourselves in the privacy of our own homes. In cases like this, one of two things can happen, either the perm may not take or may take too much. In the case of the former, wait a few days and then have your hair analyzed by a professional to make sure it will eventually take a perm, then have the pro do it, or if you have learned nothing go home and try again. If your perm takes too much, as it has in the past for me even at the salon, there are things that can be done. When I was a teenager, I saved up for a perm and walked to the salon that was a couple of blocks from my house. I signed up for a wave perm and got a 1970's afro style perm, the worst part of it was that I had to walk home with tears in my eyes. Thanks to my mom, I was back in the stylist's chair in a matter of hours getting my 'fro fixed. What they did in the salon can also be done at home.
 
       Start by using a deep cream conditioner, put it on the hair and comb it from the roots to the ends and leave it set for 5 minutes and then rinse it completely. From there, roll hair in large curlers and let dry. This should soften the curl. If you still have more curl than you desire try reversing the perm. If you don't want to spend the money to have the stylist fix it-you will at some point learn! What they will do is put perming solution on your hair and comb it from root to end, let it set for the recommended amount of time then rinse. You can do this at home but it is recommended that you wait two weeks after the initial incident before trying it. Lay your head back into a sink and find a friend to do the dirty work, be very careful not to get the solution into your eyes or you won't have to worry about looking at your bad perm.
 
       Another bad hair problem deals with hair color. Speaking on behalf of all at-home colorers, even seasoned professionals sometimes mess up. One time I decided to try a slightly redder hue than my typical auburn color and came out with fluorescent red hair. I immediately sent my very reluctant husband to the store to buy a different color to fix it. Luckily, after about 10 minutes of phone calls back and forth from him at a place that might as well have been a foreign country - the hair color aisle, we found a shade that would fix the problem. The more sane thing would have been to go to a stylist who specializes in color correction. To remove permanent or semi-permanent hair colors, make a visit to your local beauty supply store. They generally carry products used to remove dye from hair and clothing. If you have a henna color that has gone terribly wrong you will have to work a little harder for that fix. Start by saturating a cotton ball with 70% alcohol, apply this to your hair from the roots to the ends. Try to avoid getting it on the scalp as it is very drying. Let the alcohol set on your hair for 5 minutes, then apply mineral oil in the same way. Cover your head with a plastic cap, you can also use plastic wrap, and apply heat for 30 minutes. Shampoo the oil out with shampoo made for oily hair, you may have to lather, rinse, repeat several times before you remove all of the oily residue.
 
       It is important to remember that any color correction, whether done at home or the salon, may take several attempts to get rid of all of the undesirable color. Attempts at resurrecting color should be made within the first 48-72 hours. The color dyes take about that long to truly penetrate the cuticle which makes corrections nearly impossible. Another stylist tip to remove color is Prell shampoo, so don't accidentally pick it up because it is on sale and use it on your colored hair. For big color mistakes, like green or orange hair, do not pass go and go directly to your stylist, this is something that should be non-negotiable.
 
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