You name it, I’ve done it. I’ve had long hair, short hair, medium length hair. I’ve been blonde, brunette, black. Yes, black. I’ve had permed hair, flat-ironed hair.
I’m not one of those girls who has the same hair since high school graduation day.
Actually, looking back, even in grade school I never had the same hair for long! You can read more about my hair cuts here. This blog is primarily about COLOR.
Hair color. THIS is the only “natural color” picture I can find. 1986. Age 13.
That is the only picture I have of my true natural untouched hair color. Over the past 10 years my color has varied- some sort of blonde or auburn in one way or another…
2009 and 2010 were my favorites….the simple angled bob with a sideswept bang…..and my haircolor going drastically from one spectrum to the other:
Blonde haircolor out of a box. Feria #91. Beige blonde (although my hair always turns golden no matter what).
After a year of that I thought it would be fun to go super dark- a rich chocolate brown color:
I loved it! Got tons of compliments on how the color brought out my eyes. I was using a demi-permanent haircolor so it would fade as my roots would grow in. Natural Instincts #24 Clove (Medium Ash Brown) was my starting point, but in the picture above I used #28 Nutmeg.
I managed to keep my brunette color going for an entire year- even over the summer! At some point, though, my hair stopped taking the color. It would only last for a few days then fade to a reddish brown color and I was tired of hassling with it. I was also growing my hair out, too. Two years of the same hair style is just too long for me, I guess.
I decided it was time to go back to blonde (I had this professionally done).
I also had my hair layered so I could start growing it out again. But as it grew, it was just so ‘blah’:
So I went back to my favorite- a longer-than-chin-length-angled-bob, dark blonde with highlights:
But after a year of that, I was bored again. After looking over pictures of me with longer hair, I decided I’m just NOT a long-hair person. It is so blah and so boring. So I decided to take the plunge and go short again.
SHORT. Told the stylist that this time I want a sassy do. Not a “mom” ‘do. Make it fun and spunky and sassy. And she did!
Oh that is sooooo much more fun! And I get stopped in the store by strangers complimenting my hair.
The best compliments come from MEN who say something like, “I LOVE your hair! I wish my wife had the guts to cut her hair like yours. She keeps saying she wants to, but she’s too scared to do it.”
HA! THAT is the ultimate compliment in my book!
I spent 2014 experimenting with at-home color, adding highlights, trying to jazz it up a bit.
And then decided with summer in full force it would be fun to go back to all blonde. Yep, my typical ‘brassy’ blonde.
In July I decided to go even blonder:
This required a toner. I was using Wella T18 to tone out some of the brassiness.
By the end of summer my hair was even shorter and I had the urge to try platinum. Well, not true platinum, but pretty close. Step one was a bleach bath, because I was afraid to go just for the straight ‘bleach’. It’s basically mixing the bleaching powder (Kaleidoscope blue lightening powder) with developer, then adding an equal part of clear shampoo to “wash” it into your hair. Supposedly less damaging. I can’t really say for sure. It still wasn’t blonde enough, so I added highlights with just straight up bleaching powder and developer. I think it turned out well.
It’s fun and looks sassy, not boring. But, I ultimately got tired of the whole ‘bleaching’ multi-step thing (because after bleaching, even though I’m using a violet blue product, I STILL needed to tone my hair with Wella T18). It takes a lot of work to maintain both the cut AND the color.
Sadly, I never took notes on what formula (amount, times, etc.) I was doing- so I can’t readily replicate this. Due for a root touch up again, and it being NOVEMBER already, I opted to go darker. I wondered what would happen if I colored my hair with Clairol 9AA-BV (Ultra Cool Blonde Blue Violet). It came out a nice color, but it couldn’t lighten my roots enough- they were staying a lovely orangey gold color. (No pic)
I went darker- the Clairol 8N Natural Blonde.
Sure, looks nice in natural and low lights- but throw a flash or fluorescent lighting at me and it looks all brassy…. again:
And now here we are…..it’s January and my roots have grown….
[side note: I have no grays!! Still!! At age 41!!]
So what do I do? Do I continue to darken it- get closer to my natural color and add highlights?
Or hit up the super blond again?
Hi I found your blog and it helpes me to have the courage to finally bleach my hair. I was used to going to the salon for my same platinum highlights and level 7 low lights (loved the contrast) I am ashy 7 according to my stylist. But the pandemic came, my last salon visit was Jan 2020 and I had tried all of 2020 to keep it looking ok..it always went gold just like yours. So this year I said I am doing it. The first time I missed a few spots too. I am going to back over them this time. I due for a touch in a week or two and I will use your advise going forward. Thanks again!