Hair cuts, dyes and styles: A History

Over the years I have had my fair share of different hairstyles. As a child, I kept my hair fairly long, until I managed to convince my mum to let me chop it all off (went from hip to shoulder length!) and since then my hair has yo-yo’d in length and been a rainbow of colour.
I think I like to dye and change my hair so much because it’s a way of expressing myself. I’m an incredibly creative person, but I’ve also always been very anxious and lacked confidence, so my hair was something I could change and make as dramatic as I wanted, whenever I wanted.
I’ve also always had the need to do something drastic to my hair every time there is a significant change in my life. When I broke up with my ex, I cut all my hair off Frankie Sandford style, because my ex always said he hated girls with short hair and it felt like I was finally cutting myself off from that part of my life.

Here’s a terrible quality photo of said haircut:

And of course I then dyed it my trusty red:

Although I loved the haircut, and at 18 I felt so grown up with it so short, the maintenance was an absolute nightmare and growing it out has put me off voluntarily cutting it so short again.
I now generally stick to growing it long and then having it cut into one of my “usual” styles. My go-to when I want a “re-vamp” is a graduated bob and a new colour. If I’m in my “red phase” this usually means I make the dramatic return to black, or if I’m in my dark hair phase, this usually means copious amounts of bleach and Directions hair dye.

Currently, my hair is long and in it’s red phase, which will be coming to an end soon as I usually darken it again through winter:

To get this colour I dye my hair with Garnier Olia in Intense Red, and then boost the colour by using a mix of La Riche Directions Poppy red, Pillarbox and Rubine. The ratio differs with each application and this means the colour changes slightly with every wash and reapplication.
I have always dyed my hair myself since I was about 15, using box kits, with the exception of one time where I had my hair dresser do a half and half dye job, black on top and red underneath. Unfortunately it wasn’t as bright as I’d hoped, so I bought my own box kit to brighten the underneath and achieved this look:

A few years ago, I fully bleached my hair with Manic Panic Amplified Bleach Kit in 40 Vol. Now, anyone who knows anything about hair knows that you should pretty much never touch a 40 vol bleach unless you want to completely destroy your hair. However, I was desperate to have bright, vivid hair colour, and I knew this was how I’d get it. I’ve always been incredibly relaxed about my hair and the way I treat it, and my ability to be so experimental comes from my confidence in the fact I suit both long and short hairstyles, so if the worst case scenario is that it goes terribly wrong and I have to cut all my hair off, I don’t actually mind.
Fortunately, bleaching my hair with 40 vol was not a disaster, and after applying a blend of Directions Pillarbox and Poppy red, I ended up with this:

I was in love with this colour and felt like The Little Mermaid. (Look how long my hair was!) After the colour faded, I dyed it pink (sadly don’t have a photo!) and then dyed it a deep purple using Directions Violet:

I always deep condition my hair after I dye it, and make sure I get regular trims, or even trim it myself if I’m just growing it out. I always use smoothing serums and heat protecting sprays in my hair too, because I know that although I’m happy to experiment, my hair is not always happy to be the subject of my experiment!

After maintaining varying shades of red, purple and pink for about 6 months, I finally dyed it back to dark brown, and once we’d moved house, had it chopped off all the way up to my chin! I never took any photos because I hated how short it was, I’d gone to my regular hairdresser and asked for my ever trusty graduated bob cut, and instead I ended up with half my head of hair missing and feeling rather miserable. (I, of course, dyed it red to cheer myself up about the awful length…)

Since then I’ve been growing it out again, but I’m getting to the point where I’m fed up of just tying it up all of the time. Putting it into a donut or sock bun is one of my favourite styles at the moment, but it’s not quite long enough to curl properly and straightened it just looks dull. Usually just dying it a different colour helps break this boredom and as I’ve just used the last of my red Directions colour, once my roots start to show I’ll definitely be looking at a colour change again. I’ve even started looking at having extensions put in. It’s something I’ve never tried properly before (I had some weird blue streaks put in years ago but they were dreadful) and I love the idea of having long, full, voluptuous hair. I’m thinking I’ll dye it darkest brown or jet black, depending on how dramatic I’m feeling, and we’ll see where my next hair adventure takes me!

If anyone has any recommendations on what I could do next, leave a comment below!

Thanks for reading!

A x

Note: So I mentioned above that my hair isn’t quite long enough to curl yet, and although that sounds ridiculous, I did actually invest in a chopstick curler by Lee Stafford to be able to curl my hair while it was short. This was the result:

So yeah… were avoiding that for a while… 😬

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