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View Full Version : Should I go back to my natural hair color?



endlessly
February 24th, 2015, 10:32 AM
I'm going to start by saying that at least in my opinion, I take really good care of my hair - I limit my washings, always use deep conditioners and leave-in conditioners, cut out silicones and harsh sulfates, and I never use heat to style my hair. That being said, I still dye it. I know, I know, that's pretty bad, but I honestly can't help myself.

From what I remember about my "natural" hair color, it was a light, golden brown, and I've been coloring it some shade of red/reddish brown for the past 10 years. Lately however, my roots are just getting out of hand. It's so much upkeep now that my hair is as long as it is, so I don't want to keep coloring the entire length, just touching up the roots, but that's almost as expensive (not to mention, still not a time-saver). I have about 2 inches of regrowth right now and the color is definitely not what I remember it being. I know in contrast with the red, I'm probably not getting a true idea of the shade, but it honestly looks like more of a grey-brown, or as I've been corrected in my house "ash brown".

I've always thought of myself as more of a redhead, it compliments my skin tone so much better and I personally think the color is beyond gorgeous...but the upkeep! I don't want to keep coloring my roots every 4 weeks...and that's exactly what I have to keep doing.

I'm worried that coloring my length to match my roots, this so-called "ash brown", will make me look older and that's not something I'm ready for. Any thoughts or suggestions?

Arctic
February 24th, 2015, 10:45 AM
You are right, the roots will always look drab against the vibrant coloured hairs. You will only know how your real, current colour is by letting it grow out.

I coloured my hair from 13 years old to over 30 years old. First with market colours, then with henna. When I grew out my henna, my real colour looked just like you described yours. It was only after I started to have it down to my earlobes or so, that I started to really like it. And when I had cut the henna off, I learned to actually love my colour, and it suits me so well!

The hair colour changes as it is in contact with the elements, the lengths - not to mention the tips! - are never the same colour as the roots. I for example noticed I have some red pigment in my hair. It can be seen in certain light and in photos.

I don't have anything helpful to say, just that it will probably look much nicer than you would think when seeing roots, and that you will have a lot of support for your growing out journey here, if that's the decision you'll make.


PS. Nothing wrong with ashy brown, it's a beautiful colour, I think!
PPS. I understand the identity crisis of changing hair colour. I was also a redhead in my heart, and changing to my own ashy brown colour was a big step. I don't get many hair compliments anymore like I did with red hair, but I think this colour looks good on me, and I love it. I also love the easiness!

Arctic
February 24th, 2015, 10:50 AM
double post

Begemot
February 24th, 2015, 10:56 AM
I don't think anyone should feel bad about dyeing their hair. Sounds like you already take very good care of your hair and it shows by the looks of it, lovely hair in the avatar picture!
If you are serious when you say you don't want to keep coloring your roots... then don't, just stop and see what happens. Maybe you could try and look the situation from a different angle: maybe your own natural color suits you and makes you look your age/younger! There's so much hate for ash browns around but it doesn't have to be that way. There should be a pride thread for brunettes somewhere here. Maybe you could look that up and see other brunettes?
About my own experience of growing out my natural color. I didn't think I would love it, I guess I thought that I would just tolerate it since I was so sick and tired of dyeing. So there really was no choice. But now I really like and appreciate my natural hair. It's mine and it makes me feel good about myself. Some struggle with their own hair but I would advice to grow the color out before you judge it.
Good luck!! What ever you decide to do :) All you need to do is what's best for you.

wilderwein
February 24th, 2015, 11:04 AM
I still havent seen a natural hair color that doesnt look pretty! I have seen tho a bunch of hair colored heads (including me) wich just were meeeh. So my opinion is and ispired by another girl in youtube you should let your natural hair color grow and see it before greys start in! Isn't a little bit sad, that almost half of the women have never seen their natural hair color in their adult live?

lapushka
February 24th, 2015, 11:23 AM
Maybe see if you can try going past the 4 weeks without the upkeep. If you can do that, it means you *can* successfully grow out your hair. Why not try that first? ;)

Rosetta
February 24th, 2015, 11:41 AM
Maybe see if you can try going past the 4 weeks without the upkeep. If you can do that, it means you *can* successfully grow out your hair. Why not try that first? ;)
I second that :)

Also, Endlessly, if you do decide to grow out, definitely try a colour remover like ColourB4 /Color Oops to remove (at least some of the) dye, it will be easier to grow out then, the contrast won't be so big. Like Arctic said, everything else easily looks drab and greyish against red (even if it really isn't) ;)

But I wouldn't necessarily recommend dyeing your length to match your roots to begin with, as a dyed colour will never totally match a natural one, it will never be as multifaceted and natural-looking. And especially with ash colours, the result may well end up looking too "grey" and harsh, which may make you to decide you don't like your "natural colour", based on the dye result (which will be a wrong conclusion)...

I do know what you're talking about, as I've also been some kind of redhead for half of my life, and have felt that's part of my personality & identity, but now I'm kind of growing out my natural colour, at east for the time being ;) Simply because I finally realized it may actually suit me better than the red...

