For the Love of All-Natural Locks: Why I Quit Hair Colouring
I made a weird bet with a friend a few years ago.
I declared that I was going to stop colouring my (at the time, box-ginger) hair, and she bet me $20 that I wouldn’t handle it well – either I would begin to start colouring it again at the first sign of re-growth, or that I would chop it all off to avoid facing years of two-tone tresses.
Well, neither of those things happened. It took me a couple of years, but I am happy to say that since I quit hair colouring that day, no colour or dye has touched my locks, and my colour today is all natural. Sure, I walked this earth looking like I’d had a balayage job gone so, so wrong for more time than I care to admit, but eventually there did come a day when my hairdresser snipped off those last frazzled red ends and declared victoriously “You are all natural, baby!” as the rest of the salon looked on, amazed by my stamina and commitment to the cause.
OK that last part didn’t happen. But I did walk out of there feeling pretty pleased. And somebody (who has probably forgotten all about our little bet) owes me $20.
I had been dyeing my hair since my Mum let me get my first blonde streaks at 11 years old. Since that day, I embraced many colours – blonde, black, dark brown, and the aforementioned store-bought ginger – but never my natural colour. When people asked my natural hair colour, I was quick to describe it as “crappy, mousy brown”.
I used hair dye for so long that it seemed essential, and when the cost of salon hair colouring began adding up too much I simply switched to buying box colours at the grocery store – anything to avoid that natural colour of mine!
When I made the decision to quit hair colouring, I honestly wondered what had taken me so long!
In a nut-shell:
- Years of colouring had been wreaking havoc on my tresses – my hair was dried out to oblivion
- I was starting to get some white/grey hairs, and the moment my regrowth began coming through between dye jobs, those white hairs were painfully obvious
- I’m just going to say it: box colours are crappy. They did nothing for me.
Honestly, I think the condition of my hair often contributed to my poor self image. It was thick and strong, but it wasn’t beautiful or healthy. And while I realise that a committed routine of proper care and salon-brand products can do wonders for coloured hair, I’m not that person. I wanted the look without the work. #lazygirlproblems
My hair has been fully natural since November last year and it makes me sooo much happier! Turns out, it’s not “crappy mousy brown” – it’s a healthy, golden brown that I know isn’t going to fade or grow out on me! Yep, I never have to worry about re-growth. I do still have those pesky white hairs (more and more every day, I fear!) but because they’ve had a chance to grow out, they blend in a little better. They’re still there, you can still see them, but they’re not quite as stark as they were when they would peep out of an otherwise solidly dark head of hair within weeks of every dye job.
Want to quit hair colouring too? Here are my tips:
Go cold turkey
This is a decision you can make right now and stick to – just stop colouring your hair.
OR go for one last dye job
If the regrowth is going to be a huuuuge issue though, go to a salon for one more colour treatment – aiming for the natural colour of your hair. This way, the regrowth will be much more subtle. Don’t trust a box for this job – a professional treatment is the only way to go. But at least it’ll be the last time, right?
Growing out your hair takes time (mine took years!), and a few months in, it might be tempting to throw in the towel and change up your colour again – but that will only negate all that awkward regrowth you’ve been putting up with, and you are likely to regret it after a week or so. If you truly feel like you want to dye your hair again, sit on that decision for a little while – more than just a few days – and make sure it sits really well with you.
Start looking after your hair now
You want the new, natural growth to be as healthy as possible, so if you’ve been a little lacklustre in your efforts to take care of your hair (like I was), start treating it well NOW. Check out our apple cider vinegar DIY hair treatment, or search Pinterest and Youtube for hair care tips – there are plenty of easy, cheap ways to up your hair care game.
While many, many people are very happy with their coloured hair, my decision to quit hair colouring was the right one for me.
It’s not a popular choice to quit the colour these days, but if you try it, I think you’ll be surprised by how much you love it once your colour is all grown out! So take the plunge and go for it – if you do hate it, you can always start dyeing it again.