My hair has always been one of the main sources of my self-esteem and confidence. (I know, lame.) I’ve never been a massive fan of my natural hair. It’s a light (mousy) brown colour and is not as full as I’d like it. That’s why, ever since I could, I’ve been playing around with it, testing out different colours and styles, looking for one that I felt both suits and makes me feel good about myself. I’m finally at that point, so I thought I’d share the journey of how I got here.
2007 – Natural brown with blonde streaks: My first time actually doing something with my hair was on a trip to see family in October 2007. I got simple blonde streaks that grew out pretty quickly, within a year or so.
Summer 2011 – Natural brown with a navy blue/sliver fringe: I got the idea to start colouring my hair bright colours after watching Leda Muir’s videos. However, I was a bit scared to bleach it, in case I didn’t like the result, so I bought some semi-permanent dye from Manic Panic and put it over my natural hair. The result was one day of a navy blue colour and the remainder of the week with a weird silvery tinge to my fringe… Safe to say I’d learnt my lesson: I needed to use bleach.
End of 2011/Early 2012 – Natural brown with a purple fringe/under layer: My mum and I bleached my fringe and the under layer of my hair, then dyed it using Manic Panic’s Ultra Violet. It turned out pretty well and I kept it for a bit, until I wanted something a bit lighter. I would later return to this colour around grade 12 graduation.
Spring 2012 – Natural brown with a pink fringe/under layer: Between being Ultra Violet, I decided to dye my hair using Manic Panic’s Cotton Candy. While it didn’t have the staying power of the Ultra Violet, I was a fan of the peachy colour it faded out to.
Summer 2012 – Natural brown with a green and blonde fringe/under layer: This was the result of my getting lazy with my dye jobs. I let the Ultra Violet fade completely, where it left behind green-stained hair with blonde parts. Wasn’t a great look at all.
Fall 2012 – Blonde: I’ve always wanted to be blonde, ever since I was in elementary school, so I thought what better time to go all in than when fixing the ugly green? Also, I was starting university and thought a fresh look would do me some good. To this date, this is still my favourite hair period. While the blonde wasn’t platinum, it was a warm shade, and the hair style I had was pretty sweet. Not going to lie, I miss it.
January 2013 – Blue: This was a mistake from the get go. I used Manic Panic’s Atomic Turquoise and liked it for a few days. But after I while I saw how washed-out the colour made me look, and I just couldn’t be bothered with the upkeep. I eventually gave up and let it fade to a greenish-blue colour before bleaching it out. The best part? It had stained my hair, so there were a few blue patches on the back of my head.
February 2013 – Red: This was a boxed dye. At first, it was pretty dark, then faded to a reddish-orange colour that I loved! Not going to lie, I was tempted to go full-on Hayley Williams during this time.
Spring 2013 – Blonde: I went back to blonde once the red had nearly fully faded and stuck with that for a bit. Are you seeing a trend? Blonde was always my go-to, which while boosting my confidence was killer on my hair.
Summer 2013 – Red: This was around the time I was heading into hospital for eating disorder treatment. Knowing I wouldn’t be able to keep the blonde up, I decided to go back to red for about a month or two, until it started looking a bit too faded for my liking.
Fall 2013 – Black/dark brown: To hide the faded red, I thought it’d be a swell idea to dye my hair black – without taking into account how porous my hair had become. This was a boxed dye (GOSH, I believe), and in total my hair was black for one day before fading to a dark brown and eventually back to my natural colour. From there, I kept my hair brown for almost a year.
August 2014 – Blonde: The decision to go blonde again came out of the blue. I can’t remember why I decided to to do this, but I did, and this time I went to a professional. After an afternoon at the hair dressers, I was platinum blonde, with a little icy blue streak on the right side.
April/May 2015 – Ombre: The bleaching was starting to really damage my hair, so I decided to return to my natural hair colour, which then faded to an ombre colour. I kept this until the majority of the damaged hair grew out, which was about a year and a half.
November 2016 – Blonde: For the past year and a half or so, I’ve been back to platinum blonde. Considering this is the fourth time I’ve been completely blonde, I’d say this is the healthiest my hair has been, especially considering how bleached it is. Of course, I still have breakage, but I’ve been working to combat it with products like Olaplex, and I’m hoping to keep this colour for the long term.
So there you have it, my complete hair history. I hadn’t realized how much I’ve done with my hair until I sat down and went through the list, and considering I need to keep it neutral colours for work, this might well be the end of road for experimentation. Which, if I’m being honest, I’m totally okay with.