Beauty Freak Out

For all your beauty advice…

We all learn from our mistakes…myself included. I have been in this industry for almost 20 years (Ok, how did that kind of time go by?!?!) and I’ve definitely learned by some of my mistakes. People often ask me where my knowledge comes from. Well, even though one of my first memories is of playing in the mud, rubbing it on my skin, and wondering how it would make my arms feel (I was 3-years-old), I wasn’t born with the experience I have…I learned it; sometimes the hard way. That being said, I wanted to share with you a funny story from my years as a beauty freshman.

One of my first loyal clients was a very good friend of mine, and she still is. We met in college and when I left UNC to study cosmetology, she was the first in line to have me do her hair. Jera has beautiful blonde hair, and wanted some beautiful blonde highlights to compliment her look. She lived far away from me, and her and her mom thought that I should kill two birds with one stone, and highlight Jera’s hair, and do an all-over color on her mom while I was at it. No problem, right? I sent her on a mission to go to Sally Beauty Supply and pick up the hair color they both wanted. So, platinum blonde for her, and red for her mom, were the colors of the day.

Jera lived far away…about 2 hours away, so we decided to make a night of it. I showed up with my bags packed, ready to have a fun weekend of eating, laughing, and showing her how talented I had become since I got my license. I asked her to hand me the hair color to mix, so I could get it ready while she was getting our munchies ready. I mixed the color, and pulled her hair through the cap (I hadn’t graduated to foils yet) and applied the color. We sat down to play cards (we hadn’t graduated to wine yet, we were only 20) while her color processed. Most hair color oxidizes when it hits the air, and colors like blonde tend to turn purple when the air hits them. It was my turn to “go fish” and I glanced up at her hair, wondering why the blonde wasn’t turning purple, and was instead, turning cherry red.

I tried to keep calm, but I guess the look on my face said it all. Jera looked at me looking at her hair and asked, “what’s wrong?” I very calmly put my hand of cards aside and asked her, “what color did you give me?” Slowly, she stood up and walked to the kitchen where the color was…she picked up the bottle and at the same time, we both realized that she didn’t hand me platinum blonde to mix…she handed me the red hair color. I saw the panic hit her face, and all I could do was scream, “Run!! Run to the bathroom!! Rinse, Rinse, Rinse!!!” The panic I was feeling as a stylist was incredible, and it didn’t help at all that her husband found humor in the situation and stood behind her while she was bent over the bathtub, and I was kneeling behind her trying to get the color out, making comments about the bright red shade her hair was turning. By the way…thanks, Chris!

We rinsed her hair…I refused to give her a mirror…and I thought about what I could do to staunch the panic. She really wanted highlights, but the only solution I saw at that moment was to do all-over hair color with the blonde we had originally chosen. So, between my anxiety, and her tears, we calmed down, I applied the blonde, and when everything was said and done, we had one of the prettiest blondes, with just a hint of strawberry, that I’ve ever seen.

It wasn’t an ideal situation for either one of us, but the end result turned out ok, and she got a ton of compliments on her hair. Since then, whenever someone hands me color to mix, I ALWAYS look at it and make sure it’s the correct color. Jera and I haven’t gone the strawberry blonde route again, but we’re both happy the situation turned out ok. I fixed a bad situation, and she learned that sometimes stepping outside of what you always do with your hair is not such a bad thing.

I’ve had other Beauty Freak Outs, and I’ll share those with you eventually, but this was my first major one. I just wanted to share it with you, let you know that I’m not perfect, I’ve learned by my mistakes, and make you laugh. Nearly 2o years later, Jera and I still laugh about this situation…not just laugh, we downright giggle! And, I still do her hair.

So, I’ve told you, now you tell me. What’s your biggest Beauty Freak Out?

Email me your questions for Q&A Monday to brookeknowsbeauty@hotmail.com

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