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to dye...

...I'm thinking about trying a lighter red dye for my hair.  Not as blonde as strawberry, but blonder and less intense red than my normal colour (which I have to get from Canada, as the colour was discontinued in the US, and the replacement, "Hot Tamale", bleeds a lot, stains for multiple washes, and is darker/not as nice).

I'm not really looking for arguments either way; I'm just thinking out loud.  Whee, drugs.

Update instead of writing another blog post:  My hands won't stop shaking.  Good times.


( 23 brains — Leave a chunk of brain! )
Jan. 11th, 2010 03:34 pm (UTC)
Sounds like a good plan to me... and good drugs too. :D
Jan. 11th, 2010 04:05 pm (UTC)
your complection is so creamy, you can get away with any shade of red and look fantastic!

Feel better.
Jan. 11th, 2010 04:31 pm (UTC)
I've always longed for red hair. Apparently I was a redhead at birth, but then it all fell out and I was white-blonde as a kid (after a prolonged bald period that worried my mother). I would love to have a strawberry blonde colour, but my hairdresser keeps talking me out of it because she says red is a hard colour to get to stay in your hair. What's your experience been with that? I envy how long yours is -- mine's getting there (just past my armpits, I think -- the hair on my head that is :)). It takes forever to grow!
Jan. 11th, 2010 05:00 pm (UTC)
I use three boxes of Nutrisse Garnier Luscious Mango, and it lasts very well - I dye every couple of months or so (dyes are a lot nicer than they used to be), and the red lasts.

With some reds, they fade to a reddish brown, but I've found the Nutrisse Garnier reds look good for a long time (even Hot Tamale lasted for months). :)
Jan. 11th, 2010 06:27 pm (UTC)
Reds are notorious for fading out. That being said, the degree of color retention an individual will experience depends on a number of factors including your base hair color* and the intensity of the red pigment you are using.**

*All dark hair has red pigment in it (pheomelanin), it simply has more brown pigment (eumelanin). If you bleach hair, the brown pigment goes first and it will turn orange before it becomes blond. If you stop at the orange stage, you can then add pigment to correct it to a more attractive shade. But those correcting pigments may fade and bleaching is rough on your hair.
**I am a licensed cosmetologist, BTW, though not currently working as one. (Too hard on the wrists, durnit.)
Jan. 11th, 2010 04:56 pm (UTC)
I think it sounds like it would be very flattering on you. You should go for it! If you don't like it as much, you can always go back to the other kind the next time.

And I hope your hands start behaving themselves soon!
Jan. 11th, 2010 06:30 pm (UTC)
Highlights in the lighter color?
Jan. 11th, 2010 08:06 pm (UTC)
Nope, all over. I have another colour to correct it if I don't like it, but I want to play. :)
Jan. 11th, 2010 08:54 pm (UTC)
Well, I think either would be lovely. Or neither, your current shade is lovely too.

PS Did you know redheads' skin tone is different as well? I sort of knew that because foundation make-up was never quite the right shade for me. It was forcibly brought home however when I went wig shopping before my chemotherapy a few years back. In any hair color other than red - blond, brunette, whatever - I looked as if I'd died, been buried, and then dug up again a few weeks later. So much for experimenting with other colors. Have you ever had that experience?.
Jan. 12th, 2010 12:27 am (UTC)
D'y'know, I seem to recall reading that "blonde, brunette or redhead" is actually determined (or rather, should be determined) by skin tone.

I know the question wasn't directed at me, but I've had that experience. My last hairdresser---and he really *was* my last hairdresser---colored my hair ("You'll love this, it'll be so friggin' *gorgeous,* wait'll you see, all the women around you will be so envious!") with a hue named "Black Cherry," very dark, and sort of iodine-y purpley reddish tones or highlights to it, and soooo wrong for my skin!
I glowed *neon white.*

It took just about forever to wash out and in the meantime perhaps *half* the women in the office building where I worked commented on it, and only half of *those,* favorably.
Jan. 12th, 2010 04:36 am (UTC)
It took just about forever to wash out

What a clueless idiot that hairdresser was. Oh well, at least it DID wash out.

If you or anybody you know ever wants to get color out faster, one of the most notorious ways among hairdressers is simply to use really cheap shampoo for a while. If you do, though, use a good moisturizing conditioner afterward, followed by a dilute lemon or vinegar rinse. 1

Henna is a different animal, er, vegetable, BTW. If anyone needs to get henna out, you soak the hair thoroughly with warm vegetable oil, cover it with a plastic shower cap or plastic wrap, then wrap a towel around it to hold in the warmth and leave it on for a few hours before shampooing the oil out. Repeat as necessary.
1It's because all detergents - shampoos being essentially just specialized ones - are rather alkaline and it costs more to pH balance them to hair and skin's slightly acid level. Really cheap ones don't bother. That's why they're hard on your hair. Higher (more alkaline) pH levels make the hair shaft open slightly so it will release loose pigment more easily. Permanent hair color is also alkaline for the same reason, it allows the hair to open up and "grab" the pigment you are applying.
Jan. 12th, 2010 05:16 am (UTC)
Oh, retaining the color would have been just dandy if the color hadn't been so overpowering.

