Angela Amman

Finding the Right Shade

Mother and Daughter Easter Photo

the before

I didn’t want to care.

Sitting and looking at numbers and playing with our budget, I suggested cutting out the most expensive part of my beauty routine, haircuts and highlights from a lovely stylist at a lovely salon.

Ryan’s raised eyebrows questioned my ability to give that up, but I assured him I could play around with boxed color and less expensive cuts.

So I carefully inspected boxes and critically eyed my own hair color, the real shade hiding near the nape of my neck, where the highlights were fewer and less pronounced.

I followed instructions and watched tutorials, used extra conditioners and ventured a shade lighter, then a shade ashier.

But despite reassurances that it looked fine, when I looked in the mirror I didn’t see fine.

Month after month, attempt after attempt, I saw uneven color and a tired complexion.

I know it’s only hair color.

Many days I wrap the strands into a ponytail to keep it out of finger paints or craft glue. I push it back from my forehead, damp with sweat, as I run. Abbey tears a brush through it then gently inserts seventy-seven clips and bows during Dylan’s naptime.

No one cares what color my hair is.

No one would care if I threw up my hands at the mysterious rows of blond boxes and figured out what darker shade really lurked under years of color.

I didn’t want to care.

But I did.

So I made an appointment and asked my mom to watch the kids. I drove to the parking garage with my sunglasses on and windows down and sipped a cup of coffee I was able to finish before it grew tired and cold.

I flipped through magazines and chatted with my stylist (and friend) about kids and planned vacations and worries about school districts, very different conversations from the ones we began six years ago.

With my head tilted towards the industrial ceiling, exposed ductwork painted a fashionable teal, I relaxed. I barely needed to look in the mirror as my hair was toweled, blond strands extending all the way to the roots.

The sparkling highlights weren’t the only thing I had missed in my months away.

My steps were lighter as I walked to the car.Β  And each blond strand that lifted in the afternoon breeze reminded me that it is ok to carve out some time, and some money, for myself.

Blond highlights

the after (in a goofy, mid-laugh photo)


What is your label | Just.Be.Enough.

Have you heard? Next Monday, April 23rd, Be Enough Me is taking on the topic of labels with a special prompt inspired by Ashely Judd, called Change the Conversation.

It is time to look past the obvious for ourselves and our families.

We’re inviting posts from voices everywhere to share your labels and who you are beyond that. The focus is whatever you need it to be– from our lives as moms, dads, parents, spouses, professionals, survivors, athletes and more. We invite you to join us, to celebrate our strengths, to celebrate our diversity, to celebrate our voices and change the conversation.

Come back next Monday for the very special link-up. We cannot wait to take the conversation by storm with our voices.

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Comments on this entry are closed.

Kimberly April 16, 2012, 5:30 am

My hair stylist helps me tackle the world. She really does. It seems silly, but when my hair is not quite right, I am not quite right.

Angela April 16, 2012, 6:46 pm

Isn’t it funny how something so small makes such a big difference?

Alison@Mama Wants This April 16, 2012, 5:45 am

It’s amazing what the right color can do for you!!

Angela April 16, 2012, 6:29 pm

I feel like I don’t look as tired. Please don’t tell me if that’s just an illusion of caffeine and bad lighting πŸ˜‰

Lady Jennie April 16, 2012, 6:39 am

Yes! Looks great and what a much-needed time to yourself. Good girl. πŸ˜‰

Angela April 16, 2012, 6:28 pm

Thank you. I think sometimes we forget how much we need that. And it feels selfish, and that’s not fair to anyone.

tracy@sellabitmum April 16, 2012, 6:41 am

I cannot even begin to tell you how much I love this post. And you’re gorgeous. xo

Angela April 16, 2012, 5:50 pm

Oh, that is too nice! And by gorgeous, you mean goofy, right? (Because seriously, I’m cracking up like a crazy person, and yes, that’s a picture of us taking a picture of ourselves. It’s like paparazzi!) xo

Shell April 16, 2012, 7:19 am

This is one thing I’ve decided not to give up- I need to get my hair done at a salon. I vary the services I get to spread out the cost. Base break and cut one time, base break and highlights the next.

You look adorable!

Angela April 16, 2012, 5:49 pm

Thanks Shell! It makes me feel a little better to know I’m not alone in needing the salon to do what I need. We blonds seem to like the professionals πŸ˜‰

Robin | Farewell, Stranger April 16, 2012, 7:33 am

Good job, mama. xo

Angela April 16, 2012, 5:48 pm

Thank you! I feel happy with it, and that’s the important thing, I think.

