Home Haircolor Woes

I’ve dyed my hair at home a countless number of times.  Each time I do it, I swear I am not going to do it again.  Then I get my hair colored at the salon and lament being $85 – $100 poorer. Then I resort to coloring my hair at home again.

Why is coloring one’s hair at home a bad idea, you ask?  Well, I’ve never had a colortastrophe – ended up with green hair or anything crazy.  It’s just, well, a very messy process.  I usually end up ruining at least one shirt and one towel and dying various spots around the bathroom orange – the toilet handle, random spots on the floor, maybe a even a spot or two on the ceiling.  How does this happen?  Who knows?!  I am always super careful.  But I ALWAYS make a mess, and our bathroom is not the same after as it was before.

Anyway, despite my best advice, I colored my hair at home a few weeks ago.  I decided to use a semi-permanent color, in the hopes that the outgrowth would be more natural.  Specifically, I used Clairol Natural Instincts #28 Dark Brown, aka “Nutmeg.”  The color started out almost black, which I am OK with, quickly faded to a perfect shade of cinnamony brown, and then my lighter roots started to peep out.

Fortunately, Clairol was thinking ahead and provided a “Week 2 Color Fresh!” packet (exclamation theirs).  It’s essentially dye mixed with conditioner.  Two weeks after you initially color, you are supposed to wash your hair and then douse your head with this gross looking brown pudding for 5-10 minutes to “refresh” your color.

It didn’t so much refresh my color as refresh the bathroom with a whole new array of orange stains.  They are everywhere – shower curtain, towel, shower walls, shower drain, my hands, and my scalp skin.  Or should I just say scalp?  Do I have to specify “skin” when talking about my scalp?  Who knows.  Who cares, I guess.  Anyway, the refresh packet dyed pretty much everything within a 3 foot radius orange.  My head looks a little weird.  I’m hoping that a good hair washing will return it to a fair normal.

Needless to say, while I might use Natural Instincts again, I will toss the Color Fresh! packet.  Oh, I almost forgot.  It also makes your hair smell a little funny – almost as funny as when I rinsed my hair with apple cider vinegar and didn’t wash it afterwards.  My hair did not smell good.  At all. It smelled a little…spoiled.  And not spoiled like pampered, spoiled like gone bad.

I’ll probably resort to getting my hair professionally colored next time.  I want to get some super dark purple lowlights – just a few random, almost imperceptible pieces.  I can’t do that at home, so I best go to a professional.  I work for a bank holding company, so I can’t do anything too crazy, but I want to do something that breaks up the monochromatic brown-ness of my head.


HTC Rhyme vs iPhone 4s

I recently decided to bite the bullet and get a smart phone.  For the past 2 years I’ve been making do with my Samsung Intensity (dumb phone) and my iPod touch.  But, I was getting tired of carrying around a phone, an iPod touch, and a camera everywhere.  Plus, I just really wanted a smart phone.

So after weeks of reading every review I could find and all the user reviews on Verizon (fyi – everyone either loves or hates their phone), I narrowed it down to the Samsung Charge, HTC Incredible or the Droid X2.  But then, not a day after I purchased a new Hobo International plum colored wallet, Verizon announced the release of the plum colored HTC Rhyme. It was fate.

From what I read, it sounded perfect – smaller form factor (for my dainty woman hands), cool docking station/speaker, better battery life, smooth interface, etc. etc. etc.  So the day after it came out, I got it.

At first I loved it – it was very snappy, call quality was great, I had access to tons of cool apps, It was super easy to use and very, very customizable.  But there were a few things I didn’t like.

The phone came with a light up charm – a rope-type thing that plugs into the phone, which you can thread to hang out your purse.  The charm lights up when you receive a call or text.  I never used it.  It also came with plum colored, no-tangle headphones.  Those suckers were huge, though.  No matter what size covers I put on them, I couldn’t get them to stay in my ears.  Then there was the issue with the mail app.  The native mail app does not recognize when emails are opened on a different device.  Emails you open on your laptop still show as unread on the phone.  It drove me nuts, so I switched to the Gmail app, but it didn’t integrate as well with the other features of the phone (like the notification bar).

All off this I could have lived with, but then I started playing with the camera.  As I mentioned at the outset, a main reason I wanted a smart phone was so I would always have a good camera on me.  Well, the Rhyme’s camera was excellent in every way except for color quality.  All the pictures had a reddish tint to them.  No matter how I adjusted the white balance, I couldn’t get colors to appear true.  See this web album for sample shots.

As I was lamenting the bad color quality, Apple announced the release of the iPhone 4s.  Everyone I know that has an iPhone loves it and loves the camera.  I knew it would be a sure thing from a photo quality perspective, and I was already familiar with the setup and features from my iPod Touch (which I loved).

I traded in my Rhyme and pre-ordered the iPhone.  And I love it.  The pictures are beautiful, the mail app works as it should, the battery life has been great, I love Siri (when she works), and the phone just feels good to hold – nice and solid.  Of course, it lacks the customization of an Android device, and getting pictures and music on and off the phone is more complicated – no more simple drag and drop.   We are primarily a Linux household, but my husband has my laptop dual-booted, so I can boot into Windows if I have to, and for the iPhone, I have to, which is unfortunate as my laptop has something wrong with it and likes to overheat when I have it in Windows.  Besides that, though, it’s great.  Here’s a sample pic for you.

Overall, I’m really happy with the iPhone 4s.  The HTC Rhyme would have been almost perfect, however, if not for the camera issue.  If you are trying to decide between the two and have any questions, ask away in the comments!


Crucial Conversations

So…I’ve been trying to read this book.  It’s been sitting on my nightstand for nigh on 4 months, just staring at me, saying “Heather, you really know you should read me.  Put down all that interesting science fiction and read a nice, important, New York Times bestselling book.  Come on, you know you should…”  I finally caved and started to read it.  The book is Crucial Conversations: Tools for talking when stakes are high.  I won it in a sort of lottery at a business seminar I went to.  The speaker said it was a good book. Since I finished business school over two years ago, I haven’t picked up one of those suckers, and I felt it was time to get back in the loop of business speak.  That was until I got to page 23 and this quote, “The Pool of Shared Meaning is the birthplace of synergy.”  That sentence just sucked away my will to live and all desire to finish the book.  Sure, sprinkled among the jargon may be some good points about how to have those conversations that no one likes to have, but I just cannot force myself to read one more sentence about synergistic pools of meaning.  Man.

I’ll go back to my Ursula K. LeQuin and sentences like this, “Sacrifice might be demanded of the individual, but never compromise: for though only the society could give security and stability, only the individual, the person, had the power of moral choice – the power of change, the essential function of life.  The Odonian society was conceieved as a permanent revolution, and revolution begins in the thinking mind.” (Quoted from The Dispossessed).

They are both getting to the same thought – that you have to speak your mind and stand up for what you see as truth to get anything accomplished.  I just much prefer Ms. LeQuin’s way of saying it.