My current psychology is evident in my hair. It grows longer and then I hack it off with seasonal frequency. Every few months or so I color my hair from a drugstore box of dye. I’m an old pro at dying my own hair, short or long, having done it with varying frequency since I was 14. Some years I’d do it every four-to-six weeks for root touch-ups, other years it would be dramatic color changes every few months.
In high school, my friends called me “Jane of the rainbow hair” because I had below-the-shoulder hair and wouldn’t always focus on full-coverage during dramatic color changes. I called my sometimes four-color streaking “trailer highlights.” Eventually I cut it all off and died the stubble platinum blonde. I bust out laughing now when I think of it.
Today I colored my hair again. Since I was going darker instead of lighter, I knew I was going to have to circle my hairline and cover my ears with Vaseline so that my skin wouldn’t stain. My main irritation with using Vaseline is that it’s a bitch to wash off — I sometimes have to resort to dishwashing liquid to cut through it if I use too much (and I usually use too much because I’ve seen other women who stained their skin, and it just looks nasty). Needless to say, my face, ears, and neck do not respond well to dishwashing liquid.
The other irritation about using Vaseline is that, when I try to put it around my ears and the sides/back of my neck (i.e. places I can’t see), it’s difficult to get the Vaseline right up to the hairline and not on the hair. I’ve screwed it up both ways in the past — I’ve had both lines of skin staining and lines of undyed hair around my hairline. Neither is great, but at least I can dye my hair again to fix the undyed hair.
When I bought my box of dye this time, I saw a new product. Called +Repelle, it bills itself as a product that keeps skin-staining from occurring and is very easy to wash off. It was in a small tube, and the instructions were straightforward: Apply it around your hairline and on your ears, color your hair, and wash it off when you wash out the dye. The cost? $5.00 @ CVS. I bought it.
The +Repelle worked as advertised: Easy to apply, easy to wash off, no skin staining.
While I was applying the +Repelle, the idea that it applied like a soft Chapstick occurred to me. That makes sense — Vaseline, Chapstick, and +Repelle are made of the same sort of stuff (as far as my hair-coloring needs go). I’ll use the rest of the stick of +Repelle, and after it’s gone, I’ll try normal Chapstick heated in a glass of hot water.
After all, a stick of Chapstick is a lot cheaper than +Repelle. 🙂
I’m really proud of this find, and I’d love to know about yours. Do you have any tricks, tips, or alternate uses for common items?
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