Friday, June 4, 2010

Making Peace with My Hair

I was born a natural redhead in 1975 and for many years, I felt I had been cursed! When I was in elementary school, I was relentlessly teased for my hair and freckles. At one point, I even asked my mom if I could use her Loving Care hair color! She refused of course.

However, when I went off to college in the early 90s, I began experimenting with hair color. The very first color I bought was a dark, reddish brown from L'Oreal. When I rinsed the color out and dried my hair, it looked more like a deep eggplant brown instead of rich reddish brown. Oops. Oh well. After a few days, I actually grew to love it. Well...I loved it until I went home for my first fall break. When I walked in the door of my house, I thought my mom was going to kill me. She ranted and raved what seemed like for hours. I told her it was a semi-permanent color but that did not help the situation. She yelled, "Women pay top dollar for your natural color and you go and color it that horrible color?! WHAT WERE YOU THINKING??! You ruined your crowning glory!" Oh wow.

Fall break came and went. The color eventually washed out. For a couple of years, I waffled between "I don't want to color" and "I need to go to a CVS now so I can color" phases. I mainly relied on store-bought, semi-permanent color. However, in 2000, I began to experiment with salon highlights. This opened the door to drastic changes. I have been black, pink, white blond, dark red, and back again.

Now, at the age of 35, I have gone back to my natural (well, close as I can get) red shade. Furthermore, I have a couple of wide, pale blond highlights spliced in the front of my hair. I love the way the blond looks when I do my 40s hair styles. Of all colors I have had, my current color situation is my favorite.

Here is me, sitting for my senior picture taken 18 years ago. This is how my hair looked naturally.

I was blond with black underneath from October 2008 to December 2008. I actually like this color on me. Mom hated it, but I loved it.

From early December 2008 to April 2009, I had pink with black underneath. My stylist, Corry, simply colored the blond with Special Effects Hair Color in Atomic Pink mixed with Cherry Bomb. Even though I loved my hair this way, I found it was difficult to dress around it. Hair color like this really limits what colors you can wear.

In April 2009, Corry colored my pink and black to all black. I liked this but whenever my roots grew in, it was so obvious. This hair color required a lot of upkeep!

This is me now. My natural red shade is pretty much how it should look naturally. I returned to this shade in February of this year. Corry had to do a few rounds of eliminate to remove the black along with light highlights to further remove the dark tones.

I may change my mind one day and do something different. I am not sure. But for now, I will just be my redhead self (albeit with a little highlight or two).


  1. You suit all colours! Love the blonde with black and the jet black too.
    I have also been every colour under the sun! My natural shade is dreary mousey brown, so I have been mainly a redhead for about 18 years (I started to dye at 14!).

  2. Ironically, I've always wanted to be a red head but my hair is so dark that I'd have the same root issue you did when you went black! I'd also have to bleach my hair first before being able to colour because it is so dark and I just don't have the patience or cash (or colouring) to pull it off. Revel in the red I say! ;)

  3. Love all of your colors. I have naturally mousy brown hair and have been black basically for 15 years! Oh, and the roots issue with black hair is a b*tch but I guess I just deal with it! :)

  4. Dolly Cool Clare,

    Thanks for the compliment! I often miss having my blond and black hair but I found it difficult to maintain. During the first two weeks after going to the salon, I had to keep the blond and black separated whilst washing to prevent color bleed. If I washed my hair all at once, the black turned some of the blonde areas grey and then I had to use clarifying shampoo to get it the dinginess out!

    However, I am okay with my natural red shade. If I get bored, I will just get the occasional highlight.

    That is kind of cool that you were able to color at 14! Had I colored my hair at that age, my mom would have gone spare! When I was 14, I got a super short haircut without mom's permission and she went mental! I loved it though! lol

  5. Toria,

    I totally understand about having to lighten the black! Even though my hair is pretty much back to its natural state, I still have a few pieces of darker brown (left over from being dark) here and there. My stylist said it will fade and of course grow out in just a matter of months.

    I agree that coloring is expensive! I love changing but it is not cheap and it can be harsh on hair! Two of the main reasons why I decided to go back to my red color is due to cost and hair damage.

  6. BakeliteBebe,

    Thanks for the compliment! I love your name! Very cool! Like you, I love having dark Bettie Page hair, but the roots come in so fast since I have much lighter colored hair! If I had a natural brown shade, I would have kept it. I was noticing roots as soon as two weeks! I know that sounds crazy but it is true!

    I think your black hair looks fabulous! You wear it well!