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.

48 thoughts on “The Slippery Slope to Pink Hair.

  1. You know what Rach? I was half expecting to see your hair the same colour as my Blythe doll avitar!
    You look beautiful. You are beautiful.
    Pink rocks!

  2. Awe! The funny thing is I’ve been wanting some pink in my hair but it’s brown like yours so I’m not sure how it will work. My daughter has blonde hair, I’d love to dye it pink but I’m not sure how my husband will like that!

    But yours is cute so maybe I’ll venture into pink hair too ;)

    1. Go for it! I think it would work best if you bleached the piece of hair first – that’s what the original plan at the salon was, anyway. However, I have NO idea why mine washed out so quickly. Obviously, I did something wrong.

      Chris totally loved it. I shall have to figure out how to reapply.

      Go for it! And if you do it, be sure to send me a picture!

      1. Well I might be able to help you. Our hair is about the same color. I’m 29 and apparently having a mid-mid life crisis? IDK, I’m about to turn 30 and I grow more and more anxious about it all the time. I got botox yesterday and then decided while with a friend at Sally’s to dye a strip of my hair pink. I asked the girl there, whose hair was bright rainbow red, and she said that you can use semi-permanent. So I bought #30 lifter and the blue package of beach powder called Kaliescope and put it on the strip for 50 min….yes too long but my hair was fine. I then rinsed it and dried it and put on Ion color brilliance magenta for two hours. It has no amonia so you can do that. I now have a VERY pink stripe that seems to be holding well. The girl said you can sleep in it and it lasts longer but I have white sheets so……..Hope that helps! ;)

    2. You might be able to get hold of temporary colour hair sprays – kids here *love* them! There are glitter ones too, if you don’t mind vaccuming glitter for weeks. Be careful tho – even temporary hair colour tends to stay on pale blonde hair…

  3. Oh my word Rachel! If I were cooler, I would say we were related in some way – I had pink highlights last summer! In just about the same places I think. I loved it! And it was a hit with little girls everywhere. Although maybe not so much their moms…

  4. My adoration level of you just went way up! My friend totally died a streak of her “under-hair” hot pink with a thick paste of Kool-aid powder and water. It lasted for several weeks. Just a thought.

    1. Kool-Aid would have been a wee bit cheaper, too.. I may have to try that. Maybe we could make it a small group thing? All 6 of us get a pink streak? ;)

  5. When I was 16, I died all of my hair purple in a subtle act of rebellion. My mum told me it was “cute”, so I never did it again. You’ve inspired me though – I feel some purple streaks coming on! Beege can’t wait to have me dye some of her hair purple… maybe we’ll do it together. Is 5 too young for streaks?

  6. I let my (long time, very trusted) hair stylist do a purple streak last year around Halloween. It was awesome for about a week, but by the second wash it was starting to fade. A lot. Lindsey, my stylist, had warned me to wash and rinse in cold water to minimize the fade, but by the 4th washing the purple was gone and I was left with purplish-white that look gray. At 34, a gray streak was SO not the look I was going for. All that to say that even a very experienced, professional stylist couldn’t make the good color stay :(

    1. Ooooh yes she would be totally mesmerized by your hair!! She’s been talking about blue hair all weekend. :) she’d probably not even be shy about you taking her pictures!!

  7. Ok, when I was in college I totally wanted to dye the bottom half of my hair purple but never did & now I wish I had because I feel like being a wife & an expectant mother with purple hair would NOT be ok.

    Also, that Beyond the Zone dye is only temporary. I bought it in blue to put in my dog’s hair & it washed right out. It’s amonia free which is the reason I bought it & I didn’t want anything permenant on him but you should totally put it in your hair every now & then to change things up. This post made me laugh out loud!

    1. That would look awesome!! Especially on a pregnant lady! :D

      The In The Zone I got was semi-permanent – it was supposed to last 28 washes… not 2. Oh well…

  8. ok….so this:
    “Of course, all of the color wheel talk led to drawing our own color wheels.”
    is a sentence I will only ever be able to read on your blog. :) Thanks for the mom-challenge!! next up in homeschooling…COLOR WHEELS!! :)

    1. Ha! I’m sure you have a lot more creative ideas to challenge me than the other way around. That one was pretty much directed completely by Ali!

  9. Oh, I love your hair!!!

    My cousin is a teacher, and one of her 4th grader’s mom was diagnosed with breast cancer, so all the teachers in the school did one pink highlight to show support for the mom. My cousin has dark hair like your’s and was having similar problems, so she was able to find fake hair that she tied to the underneath part of her hair. It actually looked very natural (for pink hair!)