Are there tricks for holding the color from the do-it-yourself stuff found in a box found on the drugstore or supermarket shelves, longer? I've been doing my own coloring for quite a while now at significantly less expense than my last salon visit, figuring I couldn't or wouldn't do any worse than the "Black Cherry" application I'd had and in truth, I've been happier with my own color choices.
Jan. 12th, 2010 06:35 am (UTC)
Are there tricks for holding the color from the do-it-yourself stuff found in a box found on the drugstore or supermarket shelves, longer?

Mmmm, basically you want to minimize UV exposure - it tends to bleach out the pigment - and keep the hair at the optimum slightly acidic level as much as possible, for the reasons explained above when discussing cheap shampoos.

For UV exposure, it's pretty much it's what you do to protect your skin. There are spray-on products out there that are effectively sunscreens for your hair; using them regularly can help a lot. A hat with a good UPF rating is obviously a great way to keep the sun from bleaching out the color.

A decent shampoo and conditioner is a must. Unfortunately, that can be tough to figure out, there's a lot of brands and some really confusing advertising. Mostly it's important that they're slightly acidic - pH around 5.5 - and not too harsh. A shampoo/conditioner formulated for colored hair is a good idea, although not all live up to their advertising. I'm afraid I personally only know salon brands - I like Redken, although Back to Basic is also good - but they're expensive. To some extent they are indeed better products than a great many of the OTC brands but it's not as much as the price difference would indicate. There's a fair bit of mark up going on.

In the end it really is trial and error. With conditioners, just remember, "thicker" doesn't necessarily mean better, sometimes it's only inert filler. And look out for waxes in them, they make your hair shiny and full short term but soon build up on it and make it lifeless and dull. Pantene's notorious for this. I find stuff at the "health food" stores to use less fillers but the prices there can go up to compare with salon brand.

Also check your water supply. The finest shampoo in the world won't help is the water you're rinsing it off with is too alkaline. The best place to find a test kit to determine this would be a pool or spa supply place. If your water is quite alkaline minimizing exposure might help. Use a shower cap when not actually washing it and give it a final rinse with some dilute lemon or vinegar water. Rosemary and (diluted) vinegar has been a popular hair rinse for many years. It's actually a nice treatment even if your water isn't particularly alkaline. Not too strong, though, remember hair and skin are only slightly acidic. Too strong and it will interact with UV rays and start to bleach out the pigment. (Remember Sun-In?) You should barely be able to taste the acid, you'll want about as much zing as you get when you lick your skin. Some people use bottled water but not only is it a pain, it can get pricy. I don't know what the effect of water conditioners would be on the pH.

The minerals in the water can also affect the color - a high iron or manganese content will tend to make the color come out much redder. That's great if you WANT it to be red but not everyone does. The chlorine level in your water is another factor to consider, a lot of municipal water authorities use it to sanitize the water supply. It can definitely have a stripping effect on your color. Ours here is high and it's even bleaching out my natural color some. For that, you can get a filter that you attach to your shower head, there are a few different brands/kinds available. Eventually when I'm not broke I'm getting one for my shower.

Hope this helps though it's mostly common sense.
Jan. 13th, 2010 10:58 am (UTC)
Pantene's notorious for this.

My scalp absolutely will not tolerate Pantene of any kind for this reason. They claim all sorts of wonderful things, but my scalp says "oh yeah?" and starts causing havoc. I got the best results with Aveda, but the price tag is too steep for constant use, so I get Redken. Of course (my luck, it is awesome), due to allergies, I have to use Neutrogena shampoo, so conditioner has to be *really* nice to my hair.

I also tend to wash my hair only twice a week because it is hard on my arms, so that probably makes my colour last longer. :)

The lighter red turned out bery nicely, btw. I could have gone blonder, and I might next time, but it came out a very nice natural red (not light brown, which is always my fear).
Jan. 12th, 2010 01:23 am (UTC)
I started life as a redhead, but my colour darkened to a chestnut brown by the time I was 4. I've always had the classical English skin tone, though, so I was okay with the red brown. I started dyeing my hair red many years ago when I found out Bob liked it (I was not averse to trying it out, and it seemed like a good excuse), so I went red and have stayed so ever since.

