Saturday, June 28, 2014

My compleat hair colour angst. As the six or seven regular readers of this blog may realise, it has been four years since I dyed my hair red for a costume party and then just kept on being a redhead. My mother continues to be miffed that I am rejecting my 'natural' hair colour, but as I have always wanted to be a redhead, I feel more myself this way.

I'm always pleased whenever strangers or acquaintances assume this is my 'real' hair (of course any hair that grows from one's head is 'real'), and am chagrined whenever I have to admit that I have to use dye to maintain this colour.

But this year, I think it's been part of my malaise that I have been fretting that my hair colour has grown faded and dull. I have done a lot of thinking about different shades of red, including the creation of my Celebrity Ranga Swatch Chart. Christina Hendricks continues to be my guiding light.

Maybe now is a good time – and this personal blog the ideal space – to look back in narcissistic detail at the evolution of my hair colour since May 2010.

30 May 2010 – uneven pinkish shade achieved using LiveColour Red Embers

5 December 2010, looking like Chopper Read

13 February 2011, about to go to a Yacht Rock-themed event

27 May 2011, super unimpressed by the stupid brown colour Stanley's colourist dyed my hair. Brown ≠ red!

28 May 2011, after getting my hair redyed. The original colourist was so angry she refused to look at or speak to me; another person did the dyeing.

11 June 2011 – toilets selfie at Anusha's wedding

4 July 2011 – I used this pic as a work headshot for a while

7 July 2011, seriose hipster

18 July 2011 – ruh-oh, regrowth! I used LiveColour in Aztec Copper to cover it up, with limited success

19 October 2011 – I used this as a headshot for a while, too

18 December 2011 (note the Christmas outfit) – getting seriously faded and regrowthy by now. I think this is when I started to use Cinta Colour Highlight Shampoo in Auburn. You just use it like a regular shampoo (I tend to wash my hair every three days) and leave it in for a couple of minutes before rinsing. It has henna in it and the colour builds up gradually and permanently.

2 March 2012: I'd just had a haircut but didn't dye it – this is achieved solely through colour shampoo. I honestly think this is the nicest hair colour I have ever achieved.

10 October 2012, stupid face, still nice hair colour

2 February 2013, in Savers: "LOL look at me, I'm Julia Gillard!"

16 June 2013, wearing my Red Gestalt Lipstick

1 November 2013, in my Dead Lady's Cardigan. (Here's a secret: sometimes when I feel sad and desperate I put on the cardigan and imagine that its former owner, Hedi, is my spirit guide)

30 November 2013: Here's where I think the sad fading begins to be obvious. In November I went away to Mallacoota for a week and didn't take my colour shampoo.

3 March 2014, after I tried to do Amy Adams-esque American Hustle hair for Oscar night

12 April 2014 – tragic grunge hair

30 April 2014 – pitiful! Looks like my frickin' natural hair colour

1 June 2014 – a collage I made when I started to seriously fret about my terrible faded hair. The bottom left pic was taken on 15 August 2013, when my hair was last cut.

10 June 2014, after most recent haircut. But hair colour still no less blah and faded

28 June 2014, windswept. This week I decided to leave the colour shampoo in for 10 mins rather than the usual 2-3 mins, and maybe it will take a few washes to see the effect of that. But if not, I now have the option of freshening up my hair colour using one or more of the following products:

Top left is some hair dye I got in a showbag at last year's L'Oréal Melbourne Fashion Festival (Virgin Australia is now the name sponsor). It's too fake-looking and pinkish for my taste, and a Google Image Search suggests it produces something like Rihanna's red hair period, or that deliberately fake-looking hair that rockabilly chicks seem to like.

My colour shampoo is in the centre, with good old LiveColour Aztec Copper on the top right. That's probably my next option, as it's just a subtle rinse.

The bottom two are permanent dyes I bought but then chickened out of actually applying because I was worried what they would do to my hair. I think the Essential Colour would produce a colour more like my 2011 redye job, whereas the Excellence Creme would produce a paler but hopefully brighter colour.

Also, the other day I was in the supermarket and noticed that L'Oréal's Féria brand has a range of bright reds which includes "Mango Intense Copper".

Going by Google Images, it gives you a colour that looks obviously fake, but is still within the general spectrum of natural reds. You look like Tori Amos or Shirley Manson.

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