View Full Version : Forgotten my natural colour and other stories

April 18th, 2011, 07:16 PM
I'm an unnatural redhead who adores her colour, and whose hair is as healthy and strong as can be.But. I've recently started using oils, and it looks like they make my hair fade! Eeek! I love what they do for my hair, though, so I'm not sure what to do. My dye used to hardly fade at all and be lovely.

This has uncovered some other issues; e.g, I cannot really remember what my natural hair colour is. I remember how much I hated it, though - dull and gray and ashy and bland and frizzy and mousy and eeewww. I can't really remember how dark/light it was - I think about Hermione Granger in the films, and maybe that shade too? Before she got highlights I mean. I just think it was dark because it took dye like dark hair - made it uber-dark.

I also really want superlong hair, and while my hair is in wonderful condition now, I'm concerned about its long-term health - it will be 6 or 7 years old by the end! - and whether it will stop me growing it long. I also want to try henna which, on my (I think) fairly light natural colour might be quite bright, because this time I'd be dying over virgin rather than previously dyed hair. I really want a bright red.

I'm thinking of doing an experiment: growing out my roots for several months, till there's enough hair to really assess the colour. I saw about a cm this morning, and it looked like it had a golden sheen - I was so surprised! It didn't have that as I remember at all, it was so ashy... but maybe that's the effect of TLHC?

Then, I'll strand-test with henna. See what kind of red I get. Ideally I'd like something like these:



from something (I think) like this


But maybe more ashy.

maybe with cinnamon/honey lightening, and I'd probably be okay with a bit darker if it shone in the sun.

I'd like...some advice, I guess. Do you think aforesaid is possible? I'm prepared to cope with something of a compromise. If not, I suppose the choice is whether to continue oiling for health or just do go back to the box dye with everything a la
TLHC but without the oiling.

I don't know...I'm always so worried I'll damage my hair and have to start over. I've already started from pixie, and I can't do it again, especially not if I get to waist then discover I've been slowly-but-surely damaging it so much it won't grow any more. I'm also concerned about my shed rate, as I've recently lost a fair bit of thickness, and though it's partially due to illness, I think, it may also have something to do with my dyeing habit.

So. Thoughts? Advice? Comiseration? Henna before-and-after pictures? I'd love to hear them all. Sorry if this was a bit long and not so coherent.

Also, do you know what might happen if I henna over my current red? Looks like my avatar.

April 18th, 2011, 08:52 PM
Um, no advice. lol. It sounds possible though. And when I first decided to grow my hair out, I wasn't really sure what my natural color would look like either. As you can see from my signature, I started with black hair and I turned out to be blonder than I expected (I thought it would have darkened more since I was a kid). And then you can see what color I've wound up with.

Okay I lied, here's my advice: Lurk in the henna section here for a couple months and read EVERYTHING you can about henna before trying it.

April 19th, 2011, 02:46 AM
I don't have any advice about the henna, other than be sure you want it before you do it because it does not come out.

I just wanted to say that, if you've been dying your hair a bright red (or a paler blonde) and you've only seen your natural shade as roots, you may well think your hair is darker, ashyer and duller than it is. Dark blonde (or even just blonde) hair often looks dull when compared to dyed in that way - it needs a bit of length for the light to reflect of it. Also, when it doesn't have that obvious comparison to a synthetically bright shade, it looks very lovely.

Of course, you're perfectly ok to dye. Bright red is lovely. ^_^ But don't be quite so worried that your natural shade is dull - roots are a poor way to tell how nice it is.

April 19th, 2011, 05:31 AM
I find the same as you, I lose red really fast with deep conditions - some of this is oil and some the extra rinsing. It says in your profile you are CWCing, have you tried a leave on conditioner in place of the last step? Quite a few use diluted Fructis Repair & Shine conditioner for this, it is very moisturising because it is high in palm oil. :) Alternatively you might try Ktani's Movie Star Method (mix coconut oil with shampoo, no conditioner): some anecdotal evidence suggest this can help retain colour! Lastly washing in cool or cold water can help colour retention, as can a dilute vinegar rinse after dying.

If you haunt the 'Henna & Natural Haircare' board, you will get a feel for what sort of warmer/ marmalade reds are possible with henna and/or indigo and/or cassia. There are also a number of brighter/ cooler redheads who henna then layer on semi-permanent pink-red, so that is an option. :cool:

April 19th, 2011, 06:32 AM
Thanks everyone!

Actually, oddly, the reason I think my natural colour is dull is because that is the memory I have of my waist-length virgin hair. I was surprised and pleased the other day to see that my roots, under the light, appear to have a golden sheen!

