Bette Davis. Rita Hayworth. Lucille Ball. Judy Garland. June Allyson. What’s the common denominator? Hair. Each of them is a redhead; be it fiery orange or dark and sultry, they have beautiful red locks.
My mum’s hair is naturally ginger, yet she hates it. I remember her telling me once that when she was pregnant with me she told the doctor to send me back if I came out with ginger hair! I only wish this had been the case, but as my dad has black hair and olive skin I was destined to be mousey brown!
For as far back as I can remember, my mum has dyed her hair all shades of red, and at about 14 I started to do the same. Mainly with semi permanent colours or henna products that would make my hair a few shades lighter with a red tinge in the sun. At college, I began to experiment with different cuts and styles, with bleached parts and different coloured highlights. When I got married, my hair was a rich mahogany shade. Since then, my hair has been black. I have naturally black eyebrows and olive skin so it suits me well, plus its very low maintenance. But I have been longing for a change.
A friend of mine is a hairdresser, and I have been telling her for a long time that I wanted to be ginger. The answer was always no! So I began to research my favourite shades of red, and put together a mood board of all the ones I liked best. I spoke with my friend and we eventually agreed on the shade that would work best. She spoke to her colleague who agreed to help me. So one Sunday afternoon, I headed to Westcliff to finally become a redhead.
Step 1 – Bleach. We had to lift the black out of my hair, and this wasn’t going to be easy. I have quite thick hair, coupled with the remnants of a two year old perm and three years of black hair dye built up. The bleach was lathered on and within 20 minutes it was lifting the colour from my hair. I cannot tell you how itchy and painful it was to have bleach on my hair for so long. It was heavy and hot, and I feel for anyone who does this regularly because I hated every minute of it!
Step 2 – Colour. The dye looked the most amazing colour in the bowl, and I couldn’t wait to see how it would turn out. It was applied and massaged in and then I had to wait. The bath looked like a crime scene with the red river running through it when we washed the colour off
Step 3 – The Big Reveal. I hadn’t really looked in a mirror since the process began, other than to take the obligatory “instagram selfie” of the progress with the bleach, and so I was totally unaware of how my hair was looking. A quick trim and followed by a blow dry and I was ready to see the results. I loved it!!
I much prefer life as a redhead, and I love how it looks with my vintage clothing. Even the hubby agreed, hurrah! He said it was like having a new wife, so I hope he doesn’t want to trade me in!
I’ve attached some pictures of my inspirations, along with the selfies of the process and the finished result. I hope you like it as much as I do!