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12 Aug 2012

Back to brown

I dyed my hair. 

So why did I do it?

I felt too beige: beige clothes, beige bag, beige lips, beige skin and beige hair. There has to be some contrast somewhere and whilst I loved my initial colour, the toner went faster than a space shuttle. What that left behind was a lot of beige highlights that were starting to go brassy in the sun.

The options then were return to the hairdresser for more toner and/or lowlights OR dye it dark brown. I fearlessly went with the latter. This was partly because:

a) I am fickle
b) Putting a dark dye over a ton of highlights creates some nice multi-faceted colour that isn't flat or dull;
c) From previous experience I knew that it would lighten and fade nicely; and
d) I used foils to try and preserve some of the "flashes"of lighter pieces peeking through the bottom layers. I loved this effect when I got it professionally done last year so I tried my amateur best.

The brown dye came courtesy of Schwarzkopf.

I bought it in the local convenience store and it cost about £5. I almost feel like the last sentence is a shameful confessional.... :)  Anyway, Schwarzkopf is a brand that I really rely on for this sort of job. Clairol is also great - L'oreal however promises brown but almost always delivers black.

I tried the Perfect Mousse in Chocolate Brown. As a general rule when choosing a dye I keep in mind that it will almost always go darker than the guide on the reverse of the box....so I choose a shade lighter than I intend to go.

I slapped this on for about 35 minutes - the guide is 45 but my hair is so porous I can speed up the process.  It's a foam consistency which I like in some respects - it feels easier - but hate in others - I seem to be messier than ever and end up with a stained neck and random blotches on my arms. Lovely.

And the end result is pictured above. I do like it - as ever, going darker feels like coming home. My skin and eyes looks clearer and I am less beige overall. Makeup is also a joy - lipsticks like the L'oreal Caresse in Lovely Rose are back on my face - and I am piling it on. The flashes of colour are there (although you can't really see them pictured) and the colour is a lovely warm dark brown. I am quite excited to see how it fades out over time.

I think the lesson learned here is that ombres are fine and dandy - and in fact fabulous for brunettes. But don't get carried away!

My hair has undertook an adventure and now asks for lots of moisture and a mini holiday away from hair dye. I think I have to now oblige. End of story :) 

PS. Some of you on Instagram were asking how it got so long. I was thinking about this and there are a few things:

a) I have waited years for it to be this length - so it didn't happen overnight. I did use some hair pills to help the growth - I think the Phyto ones were the best. Hair Sublim a close second.
b) I only use heat about twice a week - I wash it every 3 days and then use the conical wand very quickly to curl large sections.
c) I try and use nourishing products as much as possible - Phyto and Redken are brands that serve me well for that. I also just tried a sample of Kerastase Ciment Thermique - woah. MUST PURCHASE.
c) Clutching at straws now....for the last 4 months or so I have religiously had a protein shake for breakfast and since starting this both nails and hair have stopped breaking. It's possibly related as an increase in protein is always cited as one of the main ways to boost hair growth.

Hope that helps although reading it back, it probably doesn't :)


  1. Yep, I had gone a bit beige and had to slap a cheap dye over it, my highlighted hair had turned the same colour as my summer skin- not a good look for a natural brunette.

  2. Nice! The length suits you too.

  3. It looks gorgeous! I love the fact you can see some red undertones in the sun light :) xo

  4. I absolutely love you darker. Reminds me of when I first discovered you as Lollipop26 :). Gorgeous.x


    1. I was going to write the same thing, and then saw your post and thought i'd just second it.
      Those Lollipop26 days were the halcyon days of YouTube, nobody before or since has quite been Laura.

    2. I would like to third that :) Laura, you were the one that got my hooked on YouTube and blogs and web now I wish I could look back through the old blog and videos :) ever think of posting a few here?? For old times sake? ;)

    3. *got ME hooked *even now
      Sometimes predictive text is counter productive :/

  5. really cute!
    Polly with love

  6. Gorgeous Laura! It looks so healthy and shiny! You've reminded me to make an appointment with my hairdteaser :) xx

  7. i love your hair any color you do it, but this is definitely gorgeous and rich for fall :)

  8. Looks beautiful - Wel Jel as I had to cut my lengths off - thanks v much clip and barrel of curling tongues. One should not aim daily for Kim Kardashian if one is poker POKER straight. I feel a lot less feminine with the shorter (horrible in-between) length - what would the feminists say??
    So enjoy swooshing - do one for me ;)

  9. Gorgeous hair colour Laura .I'm sure I recommended the Kerastase Cement Thermique on one of your older blog posts, it is amazing isn't it, I wouldn't be without it!!

    Must try doing a protein shake in the AM, that might help growth frustration at this end!!!


  10. Your hair looks so gorgeous and glossy! I liked it lighter but I think the dark hair suits you best. Also I have gotten a lot of comments online and in real life about how I got my hair so long too - I can't agree with your point more "I have waited a long time for it to get this length" haha people just don't realise! x

  11. When I saw this post I thought "wait...didn't she just dye her hair?" it looked great befor but looks great now !!!! This is so perfect for the fall :) the brown tone u chose really complements you! :)

  12. Of course this was helpful! I would agree that all the extra protein adds up and is helpful!
    As always, thanks for sharing :)

    xx Veronica

  13. It looks beautiful on you! I too have been drinking protein shakes in the mornings and definitely have noticed a difference :) can't wait to see the pics I took of you along with your Sephora and Barney's purchases :)


  14. This looks amazing on you! I'm always terrified to dye my hair myself incase I really screw it up haha, this looks so pretty though! xx

  15. Wow. I love how how shiny and healthy brown hair always looks. Gorgeous colour!


  16. Dark hair really suits you, you look very classy with it! :) x


  17. This comment has been removed by the author.

  18. This colour looks really nice on you :).
    Could you do a post explaining what exactly you have for breakfast that seem to have made such a difference? My hair is growing and I a happy about it, but it breaks so easily it's depressing!



