Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Last world problems.

How to Dip Dye Hair
I know it's entirely possible that the world has bigger problems than my hair (record temperatures, polar ice caps melting, the acidification of the oceans, a "liberal" president appointing the Vice President of the the most evil corporation on earth as a special advisor to the FDA, the politically motivated witch hunts in supposed "first world country" I live in, a presidential candidate that would upturn Roe vs. Wade leading us back to the dark ages of basement-clinic coat-hanger abortions. I could go on. Real problems.).

However...okay, a however is actually hard to come up with. Sometimes I feel like I should really just post about super serious topics, if only to be able to call myself a serious person, or ease the nagging of my conscience. That, of course, is vanity. I'm not just a serious person. And neither are you. I bet even Bill McKibben is not just a serious person.  I bet he likes a good joke. Some rhythmic music. He might even like to dance, or at least tap his foot enthusiastically. Maybe he reads comic books. And while I'm relatively sure he does not worry about his hair too much, having little, I'm sure he'd understand. Perhaps he looks up tips for how to style a balding head online.

So here I am, posting about my hair. If you're read any of my hair-related posts, you know that I have a kind of schizophrenic relationship with it. I have little care for it: I hate washing my hair, use no products, find long hair kind of unappetizing as a concept, but at the same time fret over its appearance, wish it was nicer, shinier, less curly. I contemplate cutting it short, buying a straightening iron, some product to make life easier.

Last fall I dyed my bangs green (and blue and turquoise and prism colors...) and loved it, but the maintenance proved to be a problem. They needed frequent re-touching and looked totally ridiculous when they got wavy.
There's still the tiniest shade of blonde on the tips of my bangs, but I pretty much thought for sure I had gotten my crazy hair ya-yas out for good, but no. My inner 14-year old keeps wanting to dye my hair a quickly fading green, pink, or blue. And she does not seem to care whether or not it's all gonna be totally out of style by the time you read this.

So I'm thinking of dip-dyeing the ends instead of my usual bi-annual trim.

I figure that I can have it either streaked, or gradually bleached  to a certain length, say collarbones, so that when the color fades it look something like this (I know there's a fancy fashion term for this, but I can't remember what it is...) and I won't have to keep dyeing it if I don't want to.

I'd love to go whole hog with a color, but fear I might regret it in the end.

I liked all the colors I did last year and would probably stick to green/turquoise/purple/pink hues.
green ombre dip dyed hair
Dip-dye hair pros:
-Living out teenage dreams.
-Won't get sudden urge to chop it all off to an unflatteringly short length. (Something I bet most long- haired ladies sometimes consider.) (And no, it would not be cute like Nicky's.)

Dip-dye cons:
- I already look outlandish enough without green hair. Believe it or not, I kind of stick out in my prairie frocks and 70s everything.
-hair-dye is bad for the water table. Guilt.
-I might end up looking like a teenage goth.

Help!!!! Thoughts on dip-dye, hair and frivolity vs. seriousness, much appreciated. 


  1. i think people often refer to this sort of thing as "ombre," so that might be the fashiony term you're thinking of. i don't like the word, though, because people pronounce it "ombray" from what i can tell, which is the spanish word for dude (hombre). the french word ombre is pronounced "om-burr," right?

    not that any of that is interesting to anyone but me. i comment mostly to say that other than possibly the watershed thing (which i'm uninformed about) i see no reason you shouldn't go for it. i don't know what it's like to walk around it the world in your clothes, much less your skin, but i imagine green hair-tips wouldn't make a huge difference. hopefully a small but positive one.

    please count this random comment as being pro-frivolity.

    1. hahahah! I meant to write table. thanks for your pro-frivolity comment.

  2. There really isn't anything more serious. This is why I love you. One day we get to muse about gardens and books, another about global climate change, and then we get to talk about what really gets us jazzed (clothes & hairs)!

    I have to admit I thought your tie-dyed bangs were adorable. If I didn't have to look like I somewhat know what I'm talking about I would totally have deep blue & purple streaks in my hair. Then again you are also talking to the girl who got a nose ring at 26 because she never had the guts to do it before then and decided to live our her girlish fantasies for the few years she had left :)

    What I'm trying to say is go for it! As a side note I'd love to see you with short hair. I'm considering a chopping myself soon.