I'll post some pictures when my roots become long enough for a photo, and see if I can dig out some (so old they're on film!) photos of my teenage virgin-haired self.

April 19th, 2011, 07:36 AM
ok, I hope this may help - this is the effect on my hair (I guess the starting colour is a bit like your natural one) of almost two years of henna application (near every two weeks)

august 2009 - natural colour
http://img828.imageshack.us/img828/3631/p1010202gk.jpg (http://img828.imageshack.us/i/p1010202gk.jpg/)
Uploaded with ImageShack.us (http://imageshack.us)
april 2011- hennaed
http://img196.imageshack.us/img196/6803/dscn2953x.jpg (http://img196.imageshack.us/i/dscn2953x.jpg/)
Uploaded with ImageShack.us (http://imageshack.us)

Sorry the pictures are this big, I'm learning how to use imageshack!!!
I only use natural 100% lawsone, no sodium picramate!

April 19th, 2011, 08:22 AM
Haha, I think we might have the same hair color! :) Mine used to be really ashy and even a little greenish in low light, but I grew out about five inches of virgin roots this last year and it was almost blonde! It had way more gold than I remembered and was really quite pretty (the color of my hair in my profile pic is my natural color -not the pink, obviously, lol-).
I would definitely suggest growing it out a bit, if only to see what it is! :D

I got the red in my siggy pic from Celebration henna from Mehandi (http://www.mehandi.com/shop/hairhenna.html)
over my natural color.

And I think those colors you want are very achievable with henna, especially with a medium-light natural color. :)
I'll go ahead and third the recommendation to lurk and read the henna forum, I wish I had before I started to henna, it would have saved me a lot of stress and damage to my hair.

April 19th, 2011, 08:44 AM
I am another one who had no idea what her real haircolour was and I also thought it was dull and ashy and potatoey. Now that I have partially grown it out from copper red I quite like it. It is much richer a colour than I thought it was. There are some pictures in my album but I am not sure if you can see them yet as you are a new member. If you can't see them and want to see then I can also put them on photobucket. I have to warn you though, that a few inches may not be enough to really define the colour. I couldn't really determine mine before it was around the ears and it took me about a year to get there (although I had pregnancy and illness related growth stalls). My natural colour is around the jaw now and I still cannot say for sure and probably won't be before it is past my face entirely. Also, if your hair has the tiniest smidgeon of ashyness in it, it may initially look "green" and generally odd next to the red so you need a lot of growth before you can actually see if your natural colour is to your liking.

There are some things that can slow down the fading of chemical dye. Ones I've heard are washing with cold water only and SLS-free shampoo. Vinegar rinses can also help as they make the cuticle lay flat, thus preventing dye from "leaking out". I'm not sure if they would counter the effect of oiling entirely but these things could minimise it.

Regarding henna - you can get it darker just by doing more applications.

Hope I could help :)

April 19th, 2011, 08:46 AM
I just wanted to reinforce that from what I've read while pondering whether to give henna a go, it's not something you can "try" really. It's very permanent I gather. Just a thought! (o:

P.S. The upkeep, and the mess, along with the fear of bozo orange is what decided me. Now, that said, some folks are in love with henna, and it may be the best thing that has happened to some members on here. I suppose I'm too lazy for it! :silly:

May 4th, 2011, 10:45 AM
Just an update for y'all:

I've decided to henna. I'm going to grow out my colour a few inches just to see what it is, but thereafter I'm back on the red bandwagon. I've always wanted to be a redhead and I cannot imagine this is something that will change in the near future. (I am a person who is very indecisive by nature, and thus, when I actually make up my mind, I've bloody well made it up, if you see what I mean. I'm not very experimental - I like to spend a long time pondering something, them stick with it.)

So. I had a chat with our lovely resident nightshade, and she's mixing me a custom henna blend which will hopefully get me something approximately like *her* henna colour. I've decided to opt for a warm auburn shade, because I think it would suit me, and the upkeep would be simple (I'm not overly fussed about roots).

(Then, if I want it *really* bright for a while, I can just plop on some veggie dye to spice it up for a few washes!)

Thank you for all your advice. I hung out in the henna section for ages, and I'm really happy with my decision. I'm so excited, and promise to post pictures :D

May 4th, 2011, 10:59 AM
Just an update for y'all:

Thank you for all your advice. I hung out in the henna section for ages, and I'm really happy with my decision. I'm so excited, and promise to post pictures :D

Yay!:cheese: We've brought you over to the muddy side! We have cookies (and long movies to watch while it sits on your head). ;)

Looking forward to seeing your results/progress! :)