For the last few months, Mazzy has been begging me to dye her hair blue. After being especially good for the last few days, I finally agreed. It was either that or a dog. The other thing she’s been begging us for all year.
Last week, we went out with a friend of hers who dip dyed her hair with a temporary dye called Splat that is supposed to come out in 30 washes. No bleaching required. Her mom said she bought it at Duane Reade and her husband did it at home. Her friend’s hair is blonde so the dye took really well. I doubted Mazzy’s hair would hold color like that but I am also very against bleaching, so I told Mazzy I would be up for trying the temporary stuff on the ends of her hair to see what happens.
Mazzy is going to sleep-away camp for the month of July, so I figured, if it actually works, she’ll have it during camp and it will be gone by the time she comes home. We have an upcoming appointment to get her hair cut the following week, so they could cut it off the bottom if it was really a problem. I also decided we would do it at the summer house, in the girls’ bathroom, because it’s old and nobody really goes in there.
Friday night was the night. We watched a few tutorials and both put on outfits we didn’t care about. I put vaseline on her hairline and neck, as instructed, so that the dye wouldn’t stain her skin. I put on the gloves that came in the box and got to work. I used to dye my hair in college, this funky auburn color, but I had no experience with blue or dip dying. I was super nervous.
Mazzy has a lot of hair so it took awhile to get all the layers covered. I put tinfoil on because that’s what I saw them do in the videos. Mazzy convinced me to go a little higher than I was intending because of the hair cut. Applying the dye was pretty uneventful, except that Mazzy was beyond excited. I was both nervous that the dye would work too well and that the dye wouldn’t work at all and Mazzy would be disappointed. I kept trying to prepare her for the fact that the dye might not show since her hair is dark. I also realized that if I got any dye on the countertop, it was pretty hard to get off. So every time a little blue blotch appeared, I quickly wiped it off so it wouldn’t stain. I had absolutely no idea how messy blue dye can be!
When I was finished applying, Mazzy had to sit with the dye on her hair for an hour. I told her she wasn’t allowed to leave the bathroom because I didn’t want the dye to get anywhere. That’s when I took off my gloves and realized there was a hole in one of the fingers. My finger was dyed pretty intensely and it wouldn’t wash off.
I thought that was the worst that was going to happen, which looking back is pretty hilarious. How naive I was back then!
Now comes the PSA where I tell you under no circumstances to ever dye your kid’s hair blue in your own home.
We had quite the disaster.
After the hour was up, I turned on the shower and realized there was no hot water. The box recommends using cold water to let the color set, but without any hot water, the shower was FREEZING. I thought it was just something wrong with the shower in that bathroom, so I took her up to my bathroom, a bathroom I care more about.
Nope, something was wrong with our hot water in general and we needed to call a plumber to fix it. Even worse, I had now brought potential stains into two bathrooms.
The plumber couldn’t come until midnight and I couldn’t leave the dye in Mazzy’s hair until then, so we had to get it out with the cold water. I didn’t want to do it in the sink because our bathroom is white, the sink is pretty small and I thought it would go everywhere. Mazzy said it was ok and she would get in the shower. She was so excited about the hair and that fact that I was letting her do it, she was being particularly well-behaved and accommodating.
Since she was already a little wet and dripping blue, I stuck her in the cold shower in my bathroom as opposed to walking her back down to her bathroom and risking dripping blue along the hallway and the stairs. I tried my best to rinse out the dye, but it’s a small stand up shower, the shower head was too high and the pressure wasn’t strong enough. Plus, because it was so cold, Mazzy couldn’t bring herself to stand directly under the water, and we don’t have a separate hand shower. She was just standing there as the dye dripped all over her, turning her whole body blue. The floor and the walls of the shower were being splattered with blue too, but the dye in her hair didn’t seem to be going anywhere. Did I mention that she was absolutely shivering? Literally, her teeth were chattering and I felt awful for her. She was trying to be so brave and all I wanted to do was hold her, but then I would turn myself blue as well, which would put our white bathroom at even greater risk.
Finally, she got so cold that there was no way I could keep her in the shower. I got every old towel we had and covered the floor and the sink area. Then I wiped her down (she was still pretty blue) and attempted to wash her hair in the sink. This took FOREVER and the blue got pretty much everywhere. Mazzy’s hair is so thick, so it was so hard to rinse anything close to clear and we kept having to take breaks because her neck was hurting.
I think it might have been at that point that Mike walked in, saw that it appeared like we had slaughtered all of the Smurfs in our bathroom, cursed himself for ever marrying me and having children and then walked back out to go to bed.
So, then I’m simultaneously trying to rinse her hair out in the sink and clean everything in sight as we go so the while bathroom isn’t ruined. I knew what Mike was thinking— we have already have to redo the bathroom in our apartment; did I really have to destroy this bathroom too???
Finally, I got most of the dye out of her hair and off her body the best I could and did the conditioner. Then I wiped down her body and dried her hair with a blow dryer. We ruined like ten towels and I still don’t think it was close to washed out completely. Mazzy was exhausted though and the plumber wasn’t coming until midnight, so I put her to bed. I put a towel over her hair and covered everything in old blankets so she wouldn’t ruin her bed. Thank you, Grammy, for buying all those fleece Doc McStuffins and Frozen blankets from Costco over the years!
Before Mazzy fell asleep, I told her that when she wakes up, she’s not allowed to move. She just has to scream for me and I will come carry her to the shower immediately.
Thankfully, she did as she was told. The next morning, I was awoken by, “MOOOOOOOMMMMMMMM!!!!! COME HELP ME!!! I NEED TO WASH MY HAIR!!!!!!!” She was so excited to see it. When I took off the towel, it looked way bluer than either of us were expecting. I said, “Don’t get too excited. I’m not sure how much is going to come out in the shower.”
As I expected, a ton of blue dye came off her hair, but it did not have nearly the same traumatizing fresh dye effect as the night before. It scrubbed off pretty easily. She stayed in the shower until her hair washed clear and then we blew it dry again.
Are you guys ready to see this? It is so much bluer and higher up in her head that I was thinking it would be.
Mazzy loves it. I’m trying to get used to it and Mike hates it. I keep telling him and myself— IT’S JUST HAIR.
But, to Mazzy, it is not just hair. It is her expressing herself, choosing to go against convention and me giving her permission to do so. She feels like she was meant to have this hair and immediately called all of her friends, her cousins, Grammy, etc. so that she could show them. She’s admiring her hair in the mirror, creating outfits that she thinks go nicely with her new do and feeling a very obvious surge of confidence.
Mazzy told me that she thinks the whole ordeal was totally worth it. She’s so happy. I don’t care anymore either. It was an A+ mother daughter bonding experience. Also, I got all the blue off the bathroom with a combo of Soft Scrub and Clorox wipes, so Mike couldn’t complain about the stains in addition to how much he hates her hair. Thank God.
I am hearing mixed reviews on Splat. Some say it will come out really easily and others are telling me it will stick around forever and never wash out. I also hear that as it fades, it turns green. So. This is not a Splat endorsement. I’m reserving judgement until we see how this plays out.
Also, as a final note: Always check if you have hot water before dying hair at home. And if you don’t think you can handle a smurf murder in your bathroom, go to a professional. That’s what I will be doing if Mazzy wants to do this again.
Can I talk about how happy Mazzy is again?
She’s been acting like an absolute angel since Friday and thanking me profusely for letting her do this. That’s five solid days of Mazzy on her best behavior. To top it all off, I’m pretty sure I earned a few of those very elusive “cool mom points.”