A Day (or two) In The Life of a Redhead

I have been a natural blonde since babyhood…ok, mostly natural. I’ve always loved being a blonde and  have never had a particular interest in changing my hair colour…until last week. Before I go into the details of my experiment here are some tidbits on the different hair colour processes:

1. Permanent Hair Colour uses a combination of ammonia and hydrogen peroxide to penetrate the hair shaft. The reaction first removes colour and then deposit a new one. While this colour will lasts the longest it fades a bit and grows out. It is also the most damaging hair colour process– it is highly recommended that you get a professional to do this for you.

2. Demi-Permanent Colour uses a much gentler processs to deposit  colour without lifting any pigment from the hair. This colour lasts for around 28 shampoos (depending on hair type and colour) and is much less damaging than permanent colour.

3. Semi-Permanent Colour stains the cuticle instead of penetrating it. This provides a kind of tint to your hair that will last for about 4-6 shampoos (again depending on your hair). Semi-Permanent colour can not lighten hair.

4. Temporary Hair Colour is often confused with semi-permanent colour. Temporary colour does not penetrate the cuticle at all and washes away easily in 1 wash. Temporary colours are great if you just want to try a colour out. These are not very popular because they rarely give natural looking results–this is usually  the type of spray-can colour you see in Shoppers near Halloween.

Now, for the juicy details.

Normal Lauren on the left. Computer generated ginger Lauren on the right.

As a procrastinator extraordinaire, I have a talent for avoiding work by otherwise occupying my time. A recent procrastination episode led me to the Clairol Try It On Studio online. This is actually one of the best “virtual makeover” sites that I’ve tried. After sampling few unflattering, but highly entertaining colours, I came across one that I kind of liked- a kind of strawberry-blonde/red.

This got me thinking that I might actually like to try red hair out in real life. My dilemma was this: red is one of the hardest colours to remove once it’s in– especially for blondes.* Permanent colour was definitely out of the question, and even the “temporary” results of L’Oreal’s Colour Pulse could be disastrous. In the name of beauty, I kept searching for a possible solution and finally found a temporary way to to let out my inner ginger: Roux Fanci-Full Colour Styling Mousse.  Armed with my can of #32 Lucky Copper I applied the mousse to damp hair like a regular styling mousse. I used a lot more than I usually would to cover all of my hair. About 20 minutes later (application, then drying and styling) I had very voluminous, very red hair. The texture felt horrible because of the amount that I had to use…but it looked awesome.


*A warning to natural, dyed or highlighted blondes- darker hair colour (even semi-permanent) can ruin your flaxen locks. If you go darker, you will have to wait until the dyed hair has all grown out before you can really return to your original, multi-tonal blonde.

Roux Fanci-Full Styling Mousse #32 "Lucky Copper"

I left my red in for a couple of days. I shocked my housemate, my mother –who received the picture while at the hair salon– and some friends via facebook. Some were enthusiastic (the boyfriend loved it), and some, like my mother, were less impressed. I even had a coworker reintroduce himself before he realized that I was not a new staff member.

The result of my beauty experiment.


Luckily I was completely back to blonde after one shampoo.

Conclusion: I loved being a redhead for a few days. It was the first time in my life that I’ve had a hair colour other than blonde and it was a fun change. I don’t plan on changing the colour permanently, but it’s good to know that I can drastically change my hair colour for a couple of days without risking my blonde bombshell status.


Extra Info:

Roux Fanci-Ful Mousse is also available in a temporary colour rinse (which I haven’t tried). Both are available at Sally Beauty Supply and Shoppers Drug Mart.