Diving into mermaid hair. Get it? Anyways, for about one glorious month in the spring of 2017 I had super pretty rainbow hair. Or unicorn hair, depending on your preference.
I stumbled upon a stylist about an hour outside of Sacramento who had a really lovely profile. She was looking for hair models and I always wanted to go pastel so I figure, why not? I work in radio, I’m young-ish, I really enjoyed her work—it’s now or never! So I set up the appointment.
It Takes A Pretty Long Time
Obviously it depends what color(s) you are putting in your hair. And what color your hair is at the time of mermadizing it. I had “virgin hair” i.e. not colored and it took about six hours to go from medium brunette to colorful mermaid hair. But, there was also another gal there getting a mermaid makeover as well so I am sure that kind of slowed the process down.
Bleach Is Required
Unless you have light blonde hair, you’re probably going to have to get your whole head bleached. And we all know that bleach isn’t good for your hair. Like I said before, I decided it was now or never so I was willing to take on some damage. I can’t remember how long the bleach was on, but I want to say about a half hour plus the time it took to put it all on and wash it out.
Some Colors Fade Fast
My transformation included a lot of different colors. We’re talking pink, purple, green and a ton of different blues.
I’d say the pink was pretty much gone after the first wash and definitely disappeared by the second.
The dark purple and blue made it the longest, and I was able to help them along with a few products.
Color Conditioners Are Your Friend
If you’re going to get on the mermaid hair train, you’re going to want to pick up something like Overtone. This can be a lifesaver when your hair starts to fade. After you wash your hair, you put the conditioner on the parts of your hair you want that color then leave it there for 15 minutes.
I found that the darker the color, the better the result. Extreme Teal and Extreme Silver were my faves. I also tried Manic Panic which worked, but took more time and wasn’t the shade I really wanted.
Upkeep Is A Pain
Sure, putting conditioner on is easy enough, but I didn’t always have the 15 minutes to wait. And that’s not counting how long it takes to get it on your head. Sometimes I’d put two different colors on at the same time or only want to do certain strands.
Plus, if you get the product on a surface, it’ll turn it that color so you have to get it off of the sink or tub (or wall if you’re a hot mess like me) fairly quick. And it’s not super cheap—$17 a bottle adds up. You’ll also want to get a sulfate-free shampoo so it doesn’t strip the color.
It Is Pricey
I was lucky enough to be a hair model for my stylist, so I paid a nominal fee for the actual hair color and tipped on top of that. But, if you know how much a regular color job is or a balayage, you have an idea of what to expect with mermaid hair. Then there’s the hair care products, maintenance and the cost to get back to a more natural shade. With all that said, it’s definitely an investment.
Getting Back To Natural Can Be Hard
Naive—that’s what I was when it came to this one. I expected one trip to the salon and one color correction to get the job done. I just had my third visit to get closer to my natural color. I can’t say for sure that this is going to be the case with everyone. I had a lot of different colors in my hair and it didn’t hold the brown well the first two times.
Hopefully the third time’s a charm! Thanks to Heather Grabin at Evergreen Salon & Spa for making my head pretty.
When it comes down to it, I don’t regret my month + of mermaid hair. It was fun and I got a lot of compliments. Plus I think it actually suited my face, skin tone and personality. My stylist was cool, so it didn’t actually feel like six hours when I got it done. Using conditioners was annoying but I’d do it every four days when I washed my hair so it wasn’t that bad for short-term.
The Bottom Line
It was just personally too much work. Everything combined was more upkeep and time than I was willing to commit to and more money than I anticipated or wanted to spend.
But if you read all this and still want to take the plunge, I say go for it! Even if the color doesn’t last forever, the pictures and memories of your mermaid hair will.