Style Help: Hair!

So. Hair.

I’ve never been one to alter my hair, color wise. The one and only time I’ve dyed it was during my senior year of high school: I lost a bet, and my forfeit was to temporarily (as in the foam-last-for-a-week type) dye it a color of the victor’s choosing.

Luckily, the victor was my on-again-off-again flirt partner, Matt. He, not wanting to get out of my good graces, chose a bright burgundy. In my dark hair, it ended up looking spot on to the “black cherry” color that was so popular for cars that year. (Christy … do you have any pictures from that trip?) I LOVED it.

It lasted 2 washes. We did Christy’s hair from the same bottle … in her hair it lasted almost 2 months. Knowing what I know about hair composition now, it makes sense. At the time I figured my hair was just stupid, and so I never re-dyed it.

And then last week happened.

My hair is naturally a dark brown, with a TON of red highlights that show up when I’m out in the sun regularly. (When I was little people would accuse my mom of dying my hair for back-to-school … after a summer playing outdoors, I was basically a redhead.) Oh, and my eyebrows are red. And on my way to work Thursday I flipped down the mirror, saw a red eyebrow, and thought “I should dye my hair red.”

Cue frantic googling of red hair to determine the different options.

Also cue debilitating panic at the thought of messing something up.

Ideally, I’d end up with a natural red … not much lighter than my current color, but not dark cherry either. I think what I’m after is  more of what I remember from childhood … the dark brown with a ton of highlights. Or something like this, just a little darker: *


Um, yah. I don’t have the money to spend on a professional quality highlight job right now.

So that leaves doing it at home. I’m not ABOUT to mess with highlights … so that leaves full color. And I’m thinking a demi-color … a 28 wash type? That’d be about a month which how often I have to wash my hair (I have oily curly hair … super odd. I blame my parents.). Like I said, I’m terrified of messing something up.

Oh, and then throw in a husband who says “But I like your hair the way it is.”


Does anyone have suggestions? Should I try? Tips and tricks? Color suggestions? Brand suggestions? Or should I just forget the whole thing?


* Don’t act like you don’t take pictures of celebrities to your stylist. I’m TOTALLY not alone in this.

14 Comments to “Style Help: Hair!”

  1. Your hair sounds very similar to mine (dark brown, red highlights, curly and oily) although my hair normally holds color like nobody’s business. When I color my hair I usually do it out of a box, and I usually go for a dark Dr Pepper red color, because my hair is so dark it is hard to see anything else. I’ve had really good results from Garnier as far as box products go.
    That is about all the advice I can offer though. I have a girlfriend who was a professional hair stylist and I normally go to her and just tell her to fix it (like the time I got my hair caught in a dremel).

    If you can afford it (or save up for it) a professional is the best way to go. I splurged on my last birthday and got my hair lobbed off and colored a lovely natural red with highlights and it only cost me about $130 including tipping the lady. Well worth it, though 4 months later I am left with the dilemma of what to do about the inch of roots I have showing.

    • Hmm … that’s the second recommendation I’ve gotten for Garnier. I didn’t even know they did a temp version!

      • Hmm looking at it I don’t think they have a temp version at all. I never much paid attention to that bit because my hair will hold even temp color forever. If you decide to go permanent then Garnier is a good choice.

  2. I just did my hair recently for the first time in forever and I used the new John Frieda foam. I’d seen it around, but my ladies at We Heart This had an adventure with it and since I trust them I thought, “Why not?” And I LOVE IT. I used their deep brown-black, which is pretty much my color anyway, but it just brightened it up and made it look like me, but much better. Plus, the foam was easy and I didn’t drip once! They have few options in your color range, but I’m not sure how close they are to what you’re thinking…(I’m thinking the chocolate brown looks more like the picture than the more obvious red brown and cherry browns?)

    And I think I know the color you’re talking about, I had the same color in high school and I ADORED it. Almost like a super dark oxblood color, maybe?

    You also might think about using this as a time to look at Groupon or LivingSocial. They are ALWAYS doing salon stuff and that discount, plus some internet research, could add up to affordable hair color if you’re willing to wait for it…

    • Oh my dear lord, I did not even THINK about checking out Groupon et. al. …. I’m CONSTANTLY deleting salon offers. ::headdesk::

      And yes, the chocolate brown looks about right. The only problem is that it’s permanent color, and I’m just a damn scaredy cat.

      As for the oxblood color … I think we’re on the same page. I’ll have to find photos. It was FABULOUS. Totally not natural … totally awesome.

    • I rephrase … the chocolate brown is EXACTLY the color I’m going for. YAY!

      Now, to use that swatch to find a temporary…

  3. Don’t think I have any photos. It would have been fantastic to have a couple. But alas, no.

    That was a Vegas trip, right? Your senior, my junior year? I seem to remember the towels being in bad shape when we left the hotel room. Oh, and I think I got dumped because of it. Stupid boy.

    Love the color you picked!

    • Yep it was Vegas … and yes, those poor poor towels. ::laughs::

      I can’t believe you don’t have any photos. I know I do somewhere … I’ve got a big box of snapshots from high school (remember my closet door being covered?) sitting in storage. At some point I need to get them to Target for scanning.

      As for him … his loss. Also … was that time 7 or 8?

  4. I’m a full-on Henna addict. Have been since I was 15. Henna basically coats each hair in a semi-permanent red sheen, so it will look slightly different on everyone depending on the color you have underneath. The nice thing is that it is actually good for your hair (it’s used as a conditioner in many places in the world), and catches light really nicely. I have mousy brown hair and it comes out a coppery brown (here’s a pic with the color showing pretty well: In dark brown hair it would come out with the same darkness as your existing hair but with a nice reddish tint/sheen. Another bonus – a package of henna costs under $5 (and I’m not talking about the commercial mixes that some places sell but the real stuff either from an Indian/Persian store or online).

    • Where do you buy yours? Also … you say semi-permanent … how long does yours generally last before fading out?

      • I either buy it from an Indian market or order from online from a Vancouver supplier. However, this site would probably be good for ordering in the US: They also have some good info on henna generally.

        It is supposed to be semi-permanent, but I think it depends on your hair – in my hair it is pretty damn permanent. It does fade over time so you never get an obvious line in your hair as it grows.

        If you think you might be into it, let me know and I’d be happy to give you all the details!

  5. My current hairstyle is exactly from a picture I brought in to my stylist.

    The only tip I have is to put an inch or so strip of vasoline round your hairline so that that the color doesn’t dye your skin. That’s probably not so important when you’re dying your hair a natural color though.

  6. another possibility: Paul Mitchell just opened up a salon school in Tysons. I have heard good things, and am thinking I will go to try out a permanent wave. I had a great experience in the Toni and Guy salon school in London.

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