Thursday, December 29, 2011

Goth Maintenance

Every now & then, a gal needs to spend time on some upkeep. I try not to be high maintenance, but certain things must be done to keep me looking sharp. At a minimum, I must dye my hair & get my brows done. Now, I don't do either one on a very regular schedule -- I tend to put them off until they look awful & annoy me so much that the situation is dire or until I am attending some fabulous event (usually costume-related) for which brown roots/random greys & scraggly bushy browns would look lame.

And lo, 12th Night is coming up soon, for which I'm making an elaborate gown, plus a new hairpiece in jet black, so dyeing hair to match is important. Might as well fix the brows too!

I've been dyeing my own hair since I was at least 16 (that's over 25 years), so this is no big deal to me. But I've learned a few things thru trial & error & from the pros. The number one tip I've learned is to only dye your roots, don't dye any more than that or you'll get fried ends. This is why I was thrilled when Clairol came out with the "root touch-up" kit because it contains less dye than the full boxes, so you don't have to mix up a whole bottle & throw half of it away.

My other recommendation is to head to a beauty-supply store & buy a few tools for yourself. Get a tint brush, a few plastic caps (the ones like shower caps), some metal hair clips, & a box of rubber gloves. The tint brush & gloves will be better than the crappy versions that come in the dye box. And the clips & cap keep your in-process hair tidy while you're waiting.

I tried to get a photo of my roots, but none of the pix would turn out! See, my hair is naturally very dark brown, & most people have a hard time noticing when my black dye is growing out. My husband doesn't notice at all. But what's more obvious is the grey hairs. I don't have too many (sadly, no cool Dave Vanian streak!), just a few here & there that kind of stick out to me. If there was enough grey to make a statement, I'd leave it, but until that happens, I dye. Besides, I love the glossy look of fresh black!

While I'm perfectly happy to do my hair at home, I'm horrible about doing my brows at home. In fact, I didn't start doing anything about my brows until maybe 5 years ago. My eyebrows are naturally of the very full Brook Shields variety, so going with some kind of pencil-thin look is a bit wrong. Or at least would require insane amounts of maintenance. The best I can manage is an occasional trip to the Benefit Brow Bar, which I like because it's nearby, clean, & reasonably priced. Unfortunately, because it's at the mall, you have to time it right or there's a huge wait, plus you're never sure you'll get the best aesthetician.

Here's my brows before getting them done...

Au naturale. Pretty huge. Now, this time, my favorite aesthetician was not there, & the one I got didn't quite listen to me when I said "full, natural, just tidy the brows up & give a slight curve." Instead, she decimated the brows, which is what happens about a third of the time (meaning, whenever my fave gal isn't around *sigh*). Of course, they'll grow back fast.

Here they are afterwards...

Not bad, just not quite what I wanted. But hey, I can't / won't do them myself, so that's what happens! My hair, of course, looks great. Perfectly back in black.

What's your maintenance routine? Do you do it yourself or go with the pros?


  1. your brows look awesone, I do my own, Cheap, and can only wish they turned out that good, ya go girl

  2. Wow, your bros look really different in the after pic. It's like a haircut though, it'll be awkward then kind of work it's way back to being fuller.

    I haven't dyed my hair since high school, it's also a very dark brown and nobody could tell that it was dyed. I'm getting a lot more grays , and if they don't coalesce into a nice streak I'll probably try and cover them.

  3. Oh I hope that these kits will be available here soon. But I'll definitely buy a brush. I plucked my eyebrows when I was young and they stayed thin after a while. I cut them with a scissor though because the hairs are so long.

  4. I got lucky and managed to score the genetic lottery on eyebrows and lack of facial hair. My actual hair? Requires a specialist every 6-8 weeks. I'm not putting my hands up in there, it's tangled, difficult and hard to manage. What I really want is to dye it dark blue, like dark to the point where you can't tell it's blue unless I'm in direct sunlight (kind of like an anime character) but I was told by various beauticians that, with my natural shade, the only way to do that was to dye it blonde then redye it blue-black.

    That's a lot of dying and I'm one of those toxin-free-natural-hippy-tree-hugging-goths and just can't compromise myself to get two dyes jobs each time my roots start to show. /sigh

  5. I got my brows done once -- for my wedding -- and have tried to simply maintain them since. So far, so good....

    I go off and on dyeing my hair myself. If it's already bleached out and I just have to add color, I go for it. I bought the salon quality supplies years ago, so no sweat. However, for the bleach or going lighter or anything complicated? I head to the salon.

    Most of my maintenance is DIY because I'm a DIY kind of person -- I'd rather put in the effort myself than spend a lot of time making appointments. And I don't do manis/pedis very often, but I generally DIY for those too -- after having two bad salon experiences in a row (during a time period when I was attending a lot of weddings), I figured I might as well save the money.

  6. your eyebrows look great though. :)

    I color my hair blue black. I usually do my new growth once a month, but it's been a tough couple of months and I can see my lovely medium ash brown (aka, mousy brown) hair peeking through. It does seem I'll be getting a streak of silver on my left side, there's a strong concentration there. I'd love to color black without losing my silvers, but ah well.

    I'm very adamant about upkeeping my eyebrows, never leave them be for more than a couple days. I don't over pluck, just keep after the strays so I don't unibrow.

    I need to get better about remembering sunblock on my face and I could really use a treatment, my skin looks dull.
    also, my nails are a wreck. I usually paint them a lovely shade of dark red, but just can't keep up while I'm in school. :)

  7. perhaps take a photo of the eyebrows after they look the way you desire, then when you go back if its not your favorite girl you can show her a picture of what you want and say "do it like this."

  8. I also dye at home - I do the roots and all the rest of my hair and leave it on for about 45 minutes. If I don't leave it on that long, it is all washed out within two weeks. My hair hasn't been damaged yet, it's pretty short, so that's why I do the whole thing.

    Like you my eyebrows are naturally dark and full and I've been plucking them since I was 13, so that is almost 30 years! Through years of trial and error, now I can get the arch I like and I wouldn't pay to have anyone else touch them. I'm lucky I don't need eyebrow pencil because I would be useless at that. And BTW, I pluck the top and the bottom of the brow (some people say not to pluck the top but you get a better arch if you do).

    And, your brows do not look "decimated" in the "after" picture.

  9. Oh, and about the grays, that is also when I know I need to dye, when I see that silver shimmer at my temples. Now this is what worries me, gray hairs are popping up in my eyebrows, they are few enough that I can pluck them out, but does that mean I'll have to dye my eyebrows one day? Oh that would be tragic.