Lucie Loves... Hair // How to keep DIY red hair looking vibrant! My professional auburn colour revamp at Steven Carey Hair London [REVIEW]
It was only this weekend just gone that I realised where my penchant for having long red hair stems from. Said realisation dawned on me as I rewatched a Disney film – for the first time in what feels like 20 years or more. The Little Mermaid*.
*I also think this film has a lot of other things to answer for in my life...
- My belief that you should never screw over another woman and always speak up when you feel strongly about something! Never lose your voice!
- My love of buff bearded Mermen (Ariel's dad is a babe!) and tall dark swarthy types – Yes, I'm looking at you, Prince Eric...
- My recurring habit of trying to save people... usually those who don't wish to be saved.
- My decision to fly the family nest to pursue my dreams and a life in London...
- And my preference for brushing my hair with a fork. Ok, so that one is a joke! But my mum did once use a fork to brush her hair, before a school photo when she was tiny... hahahaha!
Anyway, those of you who have made the decision to join the red side – or are thinking of dyeing your hair red/ginger/auburn or copper – will know (read as: should know) that having red hair is not a low maintenance option.
Why did I want to dye my hair red in the first place?
Well... I first attempted to dye my brunette hair red as a bit of a statement. I remember travelling back from Leicester to The North, on a train to visit family. I was feeling a bit sad and a bit neglected by my then boyfriend. He'd gone off to Barcelona with work and was being quite uncommunicative, and therefore, the Needy Carrie in me surfaced.
I spotted a girl on the train with really vibrant copper hair and decided that was it! I was going red too! She looked fierce.
I bought a box dye and took it to my Nan's house, for her to do the DIY job for me. However, it being the first time I was dyeing it this colour (and me putting a red dye over the brown) made my hair turn a weird, cheap-looking plum colour. I HATED IT!
Back to the drawing board...
We managed to rectify it by lightening it a little with some other dye (it was too long ago now to remember exactly which one) but after that it was fine, and I would then colour it myself every 4-weeks or so at home with a box dye - usually a 7.4 copper shade of some description.
Here's my hair colour journey over the years – think I might be missing some pics of me as a blonde, but I will try and dig them out!
What I hadn't realised, after doing it myself for so many years – and dyeing my whole head each time, not just my roots... was that I was destroying the lengths and ends of it with the amount of peroxide that was in the product. If I'd known that doing this would eventually turn the ends of my hair to stringy elastic, I would have thought twice about dyeing my hair myself. The other knock on effect of dyeing your whole head each time is that your hair ends up getting lighter and lighter with each new application, and the rich red hue that you had originally achieved, no longer has any staying real power.
And then... fast-forward to Summer 2018, I received an email from a PR about Steven Carey Hair – a hair design and colour specialist salon based in Mayfair, London. I was curious to see what would happen to my hair colour if I opted for a professional dye job over a home one.
And so, on a glorious Friday afternoon last week, I took myself by tube to Oxford Circus and walked the short 4-minute journey over to meet Steven & Veronica at the salon. They've got a great a team of first-class colourists and stylists, so I felt in safe hands!
Veronica took her time to talk me through the colour options for my hair. She started off by listening to my current hair dilemma – its too fast-fading and colour-damaged, over-dyed ends, and then enquired as to what my preference was between orange-toned reds and blue-toned reds.
I always lean towards the warmer shades of red, as they complement my skin tone and eye colour better. Veronica mixed up a few different shades to get something close to the 7.5 I usually go for, and then explained that following my hair colour application, once washed, she would then add an additional vegetable dye over the top (mixing two shades together) to give it more depth and shine.
t felt utterly wonderful to be pampered by the Steven Carey Hair team. I was in the salon for around 4 hours in total, and was very well looked after. When it was time to finally see the Wella colour result, I was really happy. It looked more natural and ginger-biscuity than I could get with a box dye, and felt soo shiny!
I've washed it twice now myself and haven't noticed an drastic fading yet. Usually, the colour fades after 2-3 washes, when I dye it myself. So here's hoping that a professional colour not only is less harmful to my hair, but also has more staying power too. Another thing I've noticed is that my hair feels much more conditioned than when I do it myself. I think that may be down to the vegetable dye treatment.
Disclaimer: My hair treatment was complimentary, for the purpose of this review but all appreciative words and thoughts are my own.
To book an appointment at Steven Carey Hair yourself, head to www.stevencareyhair.co.uk