  19. looks amazing!!! Check out my blog and MAC GiveAway:


  20. Laura! Heart-stoppingly exquisite lippie! Might this be a new Mac's Candy Yum Yum acquisition? Its re-release lasted all of 0.08 seconds! If not -you must share- what is that lippie!
    A Much appreciative BC Vancouverite:)

  21. Beautiful colours, looks amazing on you! ♥

  22. I'm going to go a little darker this week, too. I just love darker hair with fair skin/dark lipsticks in the fall and winter.

  23. Laura it is GORGEOUS! You did an amazing job! So classy! xx

  24. I love the brown color! I can testify to "watching" you grow out your hair. I've seen you try clip in extensions and everything. It's nice to see it at the length you've always wanted. I have the opposite problem. My hair grows too fast! ha! You look beautiful, as always.

  25. You look beautiful !!


  26. You look gorgeous! Glowing haha!

  27. Hi Laura! Thanks for your blog. Just wanted to say I thought you looked great in the blonde, it was a nice week or so.. and it really did suit your light complexion :) But brown is nice too. You kind of pulled a Khloe Kardashian, no?

  28. Lovely colour :)
    I recently tried the l'oreal mousse sublime, but didnt feel the mousse took to my hair very well. It did not come out as strong as it would have, if i used a regular liquid dye :(
    Although seems to have worked great on you xXx

  29. Wow Laura, your hair looks so nice !!


  30. I love your hair! Which shake do you use?

  31. You wouldn't be yourself if you didn't die your hair so often! Hahaha! Just like people above me? really like you with darker hair. Suits your complexion a lot better in my opinion. As you said, being lighter can make olive skin tones look well... Beige!

    -Elodie x


  32. It looks stunning! I recently went Blonde but I think I am going to go back to a brown, hair just looks so much healthier and shinier when its darker! x

  33. Random off topic question.... How'd the insanity workouts go? I'm thinking of purchasing after being sucked in by those early morning tv ads, but I don't want to waste my money if it doesn't produce results.

    1. I know this question was not directed toward me, but I've done Insanity and it does work. It IS challenging, but if you stick with it, eat right and give it your all, you will see improvements. I had the chance to work out with him live in June and he is AMAZING!!! Good luck!

  34. Your hair looks lovely! Love that its given you different tones of brown to give it some dimension. Im obsessed with lovely rose, such a pretty colour!


  35. Your hair has got much longer! The colour looks great on you!
    I need to give my hair a bit of break from colouring now too!

    Amelia @ UGLY DUCKLING xxx

    Come say hey at Ducklingtoswan.com! :)

  36. I love you with darker hair, it looks amazing! <3

    And I'm starting the protein shakes right now :-P I might as well try, since I'm desperately wanting my long hair back after cutting it for charity :-(


  37. There's something fun about coloring your own hair once in a while - and the cost savings is pretty darn amazing. I usually use L'Oreal Healthy Look temporary color if I can't get to the hair salon for a root touch up. The dye is easy and washes out in 28 or so washing .. and if the color isn't quite right, no big deal .. it's gone in a month :-)

  38. The colour is gorgeous and looks great on you!

  39. Love it!
    Please check my blog :)

  40. Thank you for this post! The photos are stunning and the advice is really helpful :) I'm hopeless with hair dye so I might give this mousse a try :)



  41. Your hair looks lovely!

  42. gorgeous! I agree I think that you pull off the lighter shades (like when you went lighter about 2 years ago I think...?) but the darker brunette look is the clear winner :) helps bring out the best features with little effort.


  43. Even though you rocked the ombre... I really like it all brown more! I am one for a classic look though!

  44. Looks nice, I like the change! :)


  45. Hi Laura - May I ask on behalf of your sorority sisterhood of like minded Beauteous Sirens :) your haplessly fetching and completely bewitching lipstick would be....?
    I am on the hunt for just that perfect lavender based soft Victorian pink.
    Thank you.

    1. Hi :) It's L'oreal Caresse in Lovely Rose :)


  46. Me too! I would love to know what this lipstick shade is as I have been searching for this everywhere!

    1. It's L'oreal Caresse in Lovely Rose :)

  47. another one who would love to know your lip color!

    1. L'oreal Caresse in Lovely Rose :)

  48. Your hair is looking lovely X

  49. Back to brown is the new trend. Have a look at it
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  50. Dark hair really suits you, you look very classy with it! :) x
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  51. I loved this blog and I personally love the dark brown hair color that I can easily get by dyeing my hairs, thanks for the info.
    new hair color ideas

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  53. Very beautiful,if we don't know how to take our hair care,we can choice clip in hair extensions.
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  54. For those of us with shorter hair, clip-in extensions are a good quick fix.
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