I'm A Redhead and I Dyed My Hair

Don’t worry, $300 later and it’s back to normal… for the most part. If you’re like me and make up the 2% of redheads in the world (add blue eyes and we’re 0.17% of the world’s population, go us!), you’ve had people telling you not to dye your hair since you came out of the womb. We’ve been told our hair is the only way our friends can find us in a crowded room, we’ve had people pretend to count the countless number of freckles on our faces, and—drumroll please—we’ve been told that we’re ~*soulless*~. To top it off, I’ve been told by a TSA guy that my hair looks like it’s battery operated because it’s so bright. Thanks dude.

Growing up being constantly told that I have a hair color that people would kill for, my inner rebel was getting irritated. The more I was told not to dye my hair, the more I wanted to. Finally, the summer after senior year of high school, I took the plunge and bought a dark brown $8 box dye, Clairol Natural Instincts to be specific. It started out well enough, the initial color came out as black as my nonexistent soul, but it lightened up a little the more I washed it and I was happy with it.

Now, here are some things I wish I knew before doing this experiment that I hope may come in handy for any other redhead who is feeling as rebellious as I was.

  1. First of all, I’m the kind of ginger with bleach blonde eyebrows and I quickly realized that super light eyebrows + super dark hair = looking a little funky. So, I went and bought a darker shade of my trusty Anastasia Dip Brow Pomade and layered it on so it all looked more cohesive but I’m not one of those people who can create perfect brows out of nothing. Looking back at pictures makes me cringe a little bit, I could’ve done a better job for sure and I didn't love having to spend so much time on it every day. 
  2. When my fiery orange roots started growing back in, my hair looked… well… like it was catching on fire. One day I had split my hair in two to put it in braids and my friend behind me went “Woah, the back of your hair looks like the gates of hell are opening”
  3. The obvious way to counteract the fresh red growing in was to dye the roots over and over again every 3 weeks or so. Do. Not. Do. This. When I went home to my hairdresser three months later over winter break, she informed me that the more layers of dye you have, they bond together and makes it way harder to remove. Yes, I know, I should’ve done more research before buying $30 worth of dye. Because of the dye that bonded together in my hair, there was a ring of hair up near my roots that remained way darker than the rest of my hair. We did a blonde balayage to cover it up which helped a little bit, but when I look back at pictures from two years ago, it’s very obvious.

Here are the big takeaways: I’m not telling you fellow gingers to not dye your hair (because I know how annoying that is to hear). You do you, just simply do your research first. Or better yet, go get a free consultation from a nearby salon and they could make suggestions about how you could go darker and not have your roots grow in super harsh. As much as I loved going dark initially, it was a lot to keep up with and in the end, it was easier to just stick with what I was given.