Why I Hate My Clean Hair
You guys, something pretty major happened last week. Yes, Osama’s dead, relations with Pakistan are fraught, and Michelle Obama’s dougie almost outshone her husband’s own stellar moves (in case you missed him on 60 Minutes)—but also, I got highlights. Don’t be mad!
Here’s what happened: Remember how a few weeks ago I was musing about a spring makeover? Well, that longing for a physical change grabbed me by the girly bits in a way that became distracting—nay, completely consuming!—and it just wouldn’t let go.
And the more pictures I saw like the one above—of beautiful women with gorgeous and golden-tipped locks (now known as “ombre” highlights)—the more convinced I became.
Here’s how I justified it: 1. I would find a natural-as-possible salon to do it at. 2. I would only do my ends, so the dye would never touch my scalp. 3. If I didn’t like it, or it looked too fake for my dark hair, I’d just give my mane a much-needed chop.
So I headed down to NaturalMind, a cleaner salon in Silver Lake that I’d heard great things about. And to my total delight the founder, Arnaud, who arrived on the L.A. hair scene by way of 20-years-at-a-fancy-salon-in-Paris knew exactly what to do with me. He touched my coarse curls and told me he would never use foils on them—never! And in a thicker-than-butter French accent, he said: “You came to ze right place. I‘ve been doing zis balayage technique in Paris forrrever. We make it a little bit surfer, yeah?”
Mmhmm. That’s exactly how we make it, Arnaud—like I spent a week on the beaches of St. Tropez, s’il vous plait. And with an artist’s skill—and an almost-odorless-and-heavy-on-the-natural-oils dye—he painted my highlights with the subtlety of the sun itself. And I love it!
But here’s where my story goes a bit south. My new favorite hairdresser also convinced me to wash my hair. Granted, with an ostensibly natural shampoo (I say that because even with the best intentions, one can never be sure at the salon), but a shampoo nonetheless. It felt like heaven and it smelled like lavender but…
Until last week, shampoo hadn’t touched my hair in two and a half years.
And there’s a reason for that. Not washing it, I realize now with even greater clarity, had given my hair something it never had: predictability. It also eliminated my need for product—aside from a tiny bit of conditioner and some Intelligent Nutrients spray for special occasions.
But now that it’s clean I’m back in the maintenance game. It’s not a total horror show or anything—it’s just really fluffy, puffy and frizzy. Mostly, it needs product. And the ends look dry. And the curl doesn’t hold in the same way. And, and, and—I just miss those natural oils I’d worked so hard to harness!
But, like a big girl, I’m not going to cry over my clean hair. I’m going to throw on my favorite natural products, follow Siobhan’s summer hair advice, and let time and my scalp do their thing. In a way, the wash is as much of a “new look” as the color—so there’s that. Maybe it will even become an annual spring-cleaning tradition of sorts. Or not.
Got any salon disasters or success stories to share? You know the drill, ladies.