The Slippery Slope to Pink Hair.

The day started like any other.

A random question from Ali at the breakfast table: “Mommy, will you show me what a color wheel is?”

So, I did what any Mom would do, and pulled up Google Images.

We looked at dozens of different color wheels, talked about primary and secondary colors, and discussed which colors you mix to get which other colors.

The pinnacle of my morning was when we found a color wheel that listed tertiary colors:

It thrilled my geeky heart to the core to have a reason to teach my four year old the word “tertiary”.

Now if only I could find an excuse to teach her quaternary…

Of course, all of the color wheel talk led to drawing our own color wheels.


…But I had no idea the foreshadowing this would be to the rest of my day.

I had a hair appointment directly after our color wheel fun – it was time to redo my new highlights.

(They ended up being a bit orange for my taste last time, so I hoped to “tone it down” a bit.)

But, due to a discussion on Twitter earlier in the week about how I missed The Era of Pink Hair, I mentioned to my stylist (a student again, mind you), that my husband told me that I could have any color hair I wanted – even pink – as long as I left my hair long.

I’m positive she’d been waiting for the opportunity to make pink hair her whole life.

“OH! I could totally put a pink streak in your hair!! Do you really want one??? Would you let me would you let me would you let me??”

“Sure. Why not? Chris will love it.”

I could practically hear her soul squeal with delight.

She foiled my hair, all normally except for one section, which she especially bleached for pink preparation.

…Until her instructor came over and said “You can’t do pink.”

“Why not?”

“We don’t have pink. You could do Royal Blue… or Dark Purple…but not pink.”

“But I’ve already turned that piece of hair white! And she wants pink!”

(insert instructor-doubty-voice) “Well, you can try it…” (insert instructor-instructory-voice) “So. What makes pink?”

“Blue and red?”

“No… that makes purple.”

(I stayed quiet, but was really wishing I had our color wheel handy to loan to my stylist…)

“Oh. Right. White and Red.”

“Right. So you’ve got to dye her hair white, then mix it with a red, and it MIGHT work, but probably not.”

(I began wondering what it would look like if the “probably not” occurred…)

The instructor left, and my stylist explained… “We must not have pink hair dye here, because Aveda only makes “natural” colors.”

Psha. Pink is a natural color!! Flowers are pink, aren’t they?

But it was too late to back down now. It was time to find out what “probably not” would look like.

But first, she had to de-foil my subtle all-over highlights.


Like, when she pulled it out, it looked like this:

Luckily for me (and her), she’d prepared me that my hair was a monstrosity of a color, but that the toner would make ALL the difference.

THANK GOD FOR TONER, whatever that is.

Finally, she pulled out the white piece and began applying the Probably-Not-Pink toner.

When the time came for the reveal, she and a bunch of students crowded around my hair…which I couldn’t see.

“That’s not pink.”

“That’s – what IS that color even??”

“I don’t know what that color is, but it’s NOT pink.”

“That’s bizarre!!!”

They pulled it around to let me see my now alien-like strand of hair.

They were right. I had never seen that color before, but it definitely wasn’t anything near “natural”, or pink.

It was, I’m pretty sure, an as-yet-undiscovered color.

As if someone had taken Ali’s color wheel and soaked it in water, mixing all of the colors into a brand new, GHASTLY UGLY color. It was somewhere between gray and purple and pink and white and a little blue… a color that no hair, nor anything else for that matter, should ever be.

“We think you should just go to Sally Beauty Supply and buy some of the good pink hair dye – ours just won’t do it.”

(I’m pretty sure the Snobs of Aveda Salon would have fainted at that statement by their sweet little protégés.)

They pulled another student over with blazingly hot pink hair à la Sally – yes, that was exactly what I wanted.

So I agreed. Self-applied hot pink Sally hair is better than I-Have-No-Idea-What-Color-That-Is hair.

(Which, by the way, she normal-tonered away – almost. I can still find a trace of the UnColor.)

So that evening, I told Ali we were headed to Sally Beauty Supply, because we were going to make Mommy some pink hair.

Her eyes got wide. She gasped.

“No! Not pink!! That’s weird!! …you’re not going to do ALL your hair pink, are you??”

“No baby. Just a little bit. Won’t that be fun?”

“Well I’M not going to have pink hair.” …but then in a dreamy whisper, she added… “But when I get big, I’m going to have bright blue hair.”

That’s great, honey.

On the way there, I had a major moment of sanity doubt when I looked in my vanity mirror and noticed my 29-year-old face.



General agedness.

I am WAY too old to have pink hair.

Then I reminded myself – what’s life if not an adventure?

Plus, Chris is, as we all know, a hair man. He’ll totally think it’s hot. And if I can’t mix it up for my husband every now and then, what good am I, really?

So I forged ahead and bought the Holy Grail of Hair Color.


I found the lightest strand of my new (and much better, by the way) highlights I could find (not the UnColor one… no need to create an even more ghastly color), and coated and foiled myself (with kitchen aluminum foil) – totally like a professional.


Although halfway through, I had to re-foil after checking and messing up my foiling, and ended up looking more like a drunk teletubby.

(Apparently, my former foiling was totally beginner’s luck.)

20 minutes later, my streak was barely-ever-so-slightly-not-really pink.

I re-applied, my foiling job getting even worse. Waited. Conditioned it. Waited for it to dry. Checked it: I had a bit of pink.


Um, yeah. I said a BIT of pink.

But you know what? I’m 29. A bit of pink is probably all that’s really decent, anyway.

And then, after all that work, two washes and a swim later, it totally disappeared.

Pink – it eludes me.