Greta April 16, 2012, 7:40 am

It is absolutely okay, and great for ourselves, to take that time, spend a little extra money, to feel good about ourselves. It is refreshing, isn’t it? You look gorgeous!

And that link-up for JBE? That is kind of exactly what I’ve been thinking about for the past 12 hours, the labels. Perfect timing.

Angela April 16, 2012, 5:48 pm

I’m so glad the Label linky resonated with you; I can’t wait to see what you come up with.

And thank you! I feel so much prettier, even if I don’t look that different, and that makes me feel better somehow.

Kir April 16, 2012, 8:09 am

you look gorgeous and happy and that hair color is beautiful!

I too, just this once in the last 4 years, went back to the box for a few months to cut costs…I hated it too. I can’t wait for my lovely ladies to put the SPRING back in my step with blonde highlights next week. I have missed them.

This post was so right, so good and honest, plus that smile at the end,…PERFECTION.

love you.

Angela April 16, 2012, 5:47 pm

Thanks sweets! You will feel amazing next week πŸ™‚ I wanted, I truly did, to move gracefully to the box and do the fiscally correct thing. I failed πŸ™‚

Jessica April 16, 2012, 8:31 am

A trip to the hair stylist is always something special. I only go 3 times a year because it’s expensive but to me it’s worth it. I love the feeling after.

I also love your goofy/happy face.

Angela April 16, 2012, 5:44 pm

Three times a year is my new goal πŸ™‚

Sigh…I still have secret wishes of coming to Vegas, and then you could see the silly face in person again!

Px Smith April 16, 2012, 10:43 am

A trip to the salon. It’s more than just colour and cutting. For me it’s Me Time. And we are worth it. We are worth every single penny we put towards ourselves.

Angela April 16, 2012, 5:44 pm

Yes, the Me Time is crucial. Very rarely do I have moments like that, where not only am I alone, but I’m not doing housework or writing or shopping for the kids or running errands.

Kristin April 16, 2012, 12:32 pm

I don’t color…but I always feel amazing after a fresh cut!

Angela April 16, 2012, 5:42 pm

You have such lovely hair, too πŸ™‚ I’m glad I’m not the only one who feels a boost from a new cut.

Kimberly April 16, 2012, 1:49 pm

I cut back on going to the stylist for a while. A friend of mine did it at home for me instead. It was convenient, but after a while I just couldn’t do it anymore. I wasn’t happy with how it looked and I so missed going to the salon and actually being pampered, if only for a half hour. I decided that I need to do that for myself.

Love how your hair looks! You also look so happy there.

Angela April 16, 2012, 5:41 pm

Happy and ridiculously silly πŸ™‚ But thank you.

It’s funny how when you do it at the salon it feels like pampering, but when you do it somewhere else it feels like another chore. And it does make a difference. We see it every single time we look in the mirror, you know?

Adrienne April 16, 2012, 6:37 pm

Look at that smile! That’s the face of a girl who just came from the salon. Love it! We have to do this from time to time!

Angela April 17, 2012, 2:16 pm

Yes! I was pretty silly. It comes from a dinner with good friends we don’t get to see nearly enough.

Miss Marina Star April 16, 2012, 6:43 pm

Yes, yes it is!

My hair is ridiculously expensive to maintain because of the length, so I understand your dilemma. I often forgo color simply because of budget, but when I do get it done, I also notice a spring in my step. As shallow as it may sound, it does make me feel better about myself. I loved reading that it’s the same with you.

Angela April 17, 2012, 2:15 pm

I’ve found the next political platform–free haircolor for all!

(absolutely joking, but it really is funny how many of us seem to appreciate what it does for our well-beings!)

Kimberly April 17, 2012, 6:31 am

That is the one thing I can’t give up. It’s not that I’m vain, it’s because it makes me feel good about myself. I like having that special me time. I like that I don’t get dye allover my bathroom and clothes and forehead πŸ™‚

Angela April 17, 2012, 2:12 pm

Oh, it’s so true about the dye getting everywhere. Especially on parts of my face that I wasn’t planning on dyeing. Like my nose.

Kelly April 19, 2012, 6:02 am

You are soooo stinking cute!!!(I LOVE that picture!)

Amazing what a good color and cut can do…but maybe it’s the pampering to yourself- grown up conversation-the relaxation of someone washing and brushing your hair-that sends you back out into the world with a spring in the step.
That feeling really is priceless, isn’t it?

Angela April 20, 2012, 5:58 am

Yes, that’s an amazing feeling. Though there was something relaxing and precious about Abbey “playing hair styles” the next day, too. But the conversation wasn’t nearly so grown-up πŸ™‚