Thursday, June 19, 2008

Well. I Didn't See THAT Coming.

Okay….time for a little story. Once upon a time, there lived a bee-you-tee-ful maiden…dark of hair and fair of skin…who lived in New York, but who dreamed of running barefoot on the beaches of Jamaica/Puerto Rico/Key West/(Insert-Anyplace-Tropical-Here), living a carefree (and totally unrealistic) existence…spending her days soaking up the sun and cruising the internet (simultaneously), her carefree words in such huge demand that she was paid an unheard-of-$100-a-word for each and every precious thought that tumbled from her creatively-gifted-beyond-belief imagination...and spending her nights in the only place worthy of such greatness: in Clinton Kelly heaven. (What? He’s not fake-gagging…)

(Don’t listen to him.)

Last summer, I’d decided to put highlights in my hair. I’d seen my colorist do it a million times and I’d figured “how hard can it be?” (If I ever had a catch-phrase, that would have to be it.) Somehow, through the process of trying to even out my haphazardly-placed foils streaks highlights, I wound up deciding it would just be easier to go blonde.

Yep. Blonde. I’ll give you a minute to scroll up/down to find my profile pic, so you can imagine the same gal as a full-blown-blonde.

It didn’t work out quite as I’d expected. My hair was fried and it had no shine whatsoever. Finally, at the end of the summer, after several off-handed remarks by literally every member of my family (especially the guys…surprisingly the MEN in my life like me better as a brunette…go figure), I slowly began the process of bringing my hair back to some semblance of the color I was born with. Somewhat….in the general family…of, anyway.

Guess what I did today? I’ll give you another hint:

Don King Donald Trump
Donald Duck

= BAD.

Catherine Zeta Jones

Kate Walsh

Kate Hudson


(Get it? The name’s Kathryn?? Too subtle?)

So, I didn’t want to so much “remove the curl” as I wanted to
annialate the frizz”.
“Tomatoes, To-mah-toes….” If I’ve learned nothing, let me tell you this: those girls at the Beauty Supply Store will sell you ANYTHING…no prior experience, hairdresser’s license or intelligence required. “Just come on down! We’ll send you home with whatever you want!”

I read every last word of the instructions:

“If recipient has ever had a sensitivity or allergic reaction to a perm or other cosmetic product, do not use Curl Remover.” (Well, I had an allergic reaction to some foundation I tried last week. I had a red, itchy rash on my neck…but I’ve been using hydrocortisone crème and it’s clearing up. Does this count? Should I therefore forgo this crucial treatment?)

I think not.

“If taking any medication, check with physician to determine if it may increase sensitivity to this process.” (Uh-oh. Does this mean that the Curl Remover could wind up duking it out with the antihistamine I’ve been prescribed…leaving me with a wicked rash that would require even MORE hydrocortisone crème?? And why, pray tell…does WORD feel compelled to make the word "crème" tres-French? I guess I should be spelling it “cream”…the American-version, if you will. Ah. Live and learn.)

“Remove all jewelry and avoid contact with metal objects due to possibility of discoloration.” (What? But….the handle to the shower is metal…how…?)

“If the Step 1 crème drips onto skin, gently remove and blot the skin immediately with water-soaked cotton to avoid skin irritation and possible loss of vital limbs.”

(Okay, so I added that last part, but the rest of it is accurate.)

Are you scared yet??

Did any of these warnings cause me to possibly return said product for a full refund?


I’ll spare you the Spanish, French, Dutch and German versions….(you’re welcome.)

1. Shampoo hair and thoroughly towel dry. Comb and section hair into “T” partings. (fig.A.) (Kathryn: “So, if I do…like an “H”…is this gonna be a problem? Because, being the seasoned professional that I am, I’m prone to go the “H” route, myself.”)
2. If hair is damaged, apply “leave-in” conditioner to equalize the porosity of the hair. Do not saturate the hair with the conditioner, since too much conditioner will interfere with the absorption of Curl Remover. (“Okay, so I had to google “porosity”. Interesting…trying to find the balance between just enough and too much conditioner. Of course I think my hair is damaged…why else would I need your product??”)
3. Sectioning at the nape of the neck, take ¾” sections across the head. Apply Curl Remover Step 1 by squeezing the product from the container onto the hair….and not the other way around. (“Okay…a little comedic license taken again….get over it. My interpretation of this was to squeeze the product onto my hair and squish it into my head, followed by a nice comb-through with a wide-tooth-comb.”)

Then there was a bunch of warnings again…blah, blah...followed by 3 or 4 different options for how long to leave the stuff on your head…depending on how much memory loss you were willing to risk and whether or not you’d already passed out from the fumes.

Then I needed to “rinse thoroughly for 5-7 minutes”, which I interpreted to mean “until my hands get tired”, which translated to about 3 minutes.

Neutralization. (Not to be confused with Naturalization…something I know nothing about.)

“Squeeze excess moisture from hair and towel blot. Apply Step 2 neutralizer in the exact same manner as Step 1, section-ing the hair at the nape and applying in ¾” sections.” (“See my notes under #3…I’m nothing if not predictable.”)

“Process for 5 minutes and then rinse out completely for approximately 3-4 minutes, avoiding eyes, throat, ears and any body part you’d like to keep.” (“Whatever.”)

So, it’s done.

I noticed an alarming amount of hair coming out in the brush as I was blow-drying…I found myself praying to “Nick-Arrojo-The-Patron-Saint-Of-Not-Completely-Screwing-Up-One’s-Hair” for protection and justonemorechance…..

The end result:

Those of you that know me would say: “What? Am I missing something? It looks exactly the same as it always does…except maybe for that bald spot that’s right out of camera range…”

Thank you. Thankyousoverymuch.

So, the jury’s out until the TRUE TEST. The TRUE TEST won’t come till the next humid day…of which today is not one. What I will tell you is that the smell is God-awful. I know I have a sensitive nose, but WHEW! And, it’s following me everywhere I go! What’s up with that?!

I’d like to proclaim at this point that I will never, EVER mess with another chemical in my hair…but I’m due for a coloring in a few days…

That is...if I have any hair left by then to color....

Anonymous said...

Oh My God! I can just imagine you rolling your eyes (or is it Clinton's eyes that are rolling?) as you're reading the instructions. I hope you get the results you'd hoped for. BTW: You must still be working out-I can see the muscles in those arms!

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