  3. milla, if you had any idea how frequently i think, "now if only my hair were as cute as milla's...". seriously. my frustrations re: my hair and the shape of my face know no bounds! and you probably think i'm crazy because you don't see me that way, so you can understand that, even though you might hate your curly do, i bet i'm not the only gal who thinks you have the best hair ever.

    and life is not one thing or another. it's a big fat crazy mess ruled by a logic that escapes most of it makes perfect sense that one minute we are freaking out about fracking and the 50% increase in ice cap melt, and the next utterly consumed by HAIR.

    that style is called "ombre" which would be cute on you, but if you want to dip dye, go for it! seems easier to upkeep than bangs. i had pink and purple hair for years, so i'm OVER the upkeep, but the nice thing on tips is you can just snip them off when they get old. i hear you on the goth thing, but your style is so not goth, as is your presence, that i think the chances of you just looking adorable are pretty high. my tip is to use "special effects" for the color, as it comes out the best. i used to put dye on overnight, or in the morning and let it sit all day...the longer you leave it in, the longer it lasts. ox

    1. 1. sometimes i re-read what i write and i fear it sounds it wasn't meant to be, if so and...
      2. i wonder if fretting about appearance, especially for folks concerned with big picture stuff, is a way of directing that care and concern and desire to fix things...and also an exacerbation of the frustration. "i can't get us down to 350 parts per billion AND i hate my hair." ;)

      but probably because we are bombarded with the message to be image conscious far more than we are bombarded with oil spills.

      i'll shut up now.

  4. it can be as simple as... WHY NOT?

  5. yay for not serious posts. too much serious gets on my last damn nerve. you do a perfect balance of seriousness with having fun, i think. keep it up. and fuck it! dye your hair. being vain is okay. caring about silly things is good. and you look great with color in your hair. i vote YES!

  6. You sweet Milla- I believe you could pull of nearly anything and look fantastic! I loved your rainbow bangs and titled you my pixie fairy Milla when I met you for the first time (in person that is). I was laughing out loud reading this because it sounds exactly like me and my wacky bangs. Grow em out or keep em? Grow em out or keep em? Ok... now repeat that 100 more times every other day and welcome to my brain! Right now I'm growing em, and tomorrow I may cut them.

    In any case, it's hair and will grow out and change again- have fun with it!!! Let your 14 year old self out to play!

    Hhh. hmmm. Clearing my throat and getting my "serious voice" going. I have your GMO/Mansanto link video playing right now and am disgusted all over again,(THANKS!) haha. Really though. There are some quite serious subjects to discuss and I love that you bring them up. I want to be more stirred up and up to date with the worlds happenings. I feel like I was hibernating in a nursing cave during school and I've only got half of myself out of that medical cave. I haven't really connected back up with the rest of the world yet, so thanks for pulling me a little further out and helping me revisit some of these issues. More soon lovely!

  7. If for no other reason than there are so many crappy and serious things happening in the world I vote pro-frivolity as well. If there were more frivolity in the world on the part of everyone there would probably be less serious crappiness!

  8. Do it!I'm in the middle of doing it, because I have really dark hair - so need to bleach the ends. You only live once, right? So why not live colourfully.

  9. De-lurking here. You can do hair chalk if you want to avoid the chemicals.

  10. Well there is nothin wrong w looking like a teenage goth! :) yes yes, I feel yr hair woes/dreams! I had hair down to my butt and dyed it, then chopped it(I blame pics of chloe sevigny and her very sleek bob-yet my hair turns crazily big and curly when short). Now I want some streaky ends bits too! mostly cherry pink/red and purple/pale violet. come over and have a hair dye party w/ me and we can swap and share dye! and if yr feelin really teen-ish We can practice stick & pokes too... xo

  11. i think it imperative to a good life that we mix some frivolity in with all the serious junk.
    i love(d) your little green bangs and your little blonde bangs, too, even when they are wavy. i myself have been going through some sort of early mid-life crisis or something and am currently sporting the ombre look. and for her b-day i took k to get hers done in a bright red ombre (soon faded to orange, a concept she had to adjust to...oh wisened 12 year old). beyond the chemicals (we went with aveda who now has a line of crayon colored dyes, yay, but still), i have no reservations about strange colors, ombre, solid, or bangs. i think you should go for it, whatever tickles your fancy. so long as you promise to post pictures ;)

  12. I always struggle with the serious vs frivolity thing as well. But, as this post shows, it often takes the existence of much frivolity to get serious issues heard. (You got them in there and you talked about hair!)

    I always think your hair looks wonderful so I think you can do no wrong there. I have monthly hair dye appointments and I have guilt around my maintenance dye habit as well. Finding a salon that carries demi- or semi-perm dye that's not testing on animals and is eco-conscious has been a challenge. Right now the salon I use carries Davines, who seems fairly eco-conscious and it's made under EU standards. I've been meaning to write a post about it but I've been short on time.

  13. Well, seeing as how you're going to look completely freaking adorable no matter what you do, I'm with the "Why NOT?" camp on this seriously frivolous issue :)

    How about a deep amethyst or would that not be contrasty enough? The multicolor do looks pretty awesome. Hmm, so many fun colors to choose from!

