I’ll admit it: I can be obsessive compulsive. Especially when it comes to my hair. I’ve had times where I have gone back to the stylist several times to fix my color and cut exactly how I want it. Yes; I am THAT client.
Over the past year, I have dramatically lightened my hair from deep chesnut brown to pale golden blonde. The reason? I was bored. It was not an easy journey. I went through various shades, from a horrid highlight experience (yellow chunks on dark hair – not cute) to some reddish light browns, to dark blonde, and now, well, platinumesque. Obviously, I did not really think about the fact that super-light hair would only make me stand out more in a country full of dark, shiny, perfect manes. You see, I’m not really the best at making plans.
So here I am, a month in, with roots that can be seen from quite a far distance. Wearing sunglasses as a headband can only get you so far. I decided to look up the best salons in Mumbai, and pray for someone who was familiar with fine, wavy, unruly, damaged, “white girl hair”. I stumbled upon the b:blunt chain of salons when passing by one in Kemps Corner, and decided to give them a try based on a recommendation. Boy, am I happy I took that chance.
Despite the fact that I was 30 minutes late to my appointment (Mumbai traffic!), Michelle, my colorist, could not have been any more patient or kind. She decided to double process my hair, with a golden shade and a whiter shade, running some all the way through. Four hours later, with about 500 (no joke) foils on my head going in every which direction, I knew I had found a great stylist. The patience and time she took was amazing to me! She and her assistant worked diligently and I was super-excited to see the results.
The moment we all wait for: the blow out. And I couldn’t have been happier! First off, I have never had two people work with brushes at once: talk about pampering. Once it was fully dried - I was ecstatic. She used my favorite Kerastase Elixir Ultime, which made me like her even more. My hair was exactly the shade of blonde I had wanted, with highlights framing my face and barely any remnant of the dark color that once was on my ends. What a treat! And quite the deal – it was about $160 US dollars for perfect highlights and color, not to mention 5 hours total of the stylists time!
Michelle was fabulous, and from her recommendation I will most certainly be trying out the Bikram Yoga in Bandra (90 minutes of sweaty hell for that post-exercise endorphin bliss – why not?). On the way back, I checked out a cutting-edge shop she had recommended in Santacruz, called Attic. What a treat! Indian-inspired but with a western flair, the clothes here were stunning, with this-season neons canoodling with vintage lace and immaculate embroidery. An orange patchwork maxi dress, which had an essence of Balenciaga, was a standout, but unfortunately, I have nowhere to wear it and had to pass. I did pick up a quirky little picture book entitled, “Kumari Loves a Monster”, and I plan to go back to purchase some gifts for friends before I head home.
Well, the point of this very long post, besides gushing about Michelle’s talent and patience, is that I am fairly certain I have found the answer to every blonde’s greatest enemy: brasiness. What is it? $4 shampoo you can get almost anywhere.
For some time after lightening my locks, I had been using Joico’s Color Endure Violet Shampoo. Sure, it kept my strands free of orange tones, but it was so drying I was using a deep conditioning mask almost daily. After running out, I decided I would try out Unite’s Blonda Toning Shampoo. While it certainly worked, the scent was overpowering, like a grape popsicle gone wrong, and lingered all day. So here I was, hair getting brassier by the second, out of options, so it seemed.
I was in CVS picking up a prescription when I noticed Jhirmack’s Silver Plus Brightening Shampoo. I figured, “hey, why not, if it doesn’t work, I throw it away.” Well, this shampoo is absolutely incredible! I can use it daily, without my hair getting dry or too ashy, and it preserves my color completely. I’m pretty sure the water in my shower here in India has quite a few impurities, so this is really a marvel. Followed with Oribe’s Conditioner for Beautiful Color, my hair has never looked better.
Upon research, I found out that Jhirmack is pretty old school - check out this ad from 1988. History is the test of great hair care...right?
The only problem? Where o’ where in India can I find this shampoo?