It all started in a hostel bathroom in Vienna. The year: 2012. Those drugstore ombre kits had just hit the shelves in Europe and you best believe I wasn’t going to be the last to try them.
I guess if I’m being honest, it all started in the eighth grade–I went to the Pharmasave in my small town and bought a box of dark brown dye and stained the shit out of my parent’s bathroom.
Dyeing my hair has always been a part of my selfcare routine, when I think about it. It’s an easy and effective way to play with style, even when you don’t have a whole lot of money or time. Also I’m an artist and doing my own hair and makeup has always been a relaxing creative outlet for me. I digress.
Before that bathroom in Vienna, I’d always stuck to dying my light brown hair dark. Pretty straight forward, not a whole lot of guess work. Maybe it was because I was in the midst of a backpacking “find myself” type of trip, but once I used bleached for the first time I went crazy with power and over the next three years dyed my hair every possible colour, no joke. Here’s some examples of the spectrum:
Here’s the starting point. I always cut myself those sweet sweet blunt bangs. This was four years ago and I’m still in the horrible cycle of growing them out because about once a year, against my better judgement, I suddenly decide I want to trim them again which is bad news when you have naturally wavey hair and a double cowlick that does whatever the fuck it wants.
Ombre kits make it to Canadian shelves! I’m living in a basement suite with poor ventilation! Always open a window while using bleach, kids!
After I was bleach-drunk with the power of being able to lighten my own hair at home, I started adding colour to the ends. It’s really pale pink here. Was still using drugstore products at this point–Splat etc.
So much guess work when using drugstores dyes on drugstore bleached hair! I’ve never had much of an attachment to my hair. I mean I love it, as far as being able to express my style and personality through it, but I’ve never been afraid to part with inches of it or to risk turning it the colour of rust. Which may happen if you try this at home.
I went totally blonde finally. I was sick of just messing around with the ends. This was crazy. I’d had dark hair my whole life and I constantly had to do double takes when I passed reflective surfaces. Again–all done at home, still with drugstore products at this point. I think I was toning with a Joico purple shampoo.
Hard to see here, but I went from blonde to a dark blue colour. At this point I was dyeing my hair and then immediately becoming restless with it.
I honestly don’t even remember deciding to go this auburn colour, but hey, I did. I also decided to experiment with an undercut which was really liberating. I’ve always thought shaving your head would be a fun experience, and it’s something I’d like to try in my life because hey, try everything twice. But I also go through long periods where I miss my long hair and the versatility of style it provides. So this was a nice baby step towards a more daring hairstyle.
Hah hah, back to blooooonde. This is when I started hitting up Sally’s beauty supply, which stepped up my bleaching/toning game so much (shout out to Wella toners for making me less rust coloured). Honestly my hair is pretty tough, and it still looked fine at this point, but the natural waves were pretty petrified so I styled it a lot.
This is when I started experimenting with colours from Sally’s, too. Ion Colour Brilliance has some nice options but they wash out sooooo fast, in my experience. Also, thank god for photobooth and narcissism, amiright?
I actually really liked this hybrid green with yellow roots look. It was fun. That’s the thing when you start dyeing your hair all the time though, it’s a hard cycle to break because within a few weeks you’ve got roots on your hands. Anyways.
Dark brown again. And I chopped a bunch off the bottom because it was friiiiied. I cut my own hair, but that’s because I like a nice blunt cut which I can totally do myself at home, and because as I said before I treat my hair like a craft project, so.
Back to blonde, y’all. I liked this colour, it turned out well. I started going really ashy near the end of my blonde days (this was maybe six months ago).
Oddly, I don’t have any up to date Photo Booth selfies of my current hair, so maybe I’ll do another post about it in the future. I’ve had a pretty significant change lately in that I’ve decided to stop heat styling and dyeing my hair. I haven’t worn it naturally wavy/curly since I was a preteen, so it’s a bit of a brave new world but I’m loving it and my hair is looking and feeling the best it has in years without heat. Also, it’s growing like crazy. I chalk this up to some new washing techniques I’ve been using, some vitamins I’ve been taking, and my decision to quit taking the pill.
This colour journey was for the most part super fun for me. Like I said, my hair’s pretty tough, but all thing’s considered it’s still in pretty great shape now and didn’t suffer too terribly from this adventure. I am starting to miss having bright colours…I don’t know, we’ll see.