Sunday, 5 October 2014

My Hair Story - Hair Colours

So I thought I'd share something a little different with you today. I've mentioned before that the ends of my hair are very dry as a result of a lot of dying from the ages of about 12 to about 15, so I thought I'd share that whole journey with you. This is going to be a bit of a long post with a lot of photos so I'd suggest grabbing a cuppa before you continue! Ready? Okay, enjoy!

When I was very little I had very thick, dead straight, blonde hair as you can see from this photo (ignore the incredibly embarrassing photo it was the only one I could find). What I wouldn't give to have that back! Unfortunately my hair started turning darker from the age of about 9 and gradually started getting wavier with it. By the time I'd reached 11 I'd cut most of it off and it was wavy and a medium brown. I decided I wanted my blonde hair back and after months of trying to persuade my mum to let me dye it, she gave in when I was about 12 saying I could do it as long as I did it myself because she didn't want to be involved when I messed it up (such faith in me!).

That's where the next stage kicks in. The dye did work slightly despite not having much of an effect on my hair, meaning I was left with more of a highlight effect than a blonde dye which actually looked lovely! A lot of people have told me since that this was the hair colour they like best on me and I think if I were to dye it again it's likely I'd go for something along the lines of this, although I'd probably go for either highlights or ombre (think Zoella).
Unfortunately though, as anyone with fairly dark hair who has dyed it blonde will tell you, roots appear and fast. With blonde there's no hiding it either. After being lazy and leaving it for a few months I decided that as much as I loved my blonde hair I couldn't keep up with dying it every few weeks. I picked up another dye instead which, I thought, was a brown slightly darker than my natural colour with a hint of red in it. Long story short I was very wrong, it went very ginger and I dyed it again about a week later, meaning the only picture I have of it this colour is this one that I've had to awkwardly crop so please excuse that. To make matters even worse, the colour had taken really strongly on the blonde but not as much on my roots, meaning I was now left with a band of dye that did not look like it would budge. 
I decided that the only way to get rid of the band of dye would be to have it dyed professionally and if I was doing that I would give in to the part of me that had been dying to have bright red hair for about a year. I went into the hair salon on a training day which I would totally recommend. It's exactly the same service for a fraction of the price because they need practice meaning I got my hair lightened (to get rid of the band of dye), a permanent bright red dye put on (we're talking brighter than Ariana Grande's when it was at it's brightest) and a semi permanent over the top to keep the colour slightly toned down for £40. I was told if I were to have that done without it being a training day it would have been closer to £200. Definitely worth it.

It looked amazing just after I'd had it dyed. I loved the bright red and it definitely suited me. Unfortunately, my family and I went on holiday to Florida about a week later and the sun bleached my hair like you wouldn't believe. Between the sun and the chlorine, within 2 weeks my hair was orange. And I mean bright orange. I actually wouldn't have minded the colour if the condition of it hadn't been so bad. Even though I oddly seemed to suit ginger in a bizarre way, I knew I couldn't leave it like that so I waited a good few weeks trying everything I could to get it healthier before dying it bright red. Again.
This time it lasted about a year with me re-dying it whenever it needed it. I used box dyes and never found one particular one that I loved. I flitted back and for between brands from the Live Colour XXL ones to the Garnier ones (by far the best in my opinion) and never really settled. Looking back on photos, it doesn't seem that any of them made a particular difference in terms of colour. 

I absolutely loved my red hair but again, the condition of it became so bad I knew I couldn't keep it red. As anyone who's had any bright colours in their hair will tell you, it takes a lot of work. Some people suggest dying it every 6 weeks although I definitely didn't do that. I'd wait a while until the roots got to the point where I REALLY had to do something about and then do it but even then it was probably every other month. The worst part for me was that when my roots did come through, because of my natural colour being brown but not particularly dark they looked grey, so I was a 14 year old who looked like she was going grey, never a good look!

I decided that I needed to give my hair a break from dye otherwise I would be in serious risk of it falling out or snapping off, neither of which I wanted to happen! I put a deep brown dye over the red and decided I would leave it at that. Unfortunately, my hair had other ideas. As you can see here, even when I put a brown dye on my hair the red shone through a lot which was fine initially! It was quite nice to have my hair look slightly different colours in different lights and the brown made it look shiny and like it was in good condition even though it wasn't (my reason for preferring Garnier dye). The brown faded within a few months but the red underneath stuck like super glue. The photo above, which those of you who have seen some of my music things will recognise as the one I use for a lot of that, shows the way the different dyes stuck to my hair. It really was awful at that point. You can really see the different levels of colour in my hair from the very light, golden brown at the roots (the result of a brown dye clinging to my roots that had not been dyed before far more than the rest of my hair that had been dyed) through the dark, reddish brown and ending with the gingery-brown at the ends. After putting about 3 brown dyes over it, all of which needed two boxes of dye because my hair was so long by this point, I pretty much gave up. As the next photo shows, all the brown washed right off my hair but the red stuck and I decided there was no other choice but to let it grow out. It was a real pain for the first few months and I really had to resist dying it again but I'm so glad I persevered with it. By the time prom rolled around last year (2013 when I was 16) a lot of it had grown out and I had it put up so it actually looked nice with the different colours.  

So here we are, it's been nearly 2 years since I last dyed my hair (if I remember rightly it was October 2012 I last dyed it brown) and I'm so glad I decided to leave it and not dye it any more. If I'd kept trying to dye it I'm sure I would've been dying it for the rest of my life and although I'd still love to do something to it I know the likelihood is I won't, purely because it's taken so long for it to grow out this far. My natural colour is now roughly down to my collar bone, meaning if I wanted to have all the dyed hair cut off so I can really start fresh I could and it probably won't be much longer until I do. For the moment, I like my ombred look that took no effort at all although the dyed hair is still in very bad condition and I'm definitely enjoying having my hair longer than it's ever been before. 

Before I dyed my hair, everyone told me my hair would never be the same if I did and I brushed it off thinking the dye would fade or I could just dye it back to my natural colour and leave it but it really doesn't work that way at all. Take it from someone who knows, if you're thinking of dying your hair a colour that is drastically different from your natural colour, you'll probably never get your natural colour back without letting it grow out, and that is a painful process that requires a lot of patience. As I mentioned before, I'm probably going to have to cut all of the dyed hair off fairly soon as I've noticed it seems like all of it is split ends, and if it's not it's definitely so dry it splits very easily. I can't tell you how many hair masks and products and tips and tricks I've tried. Many of them help (I can do a blog post on what worked for me if you'd be interested, let me know in the comments) but none of them fix it. It can be even more of a pain if you're trying to grow your hair at the same time, so much so that I'm sure I'll give in and just go for the chop very soon.

So that's it! The story of my hair over the last 6-7 years complete with a word of warning about dying hair. I hoped you enjoyed this very long post (there was a lot to talk about!) and let me know if you've had any bad hair dyeing experiences in the comments below. Don't forget to let me know if you'd like that post on getting healthier hair and feel free to request any other posts about things you'd like to know more about!

Lucy x

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