The one where I dye my own hair

Some might call me a frugal gal.
Others might call me cheap.
Either way, with my roots getting worse by the minute and salon dye jobs starting at $120 (but usually about $200), I just couldn’t do it this month. 
So I gave it a shot doing my own hair.

I used to do my own hair.
Until about sophomore year of college when I discovered the magic of a salon dye job.
They are just so much better.
And ever since I’ve gone about once every 4 months for a full highlight.
But with the puppy coming, I just couldn’t justify it this month.
(Side note: I talk about the puppy like I’m having a baby. Just go with it. I’m basically becoming a Mom.)

Here’s what my roots looked like before:

As you can tell, they weren’t looking too good.
My mom suggested I try Sally Beauty Supply and get professional color.
I bought Clairol Professionals in 8A (Medium Neutral Blonde) and a 30 developer (no idea what that means).
It’s pretty clear that if I needed to google what the developer levels were, maybe I shouldn’t risk it.
But I pressed on.

It mixed well and was a nice cream/gold color.

I applied it to my whole head and waited the suggested 30 minutes. I never know, is it 30 minutes from the time you finish applying or from when you started? Probably a good thing to clarify before you throw this stuff on your head, like I did.

The color of the gunk on my hair actually changed to an orange/pink color which terrified me. This prompted an anxious call to my mom, who assured me that it’s just the dye and no, my hair was not turning orange. She was mostly right.

The results:

My dirty blonde roots are definitely gone but in place are some strawberry blonde, not so nice roots. It didn’t look horrible, but it definitely wasn’t the best my hair has ever looked. Obviously this stressed me out and for two days all I thought about was what my roots looked like in every type of lighting.

Location: movie theater bathroom
Roots: horrible and bright red

Location: outside, natural light
Roots: decent, only slightly brassy

I gave violet shampoo a shot to see if that would tone it down a bit but it didn’t do too much. After much deliberation about whether I should risk it myself or go to a salon, I tried L’Oreal Brass Banisher.

Here’s the end result:

I think it toned down the red/gold just a little bit, but not much. I was nervous to put it just on my roots but I think that would have been a good idea. I pulled it through all of my hair and I definitely think my hair overall is a cooler tone (definitely not ash though) but my roots are still warmer than I’d like.

My overall review of the product: 
Mehh. It was just okay. If I’d left it on longer I might feel differently.

Dollars spent: 
Clairol Professional Color and Developer (enough for multiple applications): $9
L’Oreal Brass Banisher (Ulta): $9.50 w/ 20% off coupon, $7.60
Total: $16.60 for mediocre looking hair
Dollars saved by not getting a $200 dye job: $183.40

Any advice on how to take more of the warmth out just at the roots?
Every time I look at myself in the mirror I just have to keep thinking,
You want a puppy more than you want amazing hair.
You want a savings account more than you want amazing hair.
You want to pay your student loans off fast, more than you want amazing hair.

It’s kind of working.
Kind of not.

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