I probably can't carry off blonde, but I can get away with quite dark colours - and might be able to do black - because I have very translucent skin with peach/pink undertones. I'd just look a lot more goth. :) To do blonde, I'd need to be able to tan, which I don't do.

These days my natural hair is dark slate grey with lots of white strands all over. I don't dye to cover the grey - if I got cool streaks, I'd let it grow out in a heartbeat - but because I like red. :)
Jan. 12th, 2010 03:58 am (UTC)
I started life as a redhead, but my colour darkened to a chestnut brown by the time I was 4.

Ah, so you've got the "best of both worlds thing" going - a base redhead complexion overlaid with brunette, so you can carry off both. Nice, gives you a lot of options.

These days my natural hair is dark slate grey with lots of white strands all over.

If your natural hair color is greying, then it's probably a good idea to see how a lighter shade works. Skin also loses some pigment when this happens though the change can be very subtle, especially with fair complexions. (That's one reason why hair color used to cover grey fails for some women. They try to go back to the color they had before greying but it winds up being too harsh for their current skin tone and looks unnatural. It should be a few shades lighter for best results.)

I don't dye to cover the grey - if I got cool streaks, I'd let it grow out in a heartbeat - but because I like red. :)

I like your red too! It's pretty. :-)

Edited to close parentheses

Edited at 2010-01-12 04:39 am (UTC)
Jan. 11th, 2010 07:17 pm (UTC)
"to dye..."
"...to sleep, perchance to dream..."

Why not go for it?
You could, if you really didn't care for the lighter shade, wash it over with something deeper, h'm?

Hope the hands feel/get better really soon!
Jan. 11th, 2010 10:13 pm (UTC)
You'd look gorgeous in purple hair, so I'm sure red variations won't hurt. Go for it!
Jan. 11th, 2010 11:24 pm (UTC)
Purple!! Sorry....couldn't resist....
Jan. 12th, 2010 05:15 am (UTC)
Oh, and totally nothing to do with this thread - would you like another vintage orphan?

I have a dress that I believe from the style is from the early 1960s. It has a straight knee-length skirt, short sleeves, mandarin collar, and an odd looking decorative detail about 1" wide that forms an arc across the front from armscye to armscye up to just below the collar. It has a narrow belt of self-fabric and zips up the back. It's made of the most gorgeous electric blue matte silk dupioni/shantung (I can never remember the difference), fully lined with a matching blue silk habotai. I'm pretty sure it's silk, at any rate, it feels like it and the synthetics of that ere were just not that good. There's a label on it "A So-and-Such Original"; not anyone I recognize, it may have been a small boutique line for a local store. It's labeled as a size 14 but that's an early 1960s size 14. Allowing for size inflation by manufacturers over the last half century or so I'd estimate it as being approximately a modern size 10.

I bought it because I loved the fabric and figured I'd salvage it for something else, the style left me me cold. But that would be because I hate the entire 60s and 70s styles and decor with a burning passion. I lived through them once and I think that was enough, thank you. I know that not everyone shares my prejudice and it really is a beautifully made dress. I think I should find it a good home rather than cutting the poor thing up. It's one thing to cut up a worn out rag, this is still a perfectly wearable dress, I'd just feel too guilty spoiling it simply because it's not to my taste.

Interested? It quite begs for a pillbox hat.
Jan. 13th, 2010 11:04 am (UTC)
Oh, my word yes. If I can't fit into it (I estimate from the sizing of the dresses I have that a back-then 14 is a size 8, which debunks the Marilyn Monroe was HUGE" adage, but she was a size 8, which *is* huge by today's insane Hollywood standards, long parenthesis, sorry), I know a couple of people who would, and could carry it off very well.

And electric blue? Nummy. :) E-mail me!
Jan. 12th, 2010 03:43 pm (UTC)
I love the shade of red your hair is now, I'd love to have hair that colour myself, or at least with more of that shade of red in :) But as others have said, you'd look just as gorgeous with a lighter shade. I suppose it depends on how easy it is to get hold of your usual colour from Canada, but dark red hair for me = much love.
Jan. 17th, 2010 08:52 pm (UTC)
Extreme Costuming Website Question: Primary doc for commonwoman's partlet?
Hi Laura,

Friends have encouraged me to ask you this question (and not be intimidated) so here goes:

I'm competing in a competition soon (I won't tell you how soon) and I had chosen to submit an English commonwoman's partlet (during the 1500s).

I have found articles which reference them and some which show them in other countries. But I'm having a heckuva time finding the type of documentation I'm looking for (primary / extant).

Can you point me in the right direction?

Best regards,
Whitney Dickinson

PS I think you're amazing. AND funny!
( 23 brains — Leave a chunk of brain! )

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