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Saturday, July 26, 2014

Get Rid of Orange Hair: My Shameful Journey

Sometimes, very rarely, I make mistakes (okay, okay, maybe a bit more oftener than that, but I was hoping you might not notice).  Sometimes these mistakes are apparent only to me and God.  Sometimes they are only apparent to my family or friends.  And then sometimes you make a mistake that upon making, everyone in the whole freakin' world notices any time they look at you or in your general direction.

This was me circa the end of May up until two days ago.

I thought it would be a really fanstastic idea to follow my dream of becoming blonde again.  Yes, the organic side of me was saying, "What the crap, yo?  You know better than that!  You know you can't use bleach and all those toxic chemicals, you'll kill yourself, your brains, your liver and you'll be soaking yourself in carcinogens like nobody's beeswax, homegirl!  Hello, ever heard of PPD?  Like, total death sentence, dumbface!!  DUH!!"  

The kind of hair I wanted.
The diva side of me didn't want to listen.  It wanted to find a way around the poison and solve it, being a non-toxic blonde.  I thought I had figured it out.  Oh glory, could it be that there was such a thing as organic color?  I looked it up online and after many hours of reading, there really was something called organic color. And it could make you blonde.  Is this for realies?  Oh baby.  I called the salon and made an appointment.  But first, I asked, "Can this really make me blonde? I have brown hair.  I don't want orange hair.  I don't want strawberry blonde hair.  I don't want golden blonde hair.  I want straight up ash blonde.  Can your product do this?"

I was then repeatedly assured it could and would.

I was so excited I could hardly stand it.

The day finally came and I took a picture of myself and sent it to the hubby with the caption something along the lines of "Sayonara brown hair! SUCKAAAA!!!!"  

It would be the last picture I remember having happy hair.

My visit to the salon was in an extremely upscale town about a half hour away.  These people use their Coach bags as gym bags because they're so common and refer to their Jimmy Choo as "these old things?!"  The people who live in this town have servants, nannies and Porches and Rolls Royce are as common as the F-150's (with the stickers of deer heads on the window and the "I work for Ford, I drive a Ford" plastic around the license plate) are in mine.  I thought I was safe.

I was el-wrongo.

I sat down in the chair and asked to see a hair color wheel.  I showed them the exact color I wanted and pointed out the colors I wanted to avoid like the plague.  I told them that when I used to get bleach highlights, my hair would take about an hour and a half to two hours to come up.  I have freak hair.  Is this going to work?  Are you sure?  Yes, yes, yes.  Do it all the time!


This stuff you leave on your hair for 30 minutes and then rinse it out.

Rinse 1: hair slightly lighter, slightly more auburn, but still brown.

Did it again.

Rinse 2: resist swearing, sweating, stabbing and screaming.  My hair is flaming freak orange yellow.  Clown hair.  But fried to a freakin' crisp.  Dead.  Feels like straw.  By bending it sideways it breaks.  Thousands of split ends and shortened hair.  Oh. My. Gosh.  I am Ronald McDonald.  And I have to go to a wedding.  In 48 hours.  Use your tae kwon do for good, use tae kwon do for good, use tae kwon do for good.  It's just hair, right?  

His solution: bleach highlights to blonde up the orange.  He says, "Oh, you wanted  bleachy light blonde color?  Well, of course you cannot achieve that with this product.  That comes only about by bleach!"

Are. You. Freakin'. Kidding. Me.
She is cute, but this is not the color I wanted.  Unfortch, I got it.

So he pulls a 1980 vintage and pulls my long hair through a CAP with a crochet hook and bleaches it.


My hair was destroyed.  My childrenos suggested that I shave my head bald.

Along came my friend.  My sweet, sweet friend.  She rescued me from my desperation, took me to her salon and they toned the orange down significantly.  Then my sweet friend PAID for my fiasco-fix.  She has been with me through the worst times in my life, and she came through in true cape-like fashion.  She is a sister to me and I love her terribly.  God bless that blessing.

Fast forward two weeks.  My hair is getting oranger.  What the heck?!  The combination of swimming for several hours a week and the Trader Joe tea tree shampoo and conditioner are stripping the toner out of my hair with lightning speed.

I make pleas of desperation to make some cash and take it to another salon to have them dye my hair brown.  It works great.  For two weeks.  Then my hair is flaming orange again.

Hubby kaboshes the spending on the hair.  I am stuck.


I try to dye my hair with coffee.  It doesn't work.

I try to dye my hair with black walnut hull powder.  It works.  Until I shampoo my head.  Then it is gone.  So much for those two hours.

I consider coloring on my hair with a brown Sharpie marker.

I spend hours looking up hair online.  I wear thick headbandy things to cover up the bulk of it around my face.  

