Mermaid to Pixie: My Hair Tragedy

No one ever really thinks about how emotional your hair can be; but when it’s too late to save it, it hits you, and it can be quite the situation. I’ve decided to finally share with all of you my own, personal, hair tragedy. I’ll start by saying it is far easier to say, “it’s only hair! It will grow back!” when it is not your hair. I can, unfortunately, attest to this, because I was put in a situation in late 2015 where I was left with only 1 option; cut off 24 inches of once healthy, luscious, brown locks, or watch it break off in clumps.

Why, you may ask, was I left with only 1 option? Well, it’s because a very shady, untalented, morally deficient colorist (if you can even call her that), promised she could turn my almost black brunette hair to ash blonde. What she failed to mention was that even though I followed all the steps for proper care during the 5 month process, she never actually believed she could achieve the color I asked for. She just kept “trying” and blaming my hair for not cooperating; as if my hair was making some sort of conscious decision to rebel against her attempts. So at the end of this 5 month battle, I had hair that wasn’t close to the color I had wanted, and had been turned into a discolored, blonde, burnt mess! Literally falling apart strand by strand.

I will admit it took way longer to realize than it should have. I blame this on the fact that she talked me into extensions to “brighten up” the color, and a keratin treatment to fix the protein damage. They masked the damage a bit, but in the end, only added to it.

I can only blame myself, mostly, these days, for not knowing what she was doing. I had never gone light before in my previous 33 years and I had done 0 research on the process. I was completely ill educated on the process of hair lightening, and bleaching. Actually I take that back a little, I blame my husband for telling me I should try blonde. . . Lol, it was his idea after all, and I liked being brunette. Besides he’s easier to blame! However, in all honesty, I should have done more research and I should have vetted my colorist. I also should have listened to my heart and not tried to be something I’m not, a blonde. I happen to really like my dark, mysterious brunette looks.

So let’s flashback to 5 months after beginning the journey to blonde: my tears were practically a non-stop waterfall. I had gone from beautifully healthy hair to scraggly, dry straw. I brought this all to my colorists attention, who was also the owner of the salon, and all she did was say, “I did what you asked me to do”. Unfortunately for me, she had not. I wanted soft pretty ashy blonde with low lights, and she gave me nothing of the sort. In fact most of the time I ended up with reddish strawberry blonde. She offered no hint of remorse, and no offer of reimbursement, only a conditioning treatment. Now let’s think about this, would any self-respecting, honest colorist do something to your hair that they do not think is attainable, just because you asked them to do it? Or, would they advise you on what they can achieve safely? Sorry to say, I had chosen a colorist that apparently was just looking to cash in on the hours of processing, treatments and hair extensions. She took the stance, that she was trying to give me what I had said I wanted, while failing to address the issue, that what I wanted, was simply not attainable with my texture and color hair. If it’s not something that can be achieved, in my mind, your colorist has a moral obligation to advise you against your choice and direct you towards a healthy more reasonable option.

Well. . .┬áSo, damaged, and beyond stressed, I went into the city to a very well known colorist, Marie Robinson, (Yes, I realize NOW that I should have done that from the start. Hindsight is a bitch, my friends!). She looked at my hair and a look of total pity washed over her face. Her comment, “I’m so sorry. I haven’t seen damage this bad in nearly 10 years. Who did this to you?” *HEART STOPS* After I told her my story she apologized again and explained to me that she wouldn’t touch my hair unless I cut it all off because the damage was so bad, it would just continue to fall out. So from 2 ft of hair to about 2 inches I went. A mermaid to a pixie with a few clips of the scissors. When I say complete devastation, it’s an understatement. I was practically inconsolable. I wasn’t me.

Fresh cut and color from Maris Robinson

When I say the next few months were hard, I am understating. Not only was I trying to reinvent my own image of who I thought I was, but I was also fighting with the person responsible. Which turned out to be more emotionally draining. It honestly offered little consolation, especially considering the woman pretty much told me it was my fault, and finally ended with her telling me to go f*#& myself. Yes, she said it! She said it in response to my asking for a partial refund. Can you imagine? And 5 months worth of processing wasn’t cheap! In the end I gave up because harping on it was only causing me to be more emotionally distraught and wasn’t allowing me to let go and move on.

Sooooo…Now, flash forward to a year and a half since I was turned into a pixie, and my hair is just now starting to make more sense to me. I should mention that I have very thick, frizzy hair. I am Italian and especially in the humid summer months, my hair can be challenging if not tackled correctly. Now as you may know if you have been following my posts and my Insta, I have two young kids, so traveling into the city to get this disaster kept up was not an option. I tried a few people and then finally found my savior, Giana Martino, owner of Industry Salon in my hometown of Red Bank, NJ!

Starting to feel more comfortable – 3/31/16

She was able to help me style my hair and keep it healthy on this difficult trail to regrowth. We tried a few colors along the way, but I am happy to say I’m back to dark, with a few more inches grown back, and I’m finally feeling like myself again. Giana was able to make me feel at the very least chic, even if I didn’t feel like myself, throughout this process, and for that I am eternally grateful! She has been able to style my hair to help me through the very awkward stages of regrowth. As anyone who has had a pixie cut, and sought to grow it out, knows it can get a little crazy. We had been able to avoid over cutting to help it grow in faster. So after 10 months I had something close to a bob, that actually looked rather pretty. And even though multiple people, Giana included, seem to love my hair this length, I still longed for my longer locks.

So about 5 months ago we decided to try some extensions to give me a little more length. Now, as my hair is still growing out of the layers of a pixie cut, we decided to give me a longer in front sort of lob. Which means I only really have extensions on the sides. Surprisingly enough, no one can tell! It looks like I cut my hair this way. I am now about 2-3 months out from my hair being equal to the length it is with the extensions. Which means in a few months I should be over the pixie cut regrowth hump and into the final stretch of growing my hair long again. Even if more than a few people seem to think it should stay this length.

Lesson learnt: hair carries a deep emotional attachment for some people that equates to a sense of self image that when stripped away can deeply upend you. So when thinking of messing with your hair, sure take solace in the fact that it is only hair, and will grow back, but be aware that that process is a VERY long one! You best do your research and try your best to prevent any catastrophes!