So apparently, choosing to not color my hair all these years has been totally worth it.
I think at some point in high school, I wanted blonde highlights (because come on, what teenage girl didn’t?), but never ended up bothering with them. I’ve done a wash-out-in-28-shampoos box dye a couple times, but that’s it. I generally always liked my hair color so it wasn’t an issue to me. Not worth the effort (or cost).
Fast forward to late 2011 and I decided I wanted to go red. Full-on red. Flame worthy red. I knew red wouldn’t be an easy color to get or maintain, but I knew it could be done. So after scoping out a few different salons in W’burg, I called around for a last minute haircut (I think I called on a Thursday looking for a Saturday morning appointment) and someone was able to squeeze me in. The haircut she gave me was fine and she even styled it for me pretty nicely since I was going to a party that night so I talked to her about coming back to make me red. I showed her some pictures of reds I did and didn’t like and made an appointment for the following week. Since she knew this was my first time coloring my hair, she said she wanted to ease me in with highlights and we could amp it up the next time if I liked it. I LOVED the colors she put in; one was slightly more auburn and really caught the light and the other was a pretty mahogany that looked very natural. However, it just wasn’t enough. I OK’ed the idea of “easing in” to having color, but I was really ready for a major change. I was fairly happy, but was already craving more. Worth it so far, but still left me wanting.
The next time I went back, she suggested putting in some blonde with the red to make it more noticeable. Oh. Em. Gee. I looked like skunky, tri-color trailer trash. I HATED it. The blonde did indeed make another color more noticeable – the brown. You could clearly see three different colors in my hair and it looked awful. So I went back a few days later to have her dye it all one red color. I loved it this time and I will admit, the blonde highlights changed to a lighter, more auburn-y red than the rest of my hair so it added some nice dimension. SO WORTH THE HASSLE!
Just when I thought we’d be getting along like a hairdresser match made in heaven, the next time I went back, I asked her for full-on color and she only did touch up color. So the length of my hair (which at this point is several inches below my shoulders) was a very faded, barely red, and the roots (plus a little bit) were a lighter auburn. No thank you. It doesn’t look awful, but it isn’t RED. Not so much worth it… but not ruined.
So I’m getting to the cruelty-free part, I swear. The good news is that the color line she used, Goldwell, is cruelty-free. Yaaay! But… I was ready to change stylists because it really seemed like she just wasn’t “getting” what I want. However, a large majority of salons use L’Oreal color, which is not cruelty-free. So that has cut down on my options tremendously. Last week, I discovered that a salon in Norfolk that is participating in the “Pamper for a Cause” event benefitting animal shelters AND it’s one that is pretty highly recommended on Yelp. Score! I called them and inquired about their color and product lines – Italy Colorly 20/20 and Unite products – BOTH CRUELTY FREE!!! Double score!! I booked an appointment this Thursday to get my hair cut and colored with a color specialist at their salon. I’m keeping my fingers crossed she’ll be able to get me to a nice shade of cinnamon-y auburn, all while helping the animals and using cruelty free products. So, long story made short – finding a good colorist that uses cruelty free products is a pain in the you-know-what, but I’m hoping it’ll be worth it in the end. I’ll let you know how it goes…