Being a naturally flat dark blonde, my hair when left to it’s own devices is a little non descript and dare I say “mousey”. Having not coloured my hair up until the age of 21 I started to experiment with the usual quick fixes, namely “sun in”, lemon juice and other lightening agents that were readily available on the high-street in an attempt to brighten and lighten my locks and give me a bit of a boost. It wasn’t until much later that I started down the highlighting route and I feel as if I’ve been on this merry-go-round ever since!
I put a stop to this earlier this year and experimented with my natural colour, thinking A. I would save heaps of money (as with naturally fast growing hair it couldn’t take that long to grow out hey)? and B. With 40 fast approaching I had multiple “platinum” shades coming through which I naively presumed would do the work of a highlighter and “lift” my mousey base. Fast forward 7 months and I was feeling more than a little drab as my natural colour zapped my every life force and just made me feel a little plain.
On a whim I bought a home hair dying kit, thinking I’m missing a trick here, surely it can’t be that difficult can it? I was persuaded by the lull of saving money and time spent at the hairdressers on a 3 hour appointment every 8 weeks. The result as you can see in the main picture was horrifying, I looked like a yellow parrot and as many of you will already know, warm undertones do not harmonise with my natural skin tone. Helped massively by the wine that I had consumed that evening, it wasn’t until the next morning in the cold light of day that I could really assess the damage that I had inflicted upon my hair. This is when the panic set in, but luckily for me I had a very sympathetic and accommodating hairdresser, Rachael Kennedy at Gronn eco-salon in Bury
Rachael was a total star from the minute I contacted her and squeezed me in to her jam packed Saturday schedule to commence restorative work on my yellow locks immediately. Not only did she calm my heightened anxiety which after 12 hours of looking like a sunflower was alarmingly high but within 45 minutes she had worked her magic and I was starting to look and feel like me again. This, as Rachael described was stage one, a temporary improvement with an all over toner to remove the brassy tones which was going to need additional work to create a long lasting colour that was going to harmonise with my skin tone and eye colour. Another 3 hours with Rachael the following week and the cost of a full head of highlights has taught me a very important life lesson as the owner of a blonde crop!
DO NOT ATTEMPT TO DYE BLONDE HAIR BY YOURSELF! Lesson learned, thank you Rachael Kennedy!
For this months blog, I’m enlisting the help of my good friend, Julie Butterworth (lovingly known as Mrs B) of SOS (Simply Organised Spaces) to take us on a journey of what going grey can do for you when you embrace it head on! Julie did not start life with white hot hair, she was actually more of a medium warm brunette with a warm skin tone to boot and enjoyed her 30’s choosing clothing shades to compliment these two attributes such as oranges and lime greens. Fast forward a good few years and Julie was tired of the endless upkeep that having a medium brown crop meant and the multiple root touch ups that she had to endure. A good hairdresser (in Julie’s case it was Shaunna at Evolve in Edenfield) worked through the transition process of dark to light or as Shaunna refers to it, “Colorado to Natural White”, perfectly.
So lets begin on New Years Eve with the original picture, top left, Julie hated the way her hair was making her feel and didn’t like the amount of make-up that she was needing to use in order to feel “human”. It was at this moment that Julie took the brave step to stop dying her hair as part of her New Years resolution.
A good hairdresser will support you through each stage of the process and Shaunna did just that, agreeing to let the underneath layers grow out for 3 months (it’s worth mentioning at this point that Julie has fast growing hair) whilst topping up colour on the top layers and roots. The second picture demonstrates 4 hours at the hairdressers of which non of the “grow out” hair was coloured. This was followed up every 4 weeks where Julie had a conditioning bleach strip for a few minutes at a time which kept removing colour but which kept the hair conditioned. The final result came just 9 months after Julie started the process and she maintains this look with regular stylish cuts and White Hot Hair products.
With the alteration in Julie’s hair tone from that of a warm hue to that of a cool hue she realised that some of her most favourite shades in her wardrobe were no longer making her look and feel fantastic. Following a colour consultation and make-up prescription, Julie discovered her most flattering colours to match her shiny new locks.
So, is going grey something to be feared or avoided? If you ask me, Julie looks 10 years younger as a Silver Siren, so what are you waiting for?
Clients will often ask me about their most flattering hairstyles so I thought this months blog should be dedicated to our hair and how we decide to style it. When considering a radical change for your hair there are a few considerations I always suggest before commiting to something new.
Do you have the name of a good hairdresser? One whose opinion you trust and someone who can cut your hair with good effect? If not, I suggest asking for a recommendation from someone you’ve seen whose hair you like. Even if it’s a stranger, bite the bullet and ask. No-one is going to take offense at you saying that they’ve got great hair so what have you got to loose! Next, consider your lifestyle and style personality. It’s no good opting for a high maintenance style if you’ve just had a baby and the likelihood of you brushing your locks is a reach before you even think about blow drying it! Style personality is crucial here too, as a classic myself, I would find it really difficult to cope with an asymmetrical style or one that forever looks dishevelled.
If you find it difficult articulating to your hairdresser the exact look that you want to go for then why not take some time before your appointment to collect some pictures of the types of colours and styles that you want to emulate. That way, there can be no miscommunication about what you want in terms of layering, feathering, low lights, highlights etc.
At Styled In Colour we concentrate on 5 fundamental face shapes, and each one brings with it a consideration for which styles will suit you best. Your hairdresser will be able to guide you on this in more detail but here’s an overview to assist with your initial research.
The Oval face is balanced, the forehead is slightly narrower than the cheek bones and it slopes inwards from the cheekbones to the chin. Most hairstyles will suit an oval face shape but additional considerations need to be made in relation to neckline and age and what the hair can easily do.
The Square face has a wide forehead and the cheekbones and jaw are all in line. The jaw is angular in appearance. Hairstyles for the square face are all about softening the angles and giving the appearance of width at the cheekbones. Width and volume to the upper part of the face work well. Curls and layering are great for softening angles. Avoid straight bobs and heavy straight fringes.
The Rectangle face is long and narrow with a square shaped chin. Hairstyles need to give the illusion of widening and shortening the face whilst softening the jawline. Any layered style works well. A fringe will always help. Add some fullness around the ears along with a softly layered crown. Avoid long straight styles with a centre parting.
The Inverted Triangles have a wider temple and forehead, narrowing down to a small chin. Hairstyles need to add volume and interest to the jawline. A one-length bob that finishes just below the ear lobe turned in or flicked out works well. Light and feathered fringes also work. Avoid short, cropped hairstyles that finish above the ears.
Finally we have our Round face shape, in which the cheeks are full and the edges of the face are rounded. The hairline across the forehead is often rounded too. Asymmetric partings and fringes work well. A light feathered style will break up the fullness of the face. Avoid big perms or rounded bobs.
It goes with out saying that the colour choices you make for your hair have a significant effect on what outfit colours harmonise best with it. If you are at all unsure then why not book in for a complimentary colour session in which we can work out your colour dominant before recommending what make-up colours will harmonise with you the best.