I decided the other day that I would look good with purple hair. To be accurate, I decided over the past few weeks that I would look good with a certain blend of purple colors kind of swirled around in my hair, but in the interest of not spending a ridiculous amount of money, I put it off. Also, I figured my husband wasn’t likely to go for it, so I didn’t mention it. And I didn’t make an appointment at a salon, because I’m a stay-at-home mom and I felt guilty spending his money on something—something so blatantly unnecessary—that he probably wouldn’t like anyway.
About a week ago, we were driving somewhere and Ethan told me about how when he was little, he wanted a Mohawk. But his devious mom went back on their agreement once she had the buzzers in her hand, and the Mohawk was way too short to actually look cool. One thing led to another, and Ethan and I decided to live vicariously through our three-year-old. (Jonathan now has the coolest hair on the block.) And while we were at it, I suggested we pick up some blue Kool-aid and see if we couldn’t dye it for a few days. When Ethan found out you could use Kool-aid as a temporary hair dye, he got excited, and I slipped in the idea of dyeing mine purple. He readily agreed.
So for less than five dollars, I got enough grape Kool-aid to cover my whole head. When we colored John’s hair, it kind of worked. He didn’t hold still very well, so mostly it was just a tuft of green (the blonde yellowed out the blue a bit.) But still, it did work alright. And I tested some blue in mine and got at least a faded hint of blue. I figured the full treatment would do better.
After a few days, when I had nothing to do and Ethan was working late, I decided to give it a try. I dissolved the Kool-aid powder in a little hot water, like it said online, and then mixed in a whole bunch of hair conditioner, like it also said online. I got out some aluminum foil and a paintbrush. I painstakingly slathered my hair in purple goo and wrapped it all up, crumpling the tin foil to keep it from slipping and holding it all up with hair elastics. I smelled simultaneously of wet hair and grape. A lot of grape. Like a wet dog drowning in Popsicles, maybe. I sent Ethan a text that said, “Prepare to come home to an aluminum-covered grape monster.” He had no idea what that was supposed to mean, but I gave him a little explanation, and he sat patiently next to me on the couch while we watched shows and waited the two and a half hours that my Google search told me might be required.
And then I pulled the foil out. I was happy to see that my hair was still pretty well soaked in it, and I had gotten good coverage. It was very purple. I rinsed it out in cold water (not hot, as The Internet warned me this would make the color fade faster.) And then I looked in the mirror. I had beautiful, well-conditioned, brown hair.
Like, there was nothing. No purple at all. Not a speck. Not even a highlight. I sat on that freaking couch all evening wearing a foil helmet that smelled like Dogsicle for nothing.
Well, not entirely for nothing. I still smelled like grape. Very strongly. And not “grapes.” “Grape.” Not the fruit. The flavor. I smelled like Grape. And still a lot like conditioner and hair. I rinsed, dried, and blow-dried again. Same old brown, and very grape.
For the next sixteen hours, I smelled like I had been in an accident at the Jolly Rancher factory. I went to swim laps the next morning, and every time I took a breath I was aware of the smell. There was a grape cloud lingering around my head until I’d put about half a mile of chlorinated water behind me. And when I went to bed that night (the second night, that is), I had to turn my pillow over. Sleeping on it the first night had tainted it.
So here’s the take-home lesson for all you brunettes out there:
It doesn’t work. It’s not worth the effort. And it’s definitely not worth the smell. ♥