returning to my natural hair color...

This is such a big deal to me, believe it or not.

When I was young, I grew to "mildly dislike" my hair color for no appearent reason. There was just always something that kept me from wearing my natural hair color, which did not seem "ugly" to me...just not as spectacular.
I might have idolized something I am not, listened too much to others and experimented without thinking about the consequences, only to find out I am too weak to correct the mistake.
In the end I am left with very long unevenly colored hair and regret. True, I have gotten myself out of the dilemma gracefully, almost unnoticed...but it was a long road to recovery.

A brief history:

- My hair was a bit lighter as a kid, although medium-darkbrown in winter, it easily bleached to anything from a medium brown to a very, very light brown. My mother "helped" that process by putting lemon juice in my hair in summer. I did like that color, most of my friends were blond or had relatively light brown hair (think German girls without a box of dye ;)), my sister and cousins had light hair also..I was darker then them, but never too much.
The older I got the darker my hair got though, it was also very straight and long. As a young teen I was the "ugly girl" in school, don't ask me why...I can't answer it...but I felt a bit like I needed a change to get out of that. And what is easier than using a friends sun in spray? :D
Aside from that, my mother..who also dyed her hair (auburn) got me inspired and I wanted that auburn glow too, my mother really liked it, my friends too and I stuck with it.
Whenever I made an attempt to go back to natural I failed, dark brown box dye turned out black (!!), mismatched color at the salon and very obvious roots after that kept me from really going back.

How did I come to use red Henna?

First of all, I love Henna...I really do. There is more to it than just color. The rich history, the benefits for the hair, the fact that its so natural and a translucent color (lets your own color shine through)...
Red Henna helped me growing out the black chemical dye since it made the difference between my natural dark brown and the dye look less obvious under all that red. It evened it out if you will. By late 2008 I even looked pretty much one color. With Henna I was able to grow my dye out to waist length, and I felt good because I knew I was not going lighter or darker and could easily color back to brown.
So I can't say my time with henna was a bad thing. People also really love that color...I got comments on it all the time, sometimes I was even asked if it was natural..which really surprised me because every woman would see its not natural. I did not match my complexion, brows, type...I was a obvious brunette. That made me feel a bit like I was being something I am not...

How did I decide to go back to brown?

When I got sick in summer I had other things in mind than coloring my hair, when I saw my roots I found that I actually liked them and did not need the feel to rush dyeing my roots, more time passed and by Christmas I had so much roots that I could see my natural color next to my face...and I really liked it (for several reasons I will name later). After starting a sourvey, "henna vs. natural" with lots of comparison pictures, I decided to give the natural color another chance.
My last henna applications were also rather unsatisfying and the color turned out orange or coppery instead of burgundy. And although my hair shimmered pretty light red in some light, henna does not lighten hair, it is just the gleam light gives you.

Result of the survey:

Natural Color:   ca. 69 votes
Henna Red:       ca. 19 Votes

Pro Henna Voices:

K. said:
 "- I think it brings out your skin tone and delicate features.

- It brings out your eyes amazingly. Now, the reason why they're mentioned less often likely is because when your hair is red, you look more Caucasian. (In my humble opinion) With natural hair, you look more Asian. Thus, green eyes on a more Asian person is like "OMIGOD how did you get those?" but green eyes on a white-ish person is still very eye-catching and beautiful, but more expected.
- Your natural hair makes you look paler - it might be what you prefer, but I find the red makes you look more healthy and tan."

P.M. said:
"-You look good both ways but the red is more "striking beauty" to me."

May '09, May '09, May '08, June '09

Pro Natural Voices:

W. said:
"-I really like your natural color. I also like to wear berry tones with purple, and other colors like light blue or pink. I think they look better with my natural brown color too. Sometimes I find myself choosing clothing based on my hair color now."

S. said:
"-Wow, your natural hair color! I like the rich browns of it - it really complements your skin!
The bright henna looked too light for your skin, but I can see how it would be fun to wear."

"-The henna looks good, but I agree that it seems to bring out the yellow tones in your skin. You look more striking with your natural colour."

Y. said:
"-I would suggest growing out your natural color, even though your current hair color is very beautiful. I am also part Asian and have dark brown hair, although I do not have your beautiful pale skin -- when I was younger, I did dark red commercial dyes, but now I prefer my natural hair color.

Maybe it's just me, but it seems like many Asian women I know want to get away from the "typical" black hair, so they dye it red or bleach it or so on."

V. said:
"-I'm a big fan of natural. You've got a really pretty natural haircolor!"

 Nov. '09, Feb. '07, Jan. '10, Oct. '87

Reasons for going natural

- It flatters my skin tone as well as my eyebrows more. My brows are very cool toned (probably more than my hair), during henna days I used an auburn pencil on them (and they were thinner). My skin color is really light if untanned, I do avoid a tan for many reasons (sun ages skin by 90%, uneven skin tone, possible sun flecks) but I also like myself paler best, the rose color on my cheeks and lips is more visible, the eyes and all features pop more if my skin is its natural light color. Henna tends to make my skin a bit more yellowish and almost sallow.

- Fashion, some colors are really hard to wear with dyed red hair...and I do love all pink and rose hues. I'm also a cool season (most likely winter or maybe a dark summer) and the red I get from henna is too warm.

- Age, I am lucky not to have any grey hairs yet which do appear on many women in their 20'ies. We just never notice because many women dye. I want some more time with my natural color before I go grey. I can always dye later. Also, if I do decide to go grey gracefully at a certain age, being natural will make it much easier, no harsh demarcation line (I want to be grey but when I feel I have the face and age for it)

- Natural, I'm a pro natural girl...and while I like putting make up sometimes or getting dressed up when I feel like it, I always want to have that "naturally pretty" look, I don't want to look like I altered myself too much in the sake of beauty. "Waking up pretty" really makes you feel good about yourself. And while many women can look striking with dyed hair, for many natural is a good matches your whole self, your skin tone, eyes...and this way it really softens your look.

Picture of my roots:


The henna red is not as strong as it was last summer, it always fades on me to some degree, it is still pretty damn red in the sun though. I'm planning to apply an henndigo/ amla mix to my lengths to tone the red down. If you don't know what that is : Henna + Indigo = warm brown + Amla = cool brown. Depending on how much indigo you use the hair will get darker. I will start with a light mix maybe 50/50 or 50/60 since I don't want it darker, just cooler (Henna can NOT lighten hair)

Right now I am just waiting for my hair loss to stop completely before I adjust the color. I think March would be a good time.


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34 year old mom of 2 boys from Frankfurt Germany


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