A highlight, a tint, and $216 later (including tip, not including the initial purchase of dye at CVS), I have hair that looks... normal? Depending on the type of lighting it's auburn, blonde, or gray... so I have no idea. It's as if fluorescent v. natural v. "soothing" light all resonate with the now 5 million colors in my hair differently... in the same way that burning different compounds will give you a variety of colored flames. I'm thinking of having someone take a picture of me in natural sunlight later to figure out what color my hair really is right now. No one here knows me well enough yet to honestly tell me if I look toe-up.
Note to my girls with fine blond hair... turns out that highlighting DIY kits contain 4x as much peroxide as you need. (Not the case if you have thick, dark hair.) This is such a huge overkill, that the difference in time that it takes you to cover your roots v. the rest of your hair can leave it... you guessed it... two completely different colors. Speaking from experience... JUST DON'T DO IT!!! I'm going to have to eat ramen until my next paycheck arrives...
On the upside, my hair stylist was AWESOME!!! In the long time we spent with each other, he told me about music venues all over the northeast, wonderful places to visit accessible by regional rail, great restaurants off the beaten path, Boston's best used bookstore, which tattoo shops have good reputations (Boston only legalized tattoo shops in 2001!!!), an ice cream stand where you can take your picture with the cow the cream came from, and where to go to find the most interesting thrift shops. Turns out he spends all of his free time either wandering or reading non-fiction (a genre I don't happen to pay much attention to myself), and so he's this amazing wealth of knowledge. Want to know where to try the most authentic Chinese food for prices you won't believe?? If I ever get up the courage to give it a whirl... I know exactly where to go. In that sense... it was almost money well spent.
But overall, if there's a lesson I can teach you all, it's leave the coloring to the professionals. It's a lot cheaper to get it done right the first time than it is to fix it. Or hey... just don't start. Leave your poor hair alone!