Spoiler: I was in Emphasis Salon for a good five hours
Some people get more finicky with their look as they get older, but my hair journey’s been quite the opposite. I used to love doing different things with my hair when I was younger, and I always hated when my mom would insist on styling it herself. But as I got older, I started to stick to one of two formulas: lugay or ponytail. And up until about three weeks ago, I had never treated my hair. Not a hot oil, not a keratin treatment and definitely not a dye job.
And yet, there I was one early Tuesday morning in Emphasis Salon in Rockwell. I had come in the day before to talk to a stylist about what I wanted: a pop of color on the underside of my hair—mainly because I like the shade of black my hair naturally is. And Tess, bless her, said she could definitely do it for me.
So when I sat down on that leather salon chair, Tess greeted me with a smile and told me how excited she was. She told anyone that came around that I was a hair virgin, gave me a new face mask so that the one I brought wouldn’t get wet, and we got started. It was a cycle: section, comb, bleach, foil, heat, rinse and repeat. Tess and her assistant were even gracious enough to suggest keeping an inch of my natural hair so we could skip the whole my-scalp-is-burning thing, which I did and still do appreciate.
When the two bleach sessions were done, we finally moved on to color (which also needed its own comb-section-dye-foil cycle) and finished off with a hair spa treatment—something Tess told me I needed, and by that point she had my full trust, so I didn’t dare say no. After all, the entire experience thus far was pain-free.
After one more rinse and a blow dry, I could finally appreciate the full look. My hair looked as healthy as it was before the first layer of bleach even hit my hair, and I had exactly what I wanted: A pop of color underneath my naturally too-black hair.
It’s been a couple of weeks since that fateful day. And in case you were wondering: I am still completely happy. The color has somewhat faded at the tips—something I expected from my stylist’s warning—but the blue in my mane has generally stayed vibrant. And oddly enough, while my shampoo lather is always a tinge of blue, my towel has remained unblemished by the hair dye.
So, you know what, I may be a strict creature of habit, but I am telling you this: Make the change, and adapt to them. Because it’s taken me years to be this excited about styling my hair again.
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Art Alexandra Lara