Sunday, 20 November 2011

The Hair Chronicles, Part 1: My Hair Story

I've been getting a lot of questions and lovely comments about my Red Hair, 
so I thought what better way to answer them than with a new feature: 
The Hair Chronicles! 

This series will include:
- My Hair Story
- Red Hair Inspiration
- How To Fade Your Hair (I know what your thinking, why would I want to fade my hair colour? However, if you ever have a hair disaster, or your hair becomes over saturated with product build-up, this feature will come in very handy)
- My Hair Care Routine
- How To Get The Hair Cut You Want
- How To Stop Your Hair From Fading
- How to Match your Make-Up with Red Hair
- Do's and Don'ts of Red Hair

If I've missed anything, or you have other questions related to Red Hair that you would like answered, then just leave me a comment, or email me

Let me start by saying I'm not a Hairdresser, 
far from it, but I've had Red Hair for over two years, so I know how to care for it, and the Do's and Dont's. 
I'll often be asked about my Hair, and I am quite proud of it because I've never had to bleach my hair. 
Yes, Never! 
This was a conscious decision I made, as anyone I have ever spoken to has regretted bleaching their hair. 
It's no secret bleach damages your hair and makes it more porous, obviously some colours cannot be achieved without a good bleachin', (Blondes, Bright Pinks etc), but I think if you can avoid an all over bleach, then your hair will thank you for it.
Of course most hair dyes contain peroxide, which is damaging to you hair, but no dye is ever going to be 'good' for your hair. On the other hand, I do agree that hair can feel and look healthier when it's been dyed, and let's face it, isn't that what we really want, a glossy, shiny looking mane?
Although this feature is focused primarily on Red Hair, some tips can be applied to other colours and styles.

As I mentioned, I've had Red Hair for just over two years. 
I decided to go Red when I was 17, I'd just moved out of my parent's home in Spain (where I lived for three years), moved back to Scotland and was about to start college. Any good teenage rebellion wouldn't be complete without dying your hair a crazy colour, and aren't your teenage years for experimenting?
I had never dyed my hair before, I'd had a couple of dodgy blonde highlights when I was twelve, but not an all over colour. I was torn between going Red or Blonde, but was advised by the Hairdresser that due to my pale complexion, dark eyebrows, brown eyes and freckles, Red Hair would suit me better. 
I was also swayed by the fact I could walk out of the hairdressers a Redhead, whereas going Blonde would be a gradual process, I'm very impatient and wanted a 'Wow' moment.
(Tip: Take your hairdresser's advice into account, it's their job to give you the best hairstyle they can, you don't need to follow their advice, but at least give it a second thought).

So without further a do, here is my Hair Story in pictures, please ignore the silly expressions/make-up looks/posing.
1. My 'Virgin' Hair, undyed and natural. I would say it was a medium to light brown that went golden in the summer and darker in the winter. I actually really liked my natural colour, I was just a bit bored of it, and wanted to experiment.
2. The day after I had it dyed, I also had it layered into a more voluminous and edgy style. I loved my hair like this, even more than I thought I would!
3. As I kept dying my hair the colour became more intense and would fade less. This is just a shot to show you how bright it was, and not a drop of bleach.
4. As you can see from this picture, the hair colour was building up and becoming more purple-toned, though it was still extremely vibrant.
5. I started to let my layers and fringe grow out, I was really becoming used to my Red Hair.
6. As my hair grew, I started taking a more classic approach to it, with a bouncy blow dry and soft curls.
7. But boredom crept in, and my Blonde Ambition started to take over. 
I knew Red + Blonde = Pink/Orangey Mess, so I stopped dying my hair and tried to let it fade. 
In this picture I hadn't dyed my hair in around 3 months, and I had used Scott Henshall's Colour B4 the night before. 
I literally only had this hair colour for a day as I had already booked my Hairdresser appointment, had I known it would be turn out such a lovely auburn red I would have never taken the next step.....
8. Yes I'm Brunette, and make-up free. Although this hair colour really isn't bad, I hated it!
I just didn't feel like me, I felt boring. 
I wear a lot of dark/black/white colours and my hair just blended in instead of standing out. 
When I walked into the hairdressers, I had very naive hopes of walking out blonde, but as I already had quite a lot of red still in my hair, it was not going to happen. 
So after a chat with my hairdresser, we decided that it would be best to cover it with a dark, chocolate brown for a couple of months then start adding highlights until I reached a golden blonde.
9. Did I mention I really disliked my Dyed Brown Hair?
So just over three weeks later I went back to Red, told you I was impatient. 
I couldn't wait for months, and several processes to be blonde, and I knew I loved being red, so I just went back to what worked for me.
10. The only problem was, my Red Hair was no longer as bright, dying my hair red on top of the Brown Dye had resulted in a dark, purple-toned red. I still much preferred this look to dark brown though. 
My hair was extemely long here, this was before I got talked into having 'a few inches' cut off, I loved the length and style, though it did take forever to dry/straighten. 
(How cute is my little Nephew?)
11. I started getting bored with my hair again, but rather than 'reachin for a bleachin', I asked for black flashes through my fringe, and black streaks through my lower layers.
This was probably the hairstyle that got the most compliments, it was really unusual and made me feel very unique, though I do think the black was building up too much.
12. This is a more detailed look of the hair stage I'm at now. As I said, I think the black was taking over a little, and I wanted to go back to bright, vibrant red (see top photos).
So after speaking to a different hairdresser, we decided to use a vitamin treatment (similar to Scott Henshall's Colour B4) and fade my hair, before using a permanent red dye on top. Stages 3 to 11 were all achieved by using semi-permanent dye. 
13. My hair as it is now, not my favourite picture of me, but it was taken in natural light so it gives the most accurate colour of my hair. As you can see, it's not as bright as it once was, but it's on its way. 

