New Hair! (Or When Your Hair Stylist Has an Intervention With You) – and the Advantages of Demi Permanent Hair Color

karen new hair august 2018 demi permanent
New ‘do

Let it be known that I did not intend to walk out of the salon last night with darker and shorter hair, but thanks to some tough love from my friend/stylist/hair angel Alis Dokakis, I love how it turned out. Thank goodness for the people in our lives who sit us down and talk sense into us when we need to be saved from ourselves, because, yes, girl…I’ve been stuck in major a hair rut. Perhaps also a life rut? (More on that in a few.) I desperately needed a hair intervention but didn’t realize it. Last night Alis sat me down, listened to me vent for a while, and said that it was time to make some changes. If I didn’t, it was only a matter of time before I went the way of The Ring, full-on.

She’s been doing my hair for almost a decade now, and I trust her. Anyone who can take you from blonde and back successfully is ride-or-*** in my book, so I took a deep breath, sat back and let her do her thing.

Breakdown of the new ‘do

I’m now the very happy owner of lots of textured layers in a kind of super-long bob with inverted bangs (that just means you can split them down the middle or part them left or right) and a demi-permanent color that’s a just a smidgen lighter than my natural black shade.

karen new hair august 2018 demi permanent
All about the inverted bangs, yo!

Alis took the color from roots to ends so that as it fades, the original chocolate base will peek through, along with the grays at the roots. The idea is that the demi-permanent color will weave everything together in a forgiving way and give me some time to decide whether I want to keep dying my hair or if I want to grow out the grays.

My friend Alis is a master stylist who splits her time between the San Francisco Bay Area and her home in Las Vegas. She’s been doing my hair FOR-EV-ER, and I adore her (obvs). It’s kinda hard to get an appointment here in the Bay, but you can try. If you live in Vegas, you’re in luck, because she’s doing hair there, too, and she’s taking new clients. You can reach her through her website,, or give her a ring at (415) 378-2192. Don’t forget to tell her that I sent ya!

Letting go and embracing a new start

Funny thing is, I’ve never been one to shy away from big hair changes. I figure that you can always change your hair color if you don’t like how it turns out, and hair will grow back, so why-the-heck not go for a bob or bright pink steaks? Carpe-the-frickin’-diem, ya know?

karen new hair august 2018 demi permanent
When you’re trying to pose but thinking about brownies…

For the last few years, though, I’ve held onto the same long layers and chocolaty brown color, and I’ve been hesitant to change, I think because there have been so many other big changes in my life over that period. Getting pregnant, then giving birth (which was pretty traumatic for me), learning how to balance working from home with watching the baby, El Hub starting a new job — it was a lot, and I didn’t feel like biting off something else…even something as seemingly simple as a new haircut or color.

Hair tells a story

Some people would say that thinking so much about hair is silly, but I’ve long believed that our hair tells a deeper story. You know that one steady, even-keeled friend who’s had the same color and style for years? If she’s chopping it all off and adding highlights, believe me, there’s something else going on in the background — a breakup, a job change, something.

karen new hair august 2018 demi permanent

For me, this new hairdo is a new start. I’m finally at the point where I feel like I’ve got me feet under me again, and I’m mentally and physically the strongest I’ve been in years… And, you know, it was time for a hair change. Deep down inside, I kinda knew I was ready. I just needed a little push.

Do you need a push? If you do, I’m here, because you, my friend, CAN TOTALLY DO THIS. It’s time.

Why should you try demi-permanent hair color?

OK, enough emo stuff (for now). Let’s get down to brass tacks. I learned something new last night from Alis. I learned about the power of demi-permanent hair color.

I’ve been vacillating about whether I should or shouldn’t grow out my natural hair color — which also includes an increasing amount of gray in it. I’ve kinda wanted to, but I haven’t wanted to at the same time because I still haven’t been quite able to see myself as salt and pepper. Alis said that a good option for someone in this situation is demi-permanent hair color.

It’s different than permanent hair color, which is what I had before. Demi-permanent allows you to maintain (or darken) your current hair color, but it can’t lighten your hair like permanent color can. Most demi-permanent colors will give you between 12-24 washes, which seems kind of like a racket, right? But here’s the thing: this slow, purposeful fade doesn’t only let you change your color, but it also covers grays in a very forgiving way by sorta weaving them into your base color, so you don’t get that hard line of growth at the roots like you do with permanent color.

For more info on demi-permanent hair color, check out…

It’s a good option for people who are on the fence and still deciding what to do next with their grays, or for people who want to cover up grays at the roots between permanent color treatments, or people who want to avoid a line of demarcation at their roots.

All about the shampoo and conditioner

Alis says that since demi-permanent color is designed to fade, you have to be very picky about your accompanying shampoo and conditioner. She recommends anything from the Kerastase, R+Co, Davines and Oribe lines, but generally you want something gentle that will allow your hair to hold onto the color as long as it can. Nothing too harsh.

Here’s to good hair days for all of us. 🙂

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,


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