Michelle Smiles

Teaching my children to question authority, except mine.

Hair fail


I’ve highlighted my hair on andoff since I was 18. I’ve done it at home and had it done in the salon depending on my time and financial situation. At home, I’ve used all of the application techniques: the cap, the paint brush, the weird square plastic applicator, and the new double sided applicator thingy (I believe the full technical term is thingamabob). As much as I hate it, the cap has always yielded the best results. Even the time in the 80’s when I had really long hair and it got all tangled and my sister had me leaning over the edge of the tub with her foot on my head trying to get it off of me – the highlights looked good despite the crochet-needle sized bruises all over my scalp from her poking it through the cap to fish my hair out.

I’ve admitted that in true rural southern style, I currently get my hair cut in the corner of the local paint your own pottery shop. I got my hair cut a few weeks ago and meant to go back to get my highlights refreshed (they started down around my ears as they were last done in early October) before my trip last weekend. But suddenly I was leaving in 24 hours and hadn’t done it yet. I picked up a L’Oreal Feria Highlighting kit and decided to take care of it myself. The new applicator is pretty cool if you don’t mind chunky highlights. It works better than most of the cap alternatives. But the resulting color? Ugh. I never truly understood the term brassy when discussing haircolor before. Now I totally get it. And no, I’m not posting a photo. Just trust me and don’t try it. You’ll have a successful application of really bad highlights.


And just another public service announcement. I’ve had to give up my beloved Bumble and Bumble Thickening Spray. At $25 a bottle, I just couldn’t justify it right now. At the recommendation of a friend, I tried Pantene’s Root Lifter Gel. I have to say it does really work – it adds volume and texture. But if like me, you wear your hair in a somewhat smooth hair style (aka the mom bob), it roughs up the hair shaft so much that my hair looks very damaged when I use it. If you have curly hair or a touseled ‘do, it would probably do wonders if you are looking for some extra volume.


So there you go. Avoid Feria Highlights and don’t ever let your sister do your highlights with the cap.

posted under Misc.
11 Comments to

“Hair fail”

  1. On May 15th, 2009 at 3:01 pm Yary Says:

    Michelle, sounds like you just need a good toner on your hair to remove the brassiness. You MUST pick up a box of L’oreal Tone Refiner for blond hair now! It only takes 5 minutes to process and will help remove any warmth in your hair. Good Luck 🙂

  2. On May 15th, 2009 at 3:22 pm Jennifer Says:

    You should see if you are any where close to a vocational school. Being at Buckeye Career Center has GREAT perks and getting my very grey hair dyed and highlighted for a very reasonable price is one of them! I usually need one touch up in the summer and hate paying full price!

  3. On May 15th, 2009 at 7:36 pm Pocklock Says:

    I loathe the cap. I think I cried the one and ONLY time it was ever done to me.

    I foil. The alien look is hawt.

  4. On May 15th, 2009 at 10:54 pm Vanessa Says:

    I can only imagine what it looks like since I tried to do my own hair once and turned it a VERY brightly colored orange!! Seriously!!

  5. On May 16th, 2009 at 8:33 am Julie Says:

    First I LOVE all your recommendations (and non recommendations) cuz you are a real person and a lot like me. Still love the eye liner!!! (however I found if I wet the brush just a little it works better and stays put — if not it still runs on me, ugg).

    Also, very interesting point on the “mom bob” wow, I thought it was the in thing but then when you said that I went hum….who is it in with, well all my friends………….moms……hummm. Just thought I was like really in style with the celebs but then they do not have bobs and I LOVE my mom bob and will always be a mom so I will probably always have it — LOVE it.

    Gotta try the pantene volume stuff. I am having some serious thyroid problems and have been losing hair at an alarming rate. My doctor is even concerned at this point. So………..along with all the meds that are not working I will try anything.

    I still use box haircolor because I just do. You would think the time I turned my hair purple I would have learned, but no. I did not. (I have brown hair –and it is in the mom bob).

    Okay now for my next confession. I had totally given up blogs (even yours but do not tell you) Well here I am again. I cannot stop. But I am NOT going to look at anyone elses. I spend like 20 minutes a day on email etc and then I am off the computer. Okay so that is my goal. But in my head it sounds good. But I am going to continue reading “secretly”. The problem is, in my real life I talk about stuff you say and try. And people think you are my REAL friend and not that we are online friends, so now I introduce you as “one of my mom friends who adopted from Guatemala”. Cuz really we are much more than me just reading your blog.

    Ramblings over. My 20 minutes is up. Have a great day. Oh and putting baking soda in your shampoo will strip any unwanted colors out of your hair. But condition the heck out of it afterwords. Just a tip I have (tried) hear of.

  6. On May 16th, 2009 at 11:33 am carla Says:

    just had to say thank you for the PSA.
    Ive successfully ruined my hair myriad ways and, perhaps, this is one I mightcould now avoid.

  7. On May 16th, 2009 at 2:21 pm JUlia Says:

    come on – just one pic?

  8. On May 16th, 2009 at 3:09 pm Jen Says:

    As an avid self-hair colorer myself, I concur with you Michelle. All Loreal products make my hair look brassy. I discovered Sally Beauty Supply stores and started buying my color products there a few years ago. I find the staff there very helpful. The gray is moving in fast so I color about every three weeks and do cap highlights about every 8 -10 weeks. I can color for about $4 an application and can do highlights for about $8. Thankfully my hubby is nice enough to pull my hair through the cap. Maybe some day I’ll ask him to try foils–NOT.

  9. On May 18th, 2009 at 8:49 am Jody W. Says:

    My sister once asked me to “trim” the back of her hair, which was underneath a thick, heavy curtain of her then-long locks. It was summer, it was hot, and while it wasn’t “in” style, she was kind of punk rock at the time.

    Seriously, what did she expect?? SHE is the one who handed me a shaver instead of scissors! And she knows I’m not versed in traditional girl-skills.

    She has not asked for hair assistance from me since, so there was that benefit.

  10. On May 19th, 2009 at 7:50 am Julie Says:

    OKay. You are officially my IDOL. YOU FREAKIN ROCK.

    I am trying to get an easy look since we have baby due any day. So with my mom bob and my thyroid problem (no hair) it is not fun. I tried the Pantene stuff. WOW. and I mean WOW. yes it makes my hair look a tad unhealthy but it looks like i HAVE hair!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    LOVE LOVE LOVE you. You need to keep on recommending products so I can look beautiful or at least I can try. So now my eyes rock and my hair rocks…………..what else ya got?

  11. On May 27th, 2009 at 9:35 am Dee Says:

    Glad to hear the Pantene Root Lifter Spray Gel is working for you! I work for Pantene and use this product. It works best when applied to roots before styling. We also have many other styling products you may find work for your type of hair and the look you want to achieve. Visit pantene.com for a personal hair consult at http://www.pantene.com/en-US/consultant.jspx Thx, Dee