A year after I stopped dyeing my hair

July 2018 vs. February 2020.

The last time I dyed my hair was a year ago, in February 2019. I had been doing it for a long time before that, you have a whole post about it here. This is just a short documentation post bringing home three very important points that I have learnt since I stopped:

(a) while we fret so much about the roots showing when dyeing regularly, it actually takes *a very long time* to grow it out;

(b) very few people have noticed or commented on the process (reaffirming that my fake hair color wasn’t that important part of my projected self);

(c) Madame Manumus (hi, I miss you on the internets!) was right, even if you consider your natural hair color very much meh, it makes sense to go back to it time by time. In my case it had been exactly 20 (!) years since I started to play with dyeing and the last time I had seen it all natural had been in 2008 for half a year. Frankly, I just had no idea what my natural hair color (and texture) was.

The photos below mostly show how different the same hair can look in a different light and hairstyle, a very funny thing. On a side note, I haven’t found a single gray hair.

Here you have it:

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The first serious attempt at documenting the hair status quo in April.

A very stupid (and painful) sunburn at the beginning of May.
In this light the hair color and texture do look sad.

The post-hair dresser selfie in May. The roots do look faded.

My first undershave – thank you, Liisa! – in August.
As you can see, the unshaven part still looks very much red.


Still August. Trying to capture the roots faithfully and failing.
The layered tones speak volumes of how sloppy my DIY dye jobs were.

The post-hair dresser selfie in October.

An objective daylight photo by the end of November courtesy of Miguel Ángel. Gray alright.
He was also one of the few people who asked why I didn’t look that redhead anymore…


February 2020.

The last two photos were taken on the same day, with some 30 minutes between them. Same hair, same wash, same styling. Just different light. And that is the inconclusive conclusion here: nobody is paying attention to your hair color, and – even if they are – what they see is so moment-dependent so why bother at all…

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In general, I’m very happy and not planning to go back to dyeing my hair anytime soon. I still have a good chunk of the red dye to grow out anyways… We’ll see how the summer goes. In principle sun should bleach them, but my plan is to stay inside and wear a sunhat constantly, so I expect no major effect. On the other hand, the tiny part of me that has some magical thinking would swear that what is sprouting out of my head now is lighter and more on the brown-ochre side than it was the last time I saw it back in 2008. But it could be the light playing its tricks.

What are your hair dyeing and returning-to-the-natural experiences? Maybe you’ve tried the natural just to run back to your favorite dye? Or have you never been even tempted by hair dyes? I’d love to hear about your experiences down in the comments ♥

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