Just dyeing to get it exactly right

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Beyond the very lucky few, getting the right hair color can be tricky

By Kelly Hockenberry, Columnist, The Times

A woman came up to me in Starbucks the other day to compliment my hair color.  “Is it natural?” she asked.

Hmmmmmmmm.

What does that mean EXACTLY?

I was born a redhead.  I think given my skin tone, eye color and fiery disposition that would be obvious to most.  However, the vibrant hue of my youth needs some assistance as of late.

When you really think about it…does any woman over the age of (approximately) 30 really know what her “natural” hair color is?

And, if you DO, perhaps it’s time to visit your favorite professional hair stylist for an update!  (Had to add that in because I’m bitter that you aren’t dyeing your hair by now)

My “natural” hair color, at this point, is probably about 25 to 30% grey.

Aaaaaaaaaaaaah!!!!

However, I will NEVER truly know the percentage because I will be buried in the ground (at age 100+) with my hair freshly colored and coiffed.

I struggle (as a redhead) with what color that will be; but, suffice it to say, it will NOT be grey.

Achieving the perfect strawberry blond is really quite difficult.  Heaven knows, I do not want to look like “Truck stop Sallie” with the orange-y red box color not found in nature.  Nor do I want to evolve into the little old lady with a purple ‘do and fuchsia highlights.  You know what I’m talking about.  It ain’t pretty.

The first step to the perfect hair color is brutal honesty.  Do not try to be a “color” that you are not.  For example, we all have observed women who have NO business being blond.  There are obvious psychological/social benefits to this pigment (I get it); however, if your overall complexion cannot support it, it just ends up looking fake.  And, cheap. THERE, I said it! OK? Girl, you know it’s true.

Brunettes don’t have it easy, either.  Often times, brown hair can look dull and flat.  The appeal of fabulous chestnut locks are the golden highlights and dimension that naturally just “happen” to young children.  Trying to re-create that effect as you age is like trying to eat soup with a fork.  Hard.  Right?

I understand that having your hair professionally colored (especially if you, like me, feel that it is necessary every two months) is a large expense.  HOWEVER, I truly believe that you owe it to yourself to have it done by a person specially trained (at least a few times) to get the correct shade and proper means of application down pat.  Then, and only then, are you free to experiment with something that you buy at the grocery store.

Just make sure to have your stylist’s number on speed dial.

Happy Weekend!

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