I had to be professional the first few times I worked with Dasha Faires, creative director of Hotel Man Repeller. Once the boundaries were lifted however, we got to talking about hair color. Hers is, as you’ll soon hear her describe, the color of a wizard’s locks, or possibly that of a unicorn’s mane. But once you find that perfect sweet spot of tint and tone, color upkeep is no joke; finding the perfect colorist to maintain your sweet spot is even harder. Like Dasha, I’d rather wait patiently and let roots take hold than potentially mess up the color atop my head, but she takes it one step further: her hair colorist is in London. She’s not just local-loyal. She’s in a long-distance committed relationship. Read about her romance with her hair colorist below, learn about some of her favorite products, and hear a whole bunch of regrets that involve bangs. (Why is it always the bangs?!)
How did your current hairstyle and color come to be?
I can’t remember exactly how the conversation came up, but it did, and then it ended with a dare from my work friends: they thought I was too basic and I would never dye my hair this color, and then BAM, one day (I actually think it was the next day) I went to the hair salon and spent seven hours in a chair and came out with the unicorn/wizard hair of my dreams. That was about three and a half years ago.
What’s the upkeep like in terms of cut and color?
I have a special situation, a marriage of sorts, a hair-ly matrimony with the same girl who has been doing my hair for over 10 years now. Her name is Lisa Carroll Ellwood. One day she decided to marry a handsome British man and up and move to London on me. I’m still only slightly upset that she chose him over me, so now I’m at the mercy of her travel schedule. At times, my roots grow down to my ears, but she is worth the wait. I also only get my hair cut about once a year — maybe less if it starts to frizz out on the ends.
What’s your daily styling/shower routine and how long does it take?
I wash my hair about once every three days. I use Shimmer Lights shampoo and conditioner when I want it to look more silver and I use Nexxus Caviar Complex conditioner when I want it to look more blonde. After I wash it, I towel dry it and then use It’s a 10 leave-in conditioner and a wet brush to comb out the tangles.
Sometimes I blow dry it and then wrap it in a bun for a big wave/country music star vibe, but lately I’ve just been letting it air dry, which gives me beach waves. Post-air dry day one = beach waves. Post-air dry day two = sex hair. I also couldn’t live without Klorane dry shampoo because I have oily roots.
Tell me about a standout hair-related memory.
I have always had long hair. One time when I was a little girl, probably around age eight or nine, I took a round brush and rolled it up into my bangs (I was trying to curl my bangs like the movie stars) and my hair was so long that round brush got stuck at the very top. After hours of every possible removal method we had no choice but to snip it off close to my head. So instead of curly bangs, I went to school the next day with spikes at the front of my head. I was probably missing a few front teeth too so you can imagine what a look this was.
Have you gone through a bunch of hair phases or had the same hair your whole life?
I’ve pretty much had the same hair my entire life with the exception of the time I dyed it dark brown/black my freshman year in college, and then when I went silver three years ago. My hair is my safety net. My dream is to have looong gray hair when I’m old.
When do you hate your hair?
Post-blow dry when it’s frizzing out.
When do you love it?
I usually love it most about 24-48 hours post-wash.
What’s the most tragic or absolute best hair-related decision you’ve ever made?
When I was five I convinced my mom to cut it to my shoulders. I cried for a week straight and I’ve never had it shorter than nipple length since then, and I prefer to keep it below the boob.
What’s something you learned about your hair in the last year?
My hair is not as strong as I thought it was. It’s starting to break from all the bleaching and I need to treat it with TLC.
What’s the most important thing to know about your hair?
It is not naturally gray. I’m getting older so people have started to give me compliments like, “I love that you just went with your gray and embraced it.” Lol. My natural color is actually mousy brown.
What’s one product you couldn’t live without?
Who first taught you how to do your hair?
My immediate family is a bit free-range so we didn’t really “do” our hair like a lot of other southern girls. We just “had” hair that existed on top of our head and however it grew or fell was how we did it. Although, my cousin Allena did teach me how to swirl my bangs up with a bunch of hair spray in the 80s/early 90s.
Have you ever cut your hair yourself?
Once when my mom was cutting my bangs and left to go to the bathroom, I grabbed the scissors and chopped my bangs off way too short.
Have you ever stopped a stranger with great hair and asked them what they did to it?
Yes, I usually stop girls with really curly hair and give them a bunch of compliments because you always want what you can’t have and I’m jealous of naturally curly hair no matter what.
What’s something you’ve always wanted to do with it, but still haven’t?
What’s the most private thing you’ve ever told your hairdresser?
That woman knows more about me than a lot of people in my life do. She could probably ruin my life if she wanted to.