I know, I’m a bit two thousand and late banging on about the dreariness of last year but, by GOD, 2018 was awful. Personally and globally, if it hadn’t been for the glorious summer weather (let’s just ignore the melting polar ice caps for a mo), the frivolity of a celeb-filled royal wedding and the release of A Star Is Born, I’d have been ready to throw in the towel when the leaves changed.
The dark mornings, coupled with a dark news cycle, meant autumn held little promise. I found myself in a funk, longing for a return to the silliness of summer but far too far away from the cheer of Christmas to see any fairy lights at the end of the tunnel. Even my beloved Strictly, the seasonal Prozac that usually gets me through to party season, wasn’t quite doing its thing. I needed more silliness than ever before to keeeeep dancing.
As I type this next sentence, I imagine readers’ eyes rolling back in to their skulls but, it turns out, what I needed was a new hair colour. Enter: ginger me. My inspiration was twofold: the bright red leaves of autumn and the brightest light of Strictly, Stacey Dooley. Stacey’s perfect copper that fades into auburn had me mesmerised enough to create a dedicated Pinterest board and hotfoot it straight to my colourist, Harriet Muldoon at Larry King, who wasn’t surprised. “You’re the second request I’ve had for ‘a Stacey’ this week,” she said. “Let’s do it!”
Harriet made sure I brought plenty of photos and told me that a change from blonde to red wouldn’t be a quick job; if I wanted the natural-textured look of Stacey, it would involve multiple stages.
My current colour, a very rooty blonde, first had to be brought back to a uniform shade with some balayage (hand-painted blonde streaks). Next, a treatment called “base breaker” lightened the roots further without bleaching. The copper tones were then added throughout, before an all-over gloss added loads of shine.
Yes, four stages, but it was worth the couple of hours in the chair and at the basin. I’m in love with it. The colour is a perfect strawberry blonde/copper, with a red halo around that roots (I couldn’t stop looking at it, truth be told!). A couple of months later and it’s faded to just strawberry blonde – the type of colour the cutest of kids have and one I didn’t realise you could get from a bottle.
Red famously takes some looking after and fades faster than any other colour, so I turned to two long-time red Pool colleagues for their tips on turning fiery.
Amy Jones, 15 years a redhead
My hairdresser – my very own hairdresser – told me that, with red, box dyes last longer, so once I found a box dye I got on with, I used that most of the time.
I've also found that dying on dirtier, product-free hair lets the dye last longer, so I leave it unwashed for three days before I put dye on it.
These shampoos and conditioners are amazing for keeping colour. I don't buy them often because they're expensive but, when I do, I notice SUCH a difference – I don't need to wash my hair as often, so the colour isn't washing away.
Cate Sevilla, 7 years a redhead
I've been dying my hair red for about seven years – I only get it touched up every 12 weeks and I only wash it only one to two times per week maximum. Dry shampoo is your friend!
Also, Olaplex No3 is the only thing that seems to actually repair my hair.