Hair Horrors

Girl checking her long hair
Photo: Istockphoto
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 bubblegum stuck in her locks. Or the time when you decided to try out a new hair color and ended up making Bozo's hair look like a supermodel's.
What about the time when a friend decided to trim her hair with clippers and forgot to put the guard on, and is now the proud owner of her own little piece of bald scalp. And last but not least, one should never underestimate a child's imagination and what they may put in their hair. Hopefully, this article will help to quell any worries that may arise regarding follicle follies.
Bad Perm
We will start with what I like to call the "Poodle Problem": perm mishaps. Home perming has become much more common in recent years due to the rising cost of salon perms. What many of us tend to forget, though, is that we are not only paying for the materials used to perm, but also for the expertise and training of our stylist. That doesn't change the fact that many of us, myself included, try to give ourselves perms in the privacy of our own homes.
In cases like this, one of two things can happen: either the perm may not take or it may take too much. In the case of the former, wait a few days and then have your hair analyzed by a professional to ensure it will take a perm, then have the professional do it. 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 a couple of blocks from my house. I signed up for a wave perm and got a 1970s afro style perm, and the worst part was having to walk home with tears in my eyes. Thanks to my mom, I was back in the stylist's chair within a few hours getting my afro fixed. What they did in the salon can also be done at home.
Start by using a deep-conditioning cream, apply it to the hair and comb it from the roots to the ends, leaving it in for 5 minutes, then rinse it out completely. Afterwards, roll the hair in large curlers and let it 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 eventually learn!
What they will do is put perming solution on your hair, comb it from root to end, let it set for the recommended amount of time, and 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, but be very careful not to get the solution into your eyes or else you won't have to worry about looking at your bad perm.
Woman with a bright red or pink hair color
Photo: Pixelshot via Canva
Bad Coloring
Another bad hair problem deals with hair color. Speaking on behalf of all at-home colorers, even seasoned professionals can sometimes make mistakes. One time, I decided to try a slightly redder hue than my typical auburn color and ended up with fluorescent red hair. I sent my very reluctant husband to the store immediately 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 could have been a foreign country - the hair color aisle, we found a shade that would fix the problem. The more sensible thing would have been to go to a stylist who specializes in color correction.
To remove permanent or semi-permanent hair colors, visit your local beauty supply store. They usually 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 to fix it. Start by saturating a cotton ball with 70% alcohol and applying it 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 sit on your hair for 5 minutes, then apply mineral oil in the same way. Cover your head with a plastic cap, or 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, and 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 in the salon, may take several attempts to get rid of all undesirable color. Attempts at restoring color should be made within the first 48-72 hours. The dyes take about that long to truly penetrate the cuticle, making corrections nearly impossible.
Another stylist tip to remove color is to use Prell shampoo, so don't accidentally pick it up because it is on sale and use it on your colored hair. For major color mistakes, such as green or orange hair, go directly to your stylist. This is something that should not be negotiable.
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