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Hair · February 18, 2015

A History of My Misguided Beauty Experiments

Weve all dallied in some questionable beauty behavior in the past, usually in the company of well-meaning friendsmaybe you fell in love with a crimping iron, or had the wise idea of trimming your own bangs with a pair of Fiskers. Whatever your mistakes may be, Im betting there are a few trends that you wouldnt take back, even if you wish the photographic evidence would mysteriously disappear. From witchy lipstick to an impulsive at-home hair chop, here are some of my fondest memories of beauty experiments, all made sweeter by the fact that I shared them with my favorite people.

1995: At-Home Beauty Potions

We could actually sell this, is what my best friend Jackie said as we tested our body-wash-lotion-hand-soap mixture on my brothers 8-year-old head. In 5th grade, we spent our weekends creating what we called potionsaka mixtures made of a little Pert Plus, a splash of Banana Boat, and a few drops of my moms perfume. Thankfully, they never harmed our unwitting guinea pigs. (Belated apologies, younger siblings.)

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1997: Purple Lipstick and Other Delias Purchases

In middle school, I befriended some of the gutsiest girls Ive ever met to this day. We dressed like Spice Girls and terrorized our local mall with fake British accents, frosty shades of pastel eye shadow from Delia's and Alloy catalogues, and lipstick inspired by countless sleepover viewings of The Craft. Im sure we freaked a few people out (and that lipstick was impossible to get off) but man, did we have fun.

1999: Kool-Aid Hair Dye

In the summer of 99, I fell in love with Pavement, listened to Brighten the Corners on repeat, and took long walks with my BFF Gabriela. One particularly aimless day, we attempted to dye our (very brunette) hair purple with some Kool-Aid. Without YouTube tutorials to guide us through the process, we inevitably failed, winding up with two equally sticky-sugary, barely-grapeheads of hair. Never to be defeated, we made a pact to dye our hair black before 8th grade graduation instead (which we did).

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2001: Going Burgundy from a Bottle

After The Great Purple Hair Mistake of 99, I decided to experiment with more flattering hair shades, namely Clairols Natural Instincts box dye in Malaysian Cherry, a purple-red that wouldnt have seemed out of place on your typical Pacific Sunwear employee. Even though its been years since its washed out, I swear I can still see hints of the burgundy on sunny days.

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2004: The Dorm Room Chop

By sophomore year of college I had grown my normally shoulder length hair halfway down my chest. One Friday night, my friend Marielle and I picked up a pair of hair sheers from Duane Reade, went back to our dorm room, and snipped off a good 10 inches. Morphing from a stringy, lioness mane to a blunt, chin-length bob with baby bangs left me feeling utterly transformed and kicked off a perpetual cycle of growing out my hair and chopping it off every few yearsnow I know to donate it, at least!

Author

Alicia