Hotter than hell, but oh so chic, red hair is really having a moment this year. The Queen’s Gambit may single-handedly be responsible for this revival, but red’s been proven to be THE shade as seen on yours truly and Gigi Hadid, who credits the TV show for pushing her to go red. Heck, she even looked amazing with red hair at the Met Gala! Though natural redheads don’t have to do too much work to maintain their shade, being a ginger is a whole other story!
Sometime last year, I tried out a filter and I chose red. A friend told me that red looked good on me. Flash forward to Christmas 2020, I was given a box dye by Revlon’s Singapore PR team that contained a reddish tinge of purple that turned my hair into a cute shade of chocolate raspberry. Though the box dye was great at the beginning, I didn’t like how it aged badly and while being a brunette was cute, I felt like I needed to do something else.
Eons ago, one of my friends sent me an article about dyeing hair without bleach. Inspired by the article, I felt like it was time to treat myself to a birthday present. It was the first time I booked a dye job in six years.
Being a redhead was truly a liberation. It made me feel rock ‘n roll, fierce and extra sexy. I wore more neutrals, a pop of color and tapped into my inner Lizzie McGuire. I felt like I was my own Bratz doll, dressing however I wanted to no matter the occasion. Since we’re still in a pandemic, being a redhead was my only form of escape from a series of semi-lockdowns.
A month later, my hair dye faded. I had to mix conditioner with a tub of pink dye to maintain the color. While it did a good job at making my hair look fresh, the color couldn’t last. I realized that my hair faded into two different tones of red: orange at the top and purple at the bottom. It was not a good look. I had to use filters to fix the shade of my hair just so it looked more “fresh”.
With two months of root grown out by August, I felt like I needed a quick fix. I went to see another colorist, CK at Yann Beyrie, who told me that the bottom of my hair needed to be lightened to match the top half of my hair. Her brushwork was as fine as an Old Master.
Her work, compared to the other colorist’s, lasted me longer. As much as I enjoy being a redhead, you can’t really wash your hair everyday or swim. I had to spend a longer time in the shower since I needed at least 10 minutes to let color depositing conditioner sink into my hair. Then, I put in Oribe’s Power Drops Color Preservation Booster into my hair and blow dry it. No matter how many times I put on conditioner, color preserving serum and heat protectant spray into my hair, my hair became really dried, sticky and fried. Heck, even finding color despoiting conditioner was a challenge as the conditoiner hue was a blue-based pink red, which didn’t really match with my hair. *sigh*
No matter how glamorous being a redhead looked, it required SO MUCH maintenance! Instead of letting myself suffer with sticky tangled ends and stark roots, I decided that it was time to change it up.
Being a redhead was one hell of a trip. There’s no other experience like it. Even though trying out a crimson shade made me glow, I was sad to part it. While bits of it are inside the highlights, it popped well against a milk chocolate base and black roots. Going back to brunette was the most financially sensible choice, but what for I cough up hundresds of dollars to dye my hair, THEN dye it back to black? (Been there done that myself at the behest of my parents when I was in college!) Now, I think that a nice transition shade like brown is all it takes to gently grow out the hair.
If there’s one lesson I’ve learned from being a redhead, it’s to keep on pushing yourself to try new things out of your comfort zone and have fun with it! I will never want to discourage any of you from feeling like you can’t try out red, BUT I still think that if you must take a risk, you need to be reddy for it (pun intended), know the pros/cons and go along with it. Just buy the ticket and take the ride.