COLOR ME RAD: Lola De-virginized (part one)
Three weeks ago, a teeny weeny ‘i need to color my hair’ seed was planted in my head at ABS in Chicago and yesterday it finally came into full bloom! Marie France, my Madusalon stylist, has long told me that color would be the next inevitable step in my natural hair journey so when the itch finally came about I wasn’t terribly shy to scratch it. Yes, there was a bit of an identity crisis to do a virgin color on my natural hair, but per the support of you my readers, I moved forward and did the damn thang!
My appointment began with a thorough trim and reshaping of my asymmetrical cut. It really needed it. I didn’t realize how far my edges had grown out until they were trimmed and line and looking nice and tight.
Then began the color. I wasn’t sure what to expect with a full color application considering my only experience with chemical processes has been relaxers. At first the scent of the color blindsided me and I choked on the fumes coming from the gooey white mix coming from the bowl. As Marie applied the mixture with a brush, I couldn’t help but be reminded of my creamy crack days of yore. But then something kind of magical started to happen…at first I thought it was my eyes tricking me, but no– my hair was getting LIGHTER by the nanosecond right in front of my eyes!
It was pretty cool to watch my deep dark chocolate shade warm up to more of tannish hue. I was mesmerized. I could feel the mixture tingling against my scalp and I kept on expecting all of a sudden to need to be rushed to the shampoo bowl with a head on fire like what I was used to with a relaxer, but it never did. Marie kept peeking at the color saying she loved it. We had started off with a vision and seeing as this was my virgin application of color, I had no idea what the process would be like, but as always, I trusted her expertise.
We washed off the layer of color and the Madusalon stylists came over to ooh and ahh. Soon enough I was back in the styling chair for the second round of color application: highlights! For the longer portions of my hair, Marie used a foiling technique and for the shorter sections, she used a curly-specific Deva method called Pintura in which you pull out individual coils and “paint” them with your fingers. Pintura also employs a surprising use of toilet paper to separate the different layers of color (it’s the only thing light enough not to smush the coils and color together apparently!). After a few minutes, Marie’s assistant Angel started to remove the foils and holy #%#$^#$$% my hair was PLATINUM BLONDE. I don’t know what I was expecting, but it certainly wasn’t platinum blond streaks! “Next, we use toner…” explained Marie. I wasn’t sure what toner was, but I just kept breathing deeply watching as foils were removed to reveal what Marie was jokingly calling “Tiajuana streaks”.
After another two rounds of shampoo, Marie applied this miraculous substance called toner. Still not entirely sure what this stuff was, I entrusted it to do what it was explained to me to do: CHILL OUT THE BLONDE! Still at the shampoo bowl, the toner was rinsed out and I was shampooed and conditioned then sent for a steam treatment. Color, especially lifting color several shades, can be extraordinarily drying on the hair. Lola was in serious need of a rehydrating treatment before her final debut and she got what she deserved. After she was steamed, she was ready, refreshed, and rehydrated from the coloring process to be styled!
…..stay tuned for the final styling and color reveal in part two!