She Went Red


I think it’s pretty safe to say that for many woman, our hair defines us in a way.  Not in a devastating, life altering way, but in the way that it defines our “look”.  When we describe each other, or ourselves, one of the first characteristics we choose to use is the color of our hair.  Or the length, length is super important to some of us.

I still remember the first time I asked for a short hair cut.  I was in 4th grade and I asked for a severe straight angled bob, like the girl I saw in the magazine with the stick straight blonde hair.  My hair ended up looking nothing like the picture because my hair is brown, and thick and prone to waves instead of stick straight.  Now I love my hair and I appreciate it, but back then, when all I wanted to do was look like the cute blonde in the magazine, I didn’t.  I showed up at school the next day and David Good (who consequently still lives with his parents down the street from my parents ha!), called me Butch, and teased me for the rest of the year.

It bothered me for the day, but something didn’t budge within me, and instead of crying and vowing to grow my hair back out, I kept it short for years.  I was the girl with the short brown hair.  The longest I ever let my hair grow was to my shoulders.  I loved it and thought short hair was best for my face.  I experimented with highlights and different shades of chocolate brown tint, but for the most part my color has stayed pretty consistently dark brown, and short.  After Syd was born over 5 years ago, and falling in love with Courtney Cox’s long hair in that short lived show Dirt, I vowed to grow out my hair.  For once in my adult life I wanted long hair.  I wanted to feel sexy, and short hair had stopped feeling sexy to me.  From a just below my ear bob, to the length it is now, is how long it’s grown in the past 5 years.  Waiting can be a bitch I tell ya.

A few months ago I came discovered Taylor Tomasi Hill, the gorgeous and chic Vogue editor, and I developed a girl crush.  I showed her picture to my stylist and he said no way.  But I persisted and told him over and over that I wanted a change.  I wanted long hair, AND I wanted to be a red head!  As many of you I know can relate, after Hayden was born, the itch for change didn’t subside but only intensified.  When I went in a few weeks back for a cut and color, and he told he wasn’t going to have time to make me a red head in my 2 hour slot, I almost cried.  Sounds so silly, but you know when you’re filled with hormones and you have your heart set on something, derailments can leave you feeling more than slightly disappointed.  So before I left I booked an appointment to come back so he could turn me into a red head.

Five hours later, yes, five hours(!), yesterday I became a red head.  It’s not as bright as I had wanted, definitely not Taylor Tomasi Hill red, and it’s still reading auburn to me, but he promises it will lighten up, especially since about half of my hair was bleached out first, so those parts will especially brighten up after washing.  If it’s still not bright enough in a couple of weeks, I can go back for a lift.  This morning Art took a few pictures of me and seeing my face in my new head of hair is a bit startling.  It is not an exaggeration that it has completely changed the look of my skin color, and it’s tone.  I am going to need to reevaluate my makeup choices I think.  And I can tell I don’t yet feel quite comfortable in my new head just by the way I’m smiling.  A bit awkward still.  For the most part I love it and am happy for the change, but like with any big physical changes, it’s going to take some getting used to.  I’m not going to ask you all what you think because I’m not ready for the answers ha!  But I think I’ll end up really enjoying it for a bit.  I definitely plan to go back to my brunette hair eventually, probably come Spring, but for now it’s fun to have a change.  I think I’ll really like it up in a bun and pulled back into a braid.  So does your hair “define” you?  And do you change the color and style of it often, or do you stick with what works for you?  Oh, and I’d love any recommendations for a good shampoo to help keep the red.  I’ve heard from everyone that red is the fastest to fade and hardest to take care of.  Any tips would be appreciated!  And one last thing (sorry!), anyone have a good flesh tone or natural color lipstick that they recommend?  I bought MAC’s Ruby Woo last night (as pictured) and I love it, but can’t really be sporting the bright red matte lips for Kindergarten pick up.  I’d like something a bit more natural and good for everyday wear for red hair.  Thanks in advance!

Andrea is the founder of For The Love Of, a lifestyle blog dedicated to approachable, modern living. She writes about style, her love of DIY, and living a healthier life through wholesome, nutritious cooking. She is also a regular contributor at Babble. Get in touch: Facebook, Twitter You can find Andrea on Instagram @andreavhowe and @gwynethmademedoit

  • Andrea, I think its a gorgeous color on you! It’s just red enough:) Great meeting you last night!

  • Lindsay says:

    John Frieda’s shampoo and conditioner for red hair has been a life saver. I also use John Frieda Liquid Shine Hair Glaze every day I shampoo to really lock in the color. It has made my hair unbelievably smooth.

  • Lindsay says:

    I find the John Frieda line at Target, CVS, Walgreens. I like to use the Moroccan Oil line, as well. I could probably talk about just my hair care products for at least another hour!

  • Nicole says:

    My hair grows slow too! It’s been 3 years here! Love the red! So great on you!!

  • As an auburn girl (by choice), I can verify that it DOES lighten up!!! I’m currently in my more red phase and need to go get it colored again. It’s so fun and sassy.

    And this color looks GREAT on you!!! Really excited you went for it!!!

  • Cathy says:

    It’s GORGEOUS!! He did an excellent job! It is subtle and natural-looking! LOVE it! Now I want red hair!

  • mandie says:

    I love it Andrea! I spent much of last year with a reddish hue, but can’t currently afford the maintenance so I’ve been my natural color for over a year now, but I am super excited to be able to go brighter next year after my hubby graduates! 🙂

  • as a natural red head, i love it.

    and my hair definitely defined me growing up. i HATED my red hair for years and years because I was convinced it was keeping me from getting a boyfriend. No guys liked redheads! They liked tan brunettes and perfect blondes. It wasn’t until maybe at the end of college, I decided that I like it because it’s me, and it’s unique.

    lipstick-wise, i love corals on auburns/redheads. loral paris has a great coral shade– which, of course, i can’t recall the name of. It’s a tad brighter than maybe you want, but I just wanted to share 🙂

  • kelly says:

    Your hair is fabulous!!!! Wear it proud hot mama!!!!

  • Hi Andrea!
    Your hair looks really beautiful and it will be the perfect accessory for the holidays. Does that sound weird? It’s meant to be a compliment.

    Well, I never felt defined by my hair {personally}, but the times in life when I went brunette, had a buzz cut or cut Betty Paige bangs, were the times in life when people closest to me went CRAZY. They hated the change. They thought something must be wrong with me or I was going through an emotional stage. It always surprised me how other people defined me or associated me only with my blonde locks.

    The changes never bothered me one bit-I loved having fun with my hair.

    Oh and I don’t understand why you can’t wear red lipstick to school pick up? If we, in California, are going to enjoy the casual nature of wearing white after labor day, then by all means, rock the red!

  • amber says:

    I personally love it and am all for changing things up. Agreed that John Frieda for Reds are great for maintenance! There are tons of lipcolors out me so we can talk further & maybe have a makeup play date!

  • kristen says:

    You are beautiful!! I’m needing a change – I just don’t spend the time I should to style my hair, plus it’s almost always raining, so it’s hard to be motivated to style it sometimes.

    Do you remember the 80s TV show called Double Trouble? I desperately wanted hair like those girls, even though my hair was nothing like theirs and I was probably only 11 or 12. Here’s a pic of their glossy lovely locks! 🙂

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