Arctic
February 24th, 2015, 11:46 AM
Oh, and I have occasionally played with temporary colours on my natural hair, it a little bit of fun for few weeks. (says she with freshly dip dyed ends)

Ferryl
February 24th, 2015, 12:16 PM
Inside myself I identify as a blonde, like I was when I was a kid. The last time I dyed my hair it was red. I am currently growing out my natural and it's brown (way darker than I ever remember, especially compared with the red). The red was from a salon, not henna, so in time had faded slightly from the vibrancy it originally had (which actually makes the color transition subtler). I gave up on the dye due to wanting to save money and hating all the upkeep. That was before my LHC days. I never cut off my red, because that would be a lot of length. Instead, I just ignored it and now when I do a bun, all of the hair is my natural brown color and the bun is red, lol. It's doesn't look nearly as peculiar as I worried it would look and with umbre being a thing, my hair is probably more trendy than I ever intended. The first part of the growing our process is the hardest. The good part as everyone has said is that if you can't tolerate it, you can always re-dye. *shrugs* So not really any downside to trying to grow it out and see how you like it.

endlessly
February 24th, 2015, 01:40 PM
Maybe see if you can try going past the 4 weeks without the upkeep. If you can do that, it means you *can* successfully grow out your hair. Why not try that first? ;)

Trust me, I've definitely tried to try doing that in the past, but I have very minimal patience! I think the previous time I had touched up my roots, I had waited 12 weeks and it was a nightmare.

endlessly
February 24th, 2015, 01:41 PM
Inside myself I identify as a blonde, like I was when I was a kid. The last time I dyed my hair it was red. I am currently growing out my natural and it's brown (way darker than I ever remember, especially compared with the red). The red was from a salon, not henna, so in time had faded slightly from the vibrancy it originally had (which actually makes the color transition subtler). I gave up on the dye due to wanting to save money and hating all the upkeep. That was before my LHC days. I never cut off my red, because that would be a lot of length. Instead, I just ignored it and now when I do a bun, all of the hair is my natural brown color and the bun is red, lol. It's doesn't look nearly as peculiar as I worried it would look and with umbre being a thing, my hair is probably more trendy than I ever intended. The first part of the growing our process is the hardest. The good part as everyone has said is that if you can't tolerate it, you can always re-dye. *shrugs* So not really any downside to trying to grow it out and see how you like it.

That actually sounds very pretty! And, you might even be the start of a new trend, you never know.

endlessly
February 24th, 2015, 01:45 PM
Well, I picked up a couple of options for myself and I'm going to sleep on it and very strongly think about my choices. I have my traditional Clairol Nice 'n Easy Root Touch-Up in 5R....or, I have Garnier Olia in 6.0 Light Brown. I've used both brands in the past several times, so I know the type of results I will see, but I'm going to think about it.

I have the unfortunate tendency to set my mind on something before I make an official decision, so as it stands right now, I'm about 99% sure that I'll color it brown and see what happens. As pretty as red is, it's just so much work to maintain...a fact I know all too well! I remember going brown several years ago for about 6 months and not having to touch up my hair once and honestly, I miss that feeling! So, here's hoping!

Thank you for all of the advice, ladies, I greatly appreciate it!

sumidha
February 24th, 2015, 02:19 PM
Everyone is different of course, but my hair grows out of my head ashy brown and within a few inches starts sun bleaching to red, so you might luck out and end up with naturally reddish hair after all. :)

meteor
February 24th, 2015, 02:24 PM
Endlessly, if you do decide to grow out, definitely try a colour remover like ColourB4 /Color Oops to remove (at least some of the) dye, it will be easier to grow out then, the contrast won't be so big.

^This! :agree:


The first part of the growing our process is the hardest. The good part as everyone has said is that if you can't tolerate it, you can always re-dye. *shrugs* So not really any downside to trying to grow it out and see how you like it.

^ Absolutely! Also, if you do get antsy to dye again to hide the roots, use only temporary, deposit-only non-damaging dyes like Manic Panic, Adore, Pravana, Directions... They'll fade over time, and by that time the demarcation line will be a lot lower, making the ombre stage a lot less awkward. ;)

gwenalyn
February 24th, 2015, 02:48 PM
There's one member on here who dyed her roots a little less every few weeks, so as it grew out the color transition looked very soft and not harsh at all. I *think* it was Sarahlabyrinth?

endlessly
February 25th, 2015, 10:27 AM
One of my most terrible qualities is that I'm extremely impulsive...so, I not only colored my hair (which, I'm very happy with the brown color because it matches my roots perfectly and was incredibly easy to use), but I also trimmed off my rather scraggly-looking ends. I think I've been lying to myself about the health of my ends lately. It's been two years since I last had a cut and while I do occasionally S & D, that's still not enough to cut off all of the damage. So, I cut off about 7 inches which was extremely, extremely difficult, but now my ends aren't tangling at all and I finally got rid of that leftover "ombre" I had from several years ago. Back to tailbone length!

lapushka
February 25th, 2015, 10:40 AM
One of my most terrible qualities is that I'm extremely impulsive...so, I not only colored my hair (which, I'm very happy with the brown color because it matches my roots perfectly and was incredibly easy to use), but I also trimmed off my rather scraggly-looking ends. I think I've been lying to myself about the health of my ends lately. It's been two years since I last had a cut and while I do occasionally S & D, that's still not enough to cut off all of the damage. So, I cut off about 7 inches which was extremely, extremely difficult, but now my ends aren't tangling at all and I finally got rid of that leftover "ombre" I had from several years ago. Back to tailbone length!

Not too late to join the classic by Christmas 2015 challenge, surely. ;)

JellyBene
February 25th, 2015, 10:50 AM
Upkeep can be rough! I have ashy light brown/dark blonde too and it definitely looks weird against the red. I once let the roots get too long (2 inches ish) and someone actually commented on how "I went grey so young". Um no, that's just my natural color. I think you made the right decision to color it brown to make less of a contrast against the red :)

endlessly
February 25th, 2015, 10:51 AM
Not too late to join the classic by Christmas 2015 challenge, surely. ;)

I think it's safe to say I will easily meet that goal! Thank goodness for quick growing hair!