  14. The first picture looks so good, as well as the back of the blonde haired person sitting in a chair with pastel ends :)

    Funnily, I have just been writing a post about hair, believe it not! I just haven't had the courage to click "publish" yet!!

    And I have to admit I love the dip dye trend. If you do it and feel a guilty eco-consciousness, you can always think that dyeing a small chunk of your hair is way less damaging to the environment that doing the whole shebang every six weeks :)

    On the philosophical / vanity side of things, I happen to think that doing a crazy dip dye or stripe is less vain- after all you are not trying to convince anyone that you are "really this blonde" "oh those are sun streaks" "I'm naturally red, I just enhance the red a tiny bit" and so on. You are just having a bit of frivolous fun and everyone can see it, no if's no but's about it :D

    And I have to chime in with everyone that you have GREAT hair. My dream hair, because it's just like mine but dark! I have always loved having wavy-wurly-curly hair and I try to enhance the curl, and I hate it if I go to a salon once every blue moon and they straighten my hair! It needs to be doing the wild thing. On the topic of short hair.. I have had pixie cuts for years and I loved them and the easiness of it. I even had a shaved head once and it was fun. But something changed when I became a mother. I was no longer a tomboy, I was a woman. Which isn't to say that you can't be a woman unless you are a mother, it was just how I felt. I never really felt like a woman before. And it was the whole mystery and power of it.. it just went with long hair.

    Plus I love the hair touching my bare back.

  15. I would just go straight for dip dye. If you don't like it, you can just chop that little bit off. If it's fun for you and within bounds, do it.

    Too much serious isn't healthy. I say yay for keeping it light. :)


  16. frivolous shmrivolous! it's all about balancing the serious and frivolous. and i think you should do it! i have had so many different hair colors and cuts and i think it's fun. i can tell you how i got my slightly ombre hair- first, go get blonde highlights in your hair. next- wait three years to cut it (or color it) and viola! you have ombre hair. hahahaha! actually, i need a hair cut. i'm the verge of being mistaken for crystal gayle!

    you will gorgeous no matter what. and i have to agree with everyone else and say that i too love your hair.

    oh yeah, the world according to monsanto is so good! i believe that was the first documentary i watched on GMO's about 5 years ago. actually, i think it was The Future of Food. have you watched that? anyway, great great great! spread the word about GMO's!

  17. I'm always jealous of your hair when I see it in pictures:) It's so wavy and brown and pretty. It really suits you! I think people always want what they don't have. So if you have long curly hair, you want short straight hair- and vice versa. I still do that ALL THE TIME, haha! But I've been a lot better about it- I look at my hair and I think "you are healthy and natural and low-maintenance and I just love you". Switching the focus to hair health really helps. Honestly, though, I really want teal streaks in my hair, but struggle with the thought of bleaching it and putting all those harsh chemicals on it. If it's just the ends though, that doesn't really matter, so I say go for it! But I'd be so sad if you cut and/or straightened it:( I understand wanting to focus on the serious things that are wrong with this world, but you have to remember too that you're trying to live your own life and if you can't talk about silly things and be willing to share your true thoughts with yourself and the world then what are you really doing here? You can be concerned with injustice and your pretty frocks! And the rest of us also love to have a break from thinking about all of the crap to think about the good things in living- especially the little things. So if you feel like talking about hair? Do it! You should never feel guilty for saying what's on your mind!

  18. I have to try really hard to maintain the balance of quirky fashion girl and crazy bag lady. I found the easiest way to look not so crazy or costume-y in my vintage clothing is to keep my hair and makeup to a minimum. But that's just me! Maybe you don't mind what other people think.

  19. All of us "interesting" dressing blog girls need to live in one spot so's not one of us is weird, and we can tell each other how awesome we look every day. I always think you look beautiful. Anyhow, do what you want. Hair grows, so it's not like anything that might make you think it's a mistake ....will actually last too long. I need to do sumpin with mine too. it's getting frriiiiizzzzzy. x

  20. And thanks for the serious links too.

  21. I've been following your blog for years and I believe this is the first time I'm commenting. I'm not sure why I've been driven to, maybe I just really enjoyed the introduction to the post or maybe because I really liked your bangs dyed green and later did my friends the same way.

    If you're going to dye them though, maybe consider the brand Manic Panic. They have vegan hair dye products so you can feel a bit less guilty with it's environmental impacts;)

    I've been having the same debate going on all summer too, and I think with fall approaching I've got do something with my virgin locks and going green might just be it! Haha.. So I say go for it! What's life without some colour?

  22. amethyst would look beautiful with brown hair, i second that idea! manic panic's "purple haze" was my choice a few years back when i did some fun colors :)

  23. I am pretty obsessed with blue hair - though I can't try it beacause of my work :( have you seen the russian and czech verions of the Little Mermaid? (both 1970s) in both Ariel has blue hair.