  10. Wow, I am impressed with your cool-factor. Haha:) I have never had a desire to color my hair an interesting color even though I know it is very popular. One of the teenage girls at my church has (mostly) pink hair. I guess, I too, thought I was a little too old for it. Although I have a friend my age, who has four kids (under the age of 5) who died her ALL her hair pink. BRIGHT pink. She also complained of it not lasting long though. I guess such is the peril of having your hair pink.

  11. Love the colour wheels! Strangely I’ve never had the urge to colour my hair, just shave it all off. If I do, my husband says he’ll dye his hair pink. This just makes me want to all the more, except I get tired of short hair really fast and it’s kind of irreversible!

    Great pictures, but I agree you need more pink. Maybe you should try koolaid :)

    1. Chris has always told me that if I cut my hair all off, he’s going to dye his platinum white-blond like Guy Fiere on Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives – my least favorite (and his favorite) TV host. It keeps me from doing that, for sure.

  12. Wow, you are brave! For going “pink” AND for going to the student salon!!! Even if it is snobby Aveda!
    Your hair looks great though! How do you keep it so shiny???

    1. Flat-Ironing it, oddly enough. I use a heat protector spray on it and don’t set it too high, but flat-ironing my hair (even though it’s already board straight) makes it much shinier.

  13. FUN! I’m totally for shaking it up in the hair department.

    This reminds me of when my sister- a gorgeous blonde- dyed a section of hers pink for breast cancer awareness month in honor of her “Mother-in-Love” (what would have been her Mother-in-Law). She lost her battle with cancer just a couple months ago, and they just got married June 4… so so sad, but I think she’ll probably do this each Breast Cancer Awareness month. I think the color only lasted a week or so, but nonetheless, it was cool!

  14. What? Wrinkles and age marks?? Twenty-nine is too young to be admitting to any of that (I’m just saying because I for sure don’t want to start thinking about it) – you look great and I hope you can figure out how to really get that electric pink streak:)

    1. If only I could get into a routine of using some sort of … ANY sort of facial moisturizer, it wouldn’t be so bad. But I despise all forms of lotion, so … (sigh)… lines and wrinkles it is.

      I’m going to keep working on the pink, for sure!

  15. Love your pink stripe and you could make all of Ali’s dreams come true by spraying her hair blue for the day.

    My sister would use the hairspray dye to color her hair for football games. Works really well. Jason tried dying his hair black one halloween. It was supposed to last only for a few washes, however, his mom and I think it had a lasting effect on his hair color! It does appear darker than it did before-hand. Although, truthfully, it took twice as long to wash out as the box said it would. I guess that is the difference b/w black and pink hair dye.

  16. Just have to comment…since I’m pregnant AND have fuschia hair.

    If you want pink you have to bleach the strand first, otherwise it won’t hold. And pink/red colors wash out extremely fast, so I’m not surprised it only lasted a swim and a wash.

    Also, Beyond Zone SUCKS. Like, madly. They’re horrible. I use RAW haircolor in “candy pink” (I buy it from Hot Topic), and I leave it on my (pre-bleached) hair for 2 hours, then rinse it out (no shampoo), then condition. I only use shampoo on my hair 1-2 times a week, and I have to re-do the color about every 3-4 weeks. It’s a lot of maintenance for a full head, but one strand will be a lot easier.

    If you can find Special Effects haircolor, that is like the sport’s car of colored hair dyes. It is THE best. The manic panic brand is just ok. But Beyond Zone is just terrible. It fades so fast it’s insane.

    So, if you ever get the urge to add a little streak of pink (or purple or blue or orange or whatever), get some good dye, leave it on longer, and pre-bleach the strip.

  17. Oh my, how generous of your husband to permit you to dye your hair ANY color your little heart desires! He must be an exceedingly modern gentleman. Obviously you cannot cut it short, because what man would be attracted to a short haired woman? You may as well be a boy at that point, and wear pants, and drive a car (how absurd)! Sometimes when I am misbehaving, my dear husband Ezekiel threatens to take the garden shears to my long, golden locks, and – oh, it makes me shudder to think of it – and cut them right off, level with the bottoms of my ears. A truly dreadful thing.

  18. Love the hair! Temporary colors usu don’t last long.

    I know this post is old but I have been exploring options for dyeing one long streak bright pink. I am blonde. I am also 47. ;)

    I have Splat in bright pink. I will figure it out eventually. I would not mind ALL pink but might have an objection or two from conservative family members.

    I have dyed my hair all sorts of colors for hmm 30 years. It is a fun way to be expressive.

  19. i too am 29 and i have been wanting pink in my hair after talking about it with my bf numerous family members and friends i decided not to do it after all they all seem to agree that i am to old to for it maybe ill have pink hair in my next lif time but i think its splendid that you were brave enough to just do it

  20. It is for sure possible to make pink with Aveda color. I am an Aveda color specialist. Check out all the different pinks on my instagram @korileehair

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