“Your hair is so beautiful, but redheads seem to be dying out.”
“It must be your Irish heritage. Your red hair gives you away.”
I’m going to let you in on a secret. Well, it’s not really a secret so much as it is the debunking of a common assumption. Lean in close, I don’t want this to get out as I enjoy fooling random strangers on the street.
I, Erin, am not a natural redhead.
I know! It shocks everyone when I reveal this! So many people have assumed my hair is naturally this lovely shade of red. One man even kept staring at me to see if he could see some hint that would confirm my declaration. I’m surprised by the sheer amount of people who believe I’m a natural redhead simply because my eyebrows hint at my natural dark brunette coloring. My natural hair color is truly almost black, and I’m told that is more in line with my Irish heritage than my deceptive auburn hue.
I don’t allow the ruse to continue for long if someone directly comments on my hair. I typically will set them straight. I just prefer to be a redhead. It goes best with my personality, which I affectionately describe as “sweet and spicy.” It also goes along with my rare, but explosive temper. It takes a lot to set me off, but when it happens, I definitely fit into the fiery redhead stereotype.
So I got to thinking the other day, why is the deception so easy for me when others who also have chosen to dye their hair are easily recognized for their trickery? I finally came up with a reason after performing my monthly dying ritual: my awful methods for dying my hair make it appear more natural!
Let me explain. I’m sure you’ve seen someone having their hair dyed in a salon type atmosphere before. They tend to separate the hair evenly and brush on the hair dye with a tool that seems like a cross between a paintbrush and a basting brush. This way the dye goes onto every strand of hair evenly and creates that uniform look.
The problem with that “uniform” look is that it’s not how hair appears naturally. Even the blackest hair tends to have some form of highlight in it, even if it’s very subtle and hard to see. However, with dyed hair, even with the “highlights” that some women get, it’s obviously not natural because, again, there’s still a “uniform” look even with those highlights. The highlights are placed at even intervals, making it more obvious that they are not natural.
I dye my hair at home, using a $10 box. My hair is thick, and so normally by the time I’m done with my roots, I’m already about halfway through the bottle of dye and still have to apply it to the rest of my hair to “freshen” the color. So, I’m typically rationing off the remaining dye to cover my head. This means that I don’t use the separate and brush method. Oh no. If you saw me dye my hair you would probably laugh at my insanity or stare profoundly in horror.
Instead of the brush, I tend to section off my hair and squirt a trail of dye down from the top of my head to the ends of my hair. This means that the dying is VERY uneven. When I finish dying all of my hair in this fashion, I try to cover more of my hair by piling it on top of my head and putting the dye on any non-dyed hair. It looks really weird and, ultimately, some of the hair doesn’t get dyed.
This crazy method that probably makes absolutely no sense, actually results in my hair being multicolored. Not multicolored in the sense that it looks like a crazy rainbow, but multicolored in the sense that it has depth and highlights. And since I’m never able to recreate exactly which hair sections will be the most saturated with dye and which ones won’t, the dimensions are constantly changing. The various colors in my hair as a result lend it a more natural look than the typical salon dye job. This in turn makes everyone believe I am a natural redhead and, thus, the name of my blog.
So, the lesson today is that sometimes veering away from the norm and making a fairly routine action your own turns into something beautiful. Or, in the alternative, looks can be deceiving. I’m sure both of these lessons are going to be regular themes in this blog.