Empowering Every Woman to be Beautiful

My Stint as a Redhead

While we're on the wedding theme (see the post just before this one), I remember a pivotal point in my natural products journey that all started with a wedding invite.

Last year around March, I found out my friend Cheryl was getting married - in June. As usual, I stuck the invite in a drawer and said, I'll figure out what to wear closer to the event (I'm a horrible procrastinator at times). March passed as did April and May. When June arrived, far too quickly, I hadn't done anything in preparation for my friend's wedding.

I hadn't bought a gift. I didn't know what I was going to wear to the event and I wasn't inspired to shop. Yeah, I can't believe I said that last line either.

I should add here that I was going through a particularly hard time concerning my personal style.

As I no longer worked in the fashion industry, getting the inside scoop on the season's hottest looks, I was suffering fashion withdrawal something awful. And when makeup clients asked, "So what's the beauty look for summer?" I'd stand before them with a blank stare. I had no idea.

And as if that wasn't bad enough, I hated my hair. For no particular reason. I just did. I was tired of it. As a die hard, no-relaxer-is-ever-touching-my-hair chick, I wasn't about to murder, I mean, straighten my hair. But what?

I had an idea. Before the wedding, I'd dye my hair. As already stated, my natural instinct is to distrust chemicals. I would normally be the last person to consider a permanent hair color. But I was in distress.

Here's where it gets really bad.

I went to the grocery store (I can hear you all gasping now) and bought a boxed dye because, "How hard could it be to color my own hair?"

I was going for a warm brown with reddish highlights. It would be sort of like my natural color, but improved. It would be so pretty.

Two hours later as I stood before the bathroom mirror (the same day as the wedding!) watching my hair turn a rather bright copper tone, I vaguely remembered something about a strand test.

And then there was the smell. It sort of reminded me of the lingering scent of chlorine bleach. A little voice inside my head said I should, maybe, wash the color off NOW - a whole ten minutes earlier than the box suggested.

This was the results.

To say I was upset is an understatement. Tears welled up in my eyes as I looked in the mirror at my hooker red hair color. Now don't get me wrong. I think natural red hair is GORGEOUS, but mine didn't look anywhere near natural. It was blazing, screaming BOXED HAIR COLOR. So not me.

I called two friends who were hair stylist and asked them to help. At their instruction, I stuck a wig over top (which I ran out and bought 25 minutes before the wedding!).

The next day I tried to color correct it. Nothing worked. And none of my clothes or makeup looked good with almost orange hair. Finally, I bit the bullet and bought an all natural black hair dye from the health food store. I hate my hair black, but it was better than red/orange. This was the result of the natural hair dye.

The natural black dye washed out gradually over the next month leaving me with a dark brown color. I then took the time to learn about body art quality henna. It's pure henna without color accelerators. I order it online. I also make my own natural hair rinses - teas made with fresh organic rosemary, sage and hibiscus flowers.

I simply make a big pot of the tea and use it as a final rinse each time I wash and condition my hair. It keeps it brown with cherry tones that are only visible in the sunlight. Something like this:

Perfect. I've never bought a boxed hair dye again.