Over to the Darker Side

Lisa's new hair colour

I wasn’t born blonde, but aged about 10, over the space of the six weeks summer holiday, a mixture of sunshine and swimming pool chlorine magically transformed me from a mousy haired tomboy to a flaxen, tanned beach chick. It was this new hair colour – I believed – that got me my first ever dance at the disco with dishy Dean. I didn’t care that my hair had literally been bleached and almost destroyed (it squeaked when I touched it!) by the sun and chlorine. It was blonde. I became popular with the boys. End of…

Via Pinterest (Rochelle Conrad)
Via Pinterest (Rochelle Conrad)

Fast forward 35 years and I was sitting in the chair at my hairdressers ready to have my usual 3 shades of blonde highlights (yep, I finally ditched the sun and swimming pool combo!) but I thought: “Am I just going through the motions? Is this what I really want?” and I realised that I was ready for a change in hair colour. Lee Danagher, Creative Stylist at The Chiswick Salon explained that I’d been so intent on having the same colour every time I visited the salon that my highlights had become an almost block colour blonde rather than the more natural (a la Aniston, Hair Goddess) look that I hankered after. So, under her professional guidance, Lee took me back to a much warmer, softer shade of dark blonde/mid brown. I can’t say I wasn’t worried about leaving the comfort of my blonde-blonde locks, but I knew as soon as I saw the finished look, that it was the right decision – and definitely much more suited to my olive skin tone.

Before: The dreaded roots!
Before: The dreaded roots!

5 months on and I’m still happy with the colour. It means less maintenance – I can let the colour grow out and I don’t have those dreaded dark roots to worry about – they’re still there but because my hair is a darker shade the look is a more fashionable, dirty-blonde ombre. Being fashionable without even trying and not having to spend as much money at the salon has to be a winner…right?

Well, yes. And…no. I can’t deny that I don’t miss that ‘highlight high’ I get when I leave the salon with fresh, all over blonde highlights. It gives me a lift, makes me feel brighter somehow. The saying that many ex brunettes have of ‘once a blonde, always a blonde’ rings true in many ways. That sassy, fun and flirty ‘blondes have more fun’ feeling is real. But, I know it’s all in the mind, and I think I’m going to have to compromise. This summer, I will go back to my fabulous hairdresser, Lee, and have a few lighter strands put through the front of my hair to achieve that beachy, naturally sunkissed look, just like I had when I was 10…wonder if it’ll get me a dance at the disco this time? πŸ™‚

Lee’s top hair colouring tips

1. As we age our skin loses some of its youthful bloom, so what suited you in your 20’s probably won’t have the same effect when you’re in your 40’s. Being stuck in a rut can make you look older, so be open to the idea of change and discuss this with your hairdresser.

2. Choose the right products for your new colour. It’s really important that you change your haircare to keep your new look vibrant and fresh. Your hairdresser can recommend the best products for you.

3. Whether you want to go lighter or darker, don’t go for a block colour, there are so many colouring techniques that give you multi-dimensional tones and they are are much more flattering.

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