Let’s talk hair colour, or rather, lack of it!

I read so many posts on social media about the stress of ‘transitioning’ colour, or becoming silver & ditching the dye, but this is an experience you only have if your have dark blonde, brown or darker hair. If you have naturally light blonde or red hair, your experience, as I found out, won’t be the same. Remember, ‘grey’ is created by mixing black and white, hence there is no such thing as ‘grey hair’ only white hairs and dark hairs mixed together. So, pallid blondes and redheads see their colour fading, becoming less bright, until finally it is white but don’t really go grey.

I am, or was, a natural redhead. I was born with dark auburn ‘ginger’ hair – lots of it actually. It went down to the middle of my back and stood up in a point on top of my head!! (Think clown and you’ve got the picture.) The nurses washed it the night I was born and at only a few weeks old I had the back and top cut! I have a photo somewhere, of me, sitting in a pram, clearly under a year old, with what looks like a wavy short bob and a big bow on the top of my head!

I continued to live a ‘ginger life’ until my mid-40s. At school that meant being teased for my freckles, and being picked out when there was any group ‘messing about’. I went through stages of hating my colouring and as I got older, loving it. With red hair comes a pale complexion, and I was always envious of friends who could lie in the sun and go a glamorous bronze whilst I remained, well, white,

In my early 40s my red hair began to fade, much to my distress. Being a redhead is more than having ginger hair, it was part of me and my character, my being. But, as I worked for a hairdressing company it was never a problem to have my hair coloured, firstly with semi-permanent tones and then, as more white appeared, permanent colour. In the ensuing years I went every shade of red including bright orange (which I loved!) Then the white roots appeared almost overnight and the colour didn’t take so well on the regrowth, so I started going blonder sometimes with a reddish toner. And that, I thought was how I’d continue, as I had no plans to ditch the dye!

Then came 2021 and Lockdown. Without any chance of seeing my friendly colourists in London, I coloured my own hair a few times with the same colour Holly Willoughby promotes – and actually it looked OK, pretty good in fact. But then, one day, as I was colouring my hair, I realised I wasn’t really seeing my roots anymore, so last summer I stopped and this is the result!

The bottom few inches are of course, the remains of the colour I was using, but the crown and area just past my ears are colour free. What I’ve realised is the few remaining ginger hairs give my hair a blonde effect and actually the back and under areas aren’t as white as I’d thought .

More to the point If I’d realised all this years ago, I wouldn’t have bothered colouring it!!! And in my case, it isn’t about the cost, just the time and the fact I was calling in favours to get one of my colleagues to colour my hair!

So almost a year on, in my head I’m still ginger, but there are other facts to consider too. As you age your skin tones change , and lighter, softer colouring around the face is more flattering to both the skin tones and complexion.

One thing though… if you decide you are going to stop colouring your hair and embrace your natural colours, don’t ignore your brows, because they need colour! Brows frame and enliven your face and give you a lift. Let your hair go grey/white but keep on defining those brows….you’ll thank me for this tip!


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