Last night I tried dying my hair with a store bought hair dye. My hair is black, I was trying to use Loreal Hi-Lift Brown which is meant to lighten black hair. It didn't specify it only lightens naturally black hair though, and won't lighten dyed black hair, so it didn't take. Not a big deal, just meant that to get the medium brown I wanted that I'd have to bleach it first and then dye it.
I usually do a lot of my dyes at home, but I wasn't going to take the chance with bleach because it's hard to do the back of your hair and I didn't want to risk missing sections or making it splotchy. I've done the same process at home before, so I know for a fact that it's not easy to do on your own. So I decided to get both the bleaching and the after dye professionally, especially since I had JUST dyed my hair, and didn't want to fry my hair by bleaching it with shoddy store bleach so soon after, and salons usually have higher quality bleachers that work better and have less chemicals. Wouldn't cost too much either, my hair is only a few inches below my shoulders and I only wanted the top layer done, I wanted the rest to stay black.
So this morning I go in to a salon in my city. I ripped off the top of the hair dye I had used the night before so she'd know what color I was trying to go. It's a nice medium brown. I told her that I didn't want any brassiness to it either, because red undertones don't mix well with my skins undertones.
She says it's a simple color correction, easy as pie, but yeah, she'll have to bleach it out first and then dye it the color I wanted. I say okay and we get going.
First of all, I don't know how it works or which way is right, but every other time I've gotten my hair bleached before, they've dried the hair and then spritzed it so that it's damp, but not wet. She started slathering on bleach the second my hair was rinsed, it was dripping wet.
Not only that, but she's treating my head like it's a splatter-art canvas. Every salon I've ever gone too, they take a lot of precaution to do it carefully so you don't end up with dye or bleach everywhere. Bleach is flying all over the floor, dripping all over my face, splattering on my cheeks, and I got a nice huge blob of bleach on my jeans, which were only exposed because she wanted me to hold the bowl up for her so she didn't have to turn around so much to get more.
She puts me under the hair dryer for about 15 minutes (I had only gotten to page 6 of Star, so I know it was pretty quick), which I thought was a little weird because every place I've ever seen bleach puts the customers under for at least a 1/2 hour. The last time I had my hair professionally bleached, I had it on for an hour. She comes, opens the cap and looks at it, then takes me to the sinks. I figure that means it worked okay. She didn't do what other stylists do, and actually take a chunk and go through it to make sure it dyed evenly and is light enough when it's not covered in that stuff, but eh. She rinses it out, puts in huge gobs of conditioner, barely rinses that out (she worked it through then rinsed my hair for like a half minute), then right away starts slathering the dye on my sopping wet hair (not even towel dried).
Once again my head becomes a blank slate for splatter art. She's getting dye all over my cheeks, which I keep impatiently and pointedly wiping off. Then, I don't know how she managed it with the angles, but she got a huge gob of hair dye right. in. my. eye. Instead of rinsing my eye out, like you should with harsh chemicals, she gives me a towel and ushers me over to the hair dryers again.
I didn't say anything because I figure, as long as I get the color I want, I'm happy and I can just not go back to her again. Plus I don't feel like pissing someone off who has such power over something I love so much. Yes, I love my hair, I keep it super healthy and it's thick and gets me a lot of compliments.
After 20 minutes she comes, rinses it out, and starts drying it and styling it. As she grabs the hair dryer though, the cord sticks on a drawer and instead of walking over and removing it, she tries yanking it with all her might. All her might meant her losing her grip and the hair dryer flying out of her hands and beaning me partly in the head and partly in the shoulder.
The entire time I'm looking at my hair with dread. I can already see that the roots appear to be bright red even when they're dark, and the rest of my hair? Still looks black. I give her the benefit of the doubt, thinking it'll probably not look as bad when it's fully dry.
It's fully dried, and styled. And I'm nearly in tears. I thought all along that it'd be worth it if it looked okay. Not only is it red, when I specified light brown without any red to it at all, but she didn't even bleach it properly. It has more huge black splotches in it than I could have created if I had bleached it myself at home blindfolded. My roots are like a weird neon shade of pinkish red, and there's a huge (about 4 inch tall and wraps around an entire half my head) black stripe starting about 4 inches down from my roots, which didn't obviously get any bleach on it at all, because it's still pitch black.
I try saying nicely that it's not at all what I'd like. She offers to re-do it all for me. I don't TRUST her to re-do my hair after what I just saw her work looks like, so I decline, telling her that they quoted me an hour and 10 minutes and it's already been 2 hours, I can't stay for another 2. Then she starts getting bitchy at me, telling me that it looks great and the black splotches blend in okay so it's really not THAT bad. She has the nerve to tell me outright that I'm overreacting. I'd say, and I bet you guys who think my lack of spinal cord has been a problem in the past, would agree, that up to this point I had been harshly UNDERreacting. Her manager comes up at this point. I'm telling her quite frankly, that it's not at all what I asked for, that it's obvious she didn't bleach it properly, and that she did it while ruining my jeans, getting dye in my eyes and beaning me with a hair dryer. She starts yelling at me, "What, you don't think I know what I'm doing?!".. obviously not, woman.
I could have stayed to talk to the manager, but this woman is yelling and getting all snarky, plus I am already running late on getting home to my son so that my husband could go to work. I'm also not good with confrontation and I was still super upset about how horrid I look, and I could tell that if I kept pushing I was going to burst into tears, I already had my eyes welling up, so I just pushed past, went to pay (a whole 95$ for them to wreck my hair, forcing me to go spend another $30 in home products just to redo what the hell they just did) and wrote a big fat 0 next to her tip. I went to the drug store a few doors down and bought new products to use. Even the woman who was helping me find the best bleach to use that could be mixed with salon bleach without altering it, looked at my hair and said "I have to be honest, that really DOES look awful, and I can't believe they made you pay for it."
I was hoping they'd have a corporate number you could call or email for complaints, but unfortunately, there's nothing on the internet that says they do. I'm planning on bleaching the top layer tonight and getting it as even as I can, then dying it the color I told them I wanted, and going back in tomorrow to talk to JUST the manager, and demanding a refund.
Edited to add the part in italics: I know that I could have spoken up about whether or not it was proper to bleach or dye sopping wet hair, but honestly - I still don't know if it works just the same or not. As well as, I figured maybe they had a brand of bleach that just worked really quickly, so I didn't know whether or not to speak up about the length of time I had it on my head. I figured, she looked at it, she thought it was okay. Just because I've had other stylists do differently, doesn't mean that I knew for sure her way was wrong, you know? I figured, she went to school to this, she had already mentioned her parents own a salon near my house, so I figure she knows a thing or two. I think the splotchiness is more her completely missing the bleach on a huge section of my hair. I think the fact that my hair was red, and not anywhere near brown, is due to either her not making sure I had the bleach on long enough and that my hair was light enough to go ahead with the dye, or her mixing the dye wrong.
It sucks, because before this I had NOTHING but good experiences with this salon.
However, before this, I had never had this girl as a stylist, either.