Hair Colouring - Oh my...

The History

Since about 20 years now I am an artificial red head. I feel at home in red and believe that this is the colour I actually should have been allocated when my blueprint was made, but that somebody didn't do the job right and forgot to add the hair colour.

Naturally I am a dark blonde what translates into dirty dust - dark blonde is not blonde anymore and not brown yet, it is the colour of boredom. So although my insistence on artificial colour might be obnoxious in the light of all the health dangers it poses... this is my last resort of naughtiness, a sacrifice I am willing to take for the superficial beauty...

I just cannot be boring anymore.

During my downhill slide the hair colour slid as well, and on turning round the wheel the colour was the first thing to come back, well it was one of the easiest things to change.

For about 5 years now I had salon colour and at times I felt as if my purse was keeping the whole of the hairdresser business alive. Back in Germany I used to cut and colour my hair... I should be able to do that again. Hmm, had forgotten that back then I had short hair, but the cut I gave myself now was not too bad - at least hubby didn't notice a difference. That is good enough!

The Search

And then the search for the perfect colouring product started. All the internet references named salon brands; one can order them, but they won't come as a pack with the development fluid. One would need to be a hairdresser to know how to handle that stuff. Additionally I was after a clean copper tone. This is difficult to get hold of. A lot of reds have an aubergine hue which I don't like. There is no natural aubergine hair colour, and I want a red that looks as if I am born with it - not working for the whole fruit range from morello to egg plant.

The Semis

Enquires with friends revealed that they used semi-permanent colours. Fine by me - however, turns out they don't do proper reds.

See, semi-permanents only put a cover around the hair and don't chemically alter the structure of the hair. If it is very frizzy with a rough surface a bit might seep in but basically it stays on top.

That is why the hair seems to have more volume and looks healthier. All the crevasses are plastered with dye particles which then gradually wash off.

If however your own tone is darker than the colour wished for or if one would want a strong colour this is almost impossible to achieve with just layering. It's like painting with crayons and starting with the dark colour first - it always will shine through. Salon dye seems to have stronger chemicals, but they need to be controlled more closely, so to avoid law suits, producers wouldn't sell those on the shelves. In a nutshell: there were no strong copper reds.

The Permanents

Well, scary... especially in long hair. And one doesn't get proper colour charts. What is printed on the box is not necessarily how it looks like.

Although I hate to go with a brand that is aggressively advertised at the telly, I found that Garnier actually has a rather good web site and that the colour range was promising. I went straight for the copper brown only to find that this particular one was nowhere to be found on the shelves. Watermelon - yes; Copper Brown - no.

Watermelon looked tempting on the chart, but who would ever dare using a colour with that name.

For me a watermelon is pink-ish. So I ordered copper-brown via the internet, got it delivered and a few days later did the deed!

Doing the Deed!

Since I have a bit of experience in doing my own dying, I only can say that I am thrilled. In the old days I had short hair - that is easy. The first time I did it here in England 10 years ago I had long hair and messed up my lovely new bathroom; I still can see the stains. But Garnier Nutrisse Cream is very easy to handle, stinks a bit but I had worse - that is typical permanent, chemicals are needed to break the hair structure and bring the pigments into the hair.

And then the really amazing thing: 25 minutes recommended to leave it on, and 35 for lots of greys. So I left it for 30 minutes, washed it off, and my hair was soft and greys were all gone. Salon colours usually leave my hair very brittle and in need for conditioners. Here I used the conditioner provided for the initial wash and later on: No conditioners, only a bit of Aloe Vera, but much less than usual.

So the brand is good and works well.

The Outcome

Well, the colour turns out to be darker than on the photos on the pack with the brown overwhelming the copper. That at least is the safer bet, you wouldn't want to have it the other way round, at least not unexpectedly.

The picture is taken outdoors with dull weather and no artificial lights from the top. I actually quite like it, especially for winter, although it has this slight aubergine touch to it.

Although the roots had grown out for about a good inch and the rest still had bright copper highlights the new head has one even shade. So it is a strong dye, covering greys and uneven tones, but appearing a bit darker rather then brighter compared to the box.

Sometimes I think that the brown is fading a bit after a few washes, leaving more room for the copper, but it very much depends on the light. The picture to the left I only took now, about two weeks later than the one above, in the dark with just a flash, basically a similar set-up - and it still is the same colour.

While the one to the right I took 2 minutes later with the ceiling lights switched on without a flash. Now the colour appears to be an even brighter copper than on the pack.

So yeah! Not sure where this leaves me. At least I now know how the pictures on the box are made - with a lot of light!

Hubby just popped in, I showed him the pictures, and he confirmed that my 'real' look is somewhere in the middle, and that it does depend on the light.

At least it is a nice colour which suits me. So for the time being I have to live with the fact that I am not a flaming red head anymore, except if I glue myself underneath some very strong yellow light.

Next time I will dare the watermelon!

Will keep you posted...

by Rika, 10th December

IL - Articles on:

Fashion ...
Silly-buys make outfit
Fashion - What is it?
Shoes, Shoes, Shoes
Whose fault is it?

...& Beauty
Haircolour, Oh my...
My Magic Aloe Vera
From Fluff to Buff
From Fluff to Buff- Sequel
From Fluff to Gorgeous

Other Links
Play Make-Up

Word of Mouth
nyx&HollyBlue - Woodbridge
RD Hair - Woodbridge
La Ola Boutique - Fuerteventura

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Author: Rika