I put Mrs. Stewart's bluing laundry brightner (the pre-bleach solution of 100 years ago to get your yellowed/dulling whites bright white again) into my shampoo and conditioner hoping to tone out the orange.  (I read about purple shampoo, but it was out because of all the chemicals it contained.)  Maybe my hair wasn't fluorescent orange anymore, but it was still orange.

Then I calculated how long it would take, based on the regrowth of hair from late May until now to have a full head of my (changed perception!) wonderful brown hair back again.  Oh.  Three years.


I am being punished for my foolishness.  And I must suffer my punishment for three years of horror every time I look at myself in the mirror.  Every time I meet a new person, they will think I am aiming to be a 17 year old prostitute who went wild in her bathroom with 50 developer and some bleach.  Why did I do it?  WHY?  WHY?!  WHYYYYYY!!!!!!!!!


Maybe you're asking me, "Hey Ms. Daisy, why the HECK didn't you just go to the store and go get a box dye?  Why didn't you go to Sally's and get something to dye your hair brown again?"  

You should know by now that I don't usually do the traditional things, my dear.  (No, that would be too easy.)

You do know I research those chemicals, right?  Steeping my head in carcinogen tea was not going to be my option.  My diva self was tempted to try it, I can assure you.  How easy it would have been!  I even had a box of dye in my hands at Target.  And then I did what I always do.  I flipped the box to the back and read the ingredients.  ARGH!!!!!!!!  WHY!  WHY!!  WHYYYYYYYYY!!!!

Knowledge.  Hmph.

Then it happened.  I found a product that contained 100% natural, organic stuff.  And it had a bunch of happy people who had used it.  They were using it to color their grey hair, though.  Would it work on my orange fiasco?  What if I ended up with green hair?  Maybe I'd like that better.  Huh.  Decisions to consider.

What the heck.  It was $11 online, so I ordered it.  I couldn't find it even in my uber-healthy health food store, so I had to wait for it to be shipped to me.  Patience, hurry up!

It contains natural indigo, henna (this is what freaked me out - visions of yet oranger hair kept me in a hyperventilation state of panic), amla and two other herbs to chillax your hair.

Well, what the heck, right?  I did a strand test and made it quite watery.  After 90 minutes it didn't work.  I called the company.  They said, "You did it too thin.  Think cake batter paste."

Good thing that was just a strand test.  The next day I got it all ready.  I sloshed my head with a greenish brown mud that smelled like baby food peas and put a cap on.  I prayed, "Please, God, let this not be a failure like all the rest and have my husband be so furious about spending even $22 (I got 2 boxes just in case) on another failure.  And please let me not have green hair.  Amen."

Yes, it took a little bit of work to get the mudpie out of my hair.  I had to climb into the bathtub, dunk my head into a basin and I let the faucet pour over the back of my head, dump the bucket of blackish sooty water, start over.  Repeat 5 times until clear.  Yes, my hair felt like it was made of sticks, but this was just the in-betweenies.  I put conditioner on it until I could rake my fingers through it again and then it was time for the test.  After spending 90 minutes with my mud hair and now having a sort of aura of baby food peas, I can tell you it was all TOTALLY WORTH IT.
What joy in a box looks like.

I washed and dried it.  Then I heard angels singing in bright sunshine streaming down into my bathroom mirror.  Glory hallelujah!  My brown hair was back.  My tending toward fro-chemically-burnt hair seems to be 90% repaired! And could it be?  Is it possible?  It was a normal brown color (oh wait, that's because it was from a natural source, um, duh)!  It was not orange.  It made me look like a human adult again.  It was not green.  Sayonara orange!  Thank you God!

The product is made by Aubrey Organics.  It is called "Color Me Natural" in dark brown.  It contains things that are all good for your hair: indigo (indigofera tinctoria), lawsonia inermis alba (henna), emblica officinalis, eclipta alba, acacia cathechu.  That's it.  It is 100% herbal.  My hubster said, "Your head smells like plants."  See?  Natural.  I got it here, at iherb.
 And I have a $10 off code if you want it - VNR736.

Yes, I have learned my lesson.  And in case you were wondering, no, I will not be hoping to have blonde hair ever again.  I will be happy with what the good Lord has given me.  

Peace, love and the natural way is ALWAYS the best way, even if it smells like peas,
Ms. Daisy


  1. Pictures? :)


  2. Oh my goodness, Michaela. Are you kidding me? PICTURES? SO I COULD REMEMBER THIS FOREVER? Even my own mother had no words to say. This was a fiasco of epic proportion. If you think I took pictures, well, missy, you are dead wrongo. I pretty much wore a giant head scarf for the entire duration until it came back brown.

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