After speaking to my hairdresser, I've decided to start using permanent dyes again.
Let's face it, my hair was never going to fade to it's natural colour, even if I was using semi-permanent dyes. 
As a general rule semi-permanent dyes deposit colour and produce product build-up, therefore darkening the hair, whereas permanent dyes use peroxide and therefore lighten the hair, meaning from now my hair will only get lighter and brighter!

Hopefully, if your a red head, or thinking or dying your hair, this has helped you. 
Red hair is possibly the hardest colour to have, it fades the fastest, yet is a nightmare to dye over or fade. Red Hair is a huge commitment, and I've resigned myself to the fact I will be red for at least the next year, and if I ever do want to change my hair, I will have to either let it grow out, or dye over it with a darker colour.
However, I love my red hair, I feel like its 'me', and suits my skin-tone and the type of make-up I love to wear. Red Hair can evoke glamour, or edgyness depending on how you style it. Considering Red Hair is thought of as an 'out-there' or 'crazy' colour, it can look very natural, and is being accepted as a mainstream hair colour.

I should also mention that not once throughout my whole dying experience have I went to a Professional Salon. 
I only ever get my hair dyed/cut/styled at either my local college or as a Hair Model.
I've never had any problems and have always received the hairstyle I asked for. If your a poor student like me try your local college, or trainee salons, I think as long as you are specific in what you ask for then you will broadly get what you wanted, 
ie if you ask for caramel highlights with cool tones and a full-fringe then you will get it, you may not like it afterwards, but you have got what you asked for. 
Don't be afraid to be firm, and push for what you want, the only bad haircuts I've had have been when I've used the phrase, "Oh, you chose, I don't mind". 
Research for what you want, bring in pictures if you need to, but understand and take advice on what will work for you, if you have a slightly chubby face and extremely curly hair (like me), it's no use desperately clutching your picture of Emma Watson's Elfin Crop and hoping you'll get the same results. 
Keep in mind, that it is only hair, it may seem the end of the world if you get a dodgy cut or dye-job, but it will grow out, and everyone's been there.

Now I need your help! 
I've got an appointment at the Hairdressers tomorrow at 1.30pm and I can't decide what I want to do. 
Should I keep aiming for all over bright red? Or get my much-loved black streaks and flashes dyed back in? Any comments would be greatly appreciated as you know I love to read your opinions.

What was your favourite hairstyle from above? 
Are you looking forward to The Hair Chronicles?

M x


  1. I think you should keep going for your bright red hair. either way you decided your absolutely stunning and i love reading your blog :) xx

  2. I like the colour you had in the 3rd photo. My hair are red, but after many years of colouring my hair was suffering . So I started to use a natural product called hennè (lawsonia inermis). It's a plant that colours your hair in red but also protect it and make it very bright. It gives a very natural red, not very flashy to be onest...

  3. @Sii, What a sweet comment, you really made me smile, thank you x

    @Gofa, Oh, I'll have a look for it, really want a bright 'Florence And The Machine' kinda orangey-red though :)


Hey Lovely,
Please feel free to comment :)
I read all of them and I do a little dance inside everytime I get a new one.
If you would like a direct reply, then please email:
You are the reason I write this blog and I love to hear your views.
M x

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...