December 21, 2011

on the great hair shenanigan...

the hair situation.

Feel free to file this one under "things that don't actually matter very much in the grand scheme of things, but still feel important, especially when I haven't showered in three days and am still wearing my pajamas at noon".

Still reading? Not judging? Well, okay, then. Let's move along.

The above photos showcase the current state of my hair. Quite frankly, I feel lucky to have any hair left at the rate it's falling out. I knew to expect a bit of hair loss around three months postpartum, but I guess that I hadn't prepared myself for the extent. I mean, mercy. I'm fairly sure my hairline is receding. But I'm going to repress those thoughts and just be glad I took the time to document my last unusually good hair day. Rest in peace, bountiful curls. Rest in peace.

So, here's the situation. I'm willing to let the hair loss slide, mostly because I'm used to not having incredible, natural body in my hair. For most of my life I've had to fight to get my hair to not fall flat. (The past year has been fun, though. Very fun.) But my main issue right now is saying goodbye to highlights. I've had blonde highlights in my hair since I was sixteen, and—despite numerous claims of my desire to go back to my natural color—I've always gone back to blonde.

I just…like being blonde. It makes me happy. It makes me feel pretty. It makes me want to dance around the salon like I'm in a musical.

However, now that I have the stay-at-home-mom status (and we're keeping a closer watch on our finances), I've been slowly reverting back to my natural hair color. The last time I got highlights was when I was seven months pregnant, which was in June. Can I just celebrate that fact, real quickly? Because that shows a lot of restraint on my part. Amen.

My current issue is the grow-out. I keep trying to tell myself that I'm rocking the hip, ombre look, but when I look in the mirror I see this, as opposed to this. It's a little bit traumatizing. Sometimes I want to cry.

I'm determined to ride it out, though, and get back to a darker, more low-maintenance look. I've had my stylist "bump" the base color a few times since June, to help the grow-out be less dramatic (and less tacky). But at what point do I need to just dye it and start from scratch? My natural hair color is basically what you see on the underside of my ponytail in the above photo. I don't want to go back to only that, because I would feel all mousey, I think. I'd still like to have it be a shade lighter or perhaps a shade darker (if I feel brave enough).

Any advice? Have you gone from blonde to brunette? At this point, do you think I should dye it darker all over to get rid of all the blonde bits? What are the odds Jay agrees to let me spend too much money to get highlights JUST ONE MORE TIME PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THINGS HOLY? (Perhaps I'm not as determined as I thought I was.)

Send help.


  1. I honestly love the colour it is right now. It's a very natural ombre look which IS hip. If you dye it darker, don't dye it too dark. I dye my hair almost black and when my roots grow in and I'm lazy and money-less, you'll see me with lighter roots. Horrible.

  2. First of all, when I saw the pictures, I was like "Awww, pretty hair." And then I read your post where you're complaining about so really I just want to be like, "Stop it! You're gorgeous!"

    So, I've never gone from blonde to brunette, but whatever you're doing works. I have a mousy brown hair too, and I dye it reddish brown pretty regularly. All over color is definitely cheaper than highlights in most places, but not always. You can do box color too, but that can get tricky because you really only want to do your roots (otherwise your ends get super saturated and dark and it's not good - especially if you like to be blonde!). Even if you dyed it brown, you'll still have lighter hair because, well, your dying 2 different color hair.

    I think what you have is fine. I've also been dying my hair for about 8 years so I know how frustrating it is!

  3. For whatever it's worth, I don't see any hair loss!

  4. Don't do what I did once. Don't decide to just buy a box of dye and color over your highlights yourself. Those highlights will suck up that dye and no matter what, your ends and highlights will be DARK. The best thing you should do it just go to a salon for the first time at least. Then touch up yourself. It will still end up saving you a FORTUNE in the long run. And may save you from having to pay to save yourself from a disaster.

  5. I have no advice on going from blonde to brunette but just wanted to jump in and say wow, you have great hair!! Even if it is falling out you really can't tell and the colour looks rather natural as well.

  6. I have never seen your hair looking less than perfect! I am all kind of jealous. Don't be too hard on yourself, it looks great.

    When I saw the first picture I was like, ooh she's probably going going to write about how great her hair looks!

    I too am a bottle blonde and I hate how expensive it is. I sometimes dye it myself, sometimes go to the salon, usually only dye it twice a year. I'm all over the map.

    Before my wedding I dyed it myself (because I'm crazy, or because I was so sick and tired of spending money!) and I bought dye at a place called the "Beauty Supply Outlet." It's the same stuff as the pros use and it worked really well, I thought. Just an idea.

  7. Amen on the hair loss.....couldn't agree more! I am dying over here. I want to get pregnant again just so I can enjoy another 9 months of thick, shiny hair! It was heaven!
    I also have been highlighting my hair for years and I would love to break free of the costly salon bills....and you are encouraging me....but ugh blonde highlights just seem to do something for my soul!!!!! But for the record, your hair really does look great. You inspire me and I love your blog! Keep it up!

  8. I feel your pain! When I was prego with my 2nd chilipepper my FAKE blond hair turned orange, I went back to my natural color (brown) and I couldn't LOVE it more. So, I say go for it!

  9. It looks really good like that, and I think you look younger with the darker hair color (not that you looked o.l.d before or anything). My vote, looks good, either keep going how you are, or buy a box and move along!

  10. My natural colour is pretty similar to yours, I think. I used to do the blonde thing too (so fun! So pretty! So pricey!) Now? I colour it myself. I go darker with a hint of red. I use non-permanent colour because I find it easier to work with. It fades so it looks more natural than having a distinct line where your roots grow out. The dye I use is L'Oreal Healthy Look in Chestnut Brown. It costs $9 a box and I do it every 2 months or so. It's not as fun or pretty as blonde but it's SO easy.

  11. I think your hair looks wonderful! And I thought that before I even started reading the post. :)

  12. Wait wait. The hair loss is going to get worse? Six weeks postpartum and I'm already shedding like a St. Bernard on the equator. Your hair looks great as it is - the colour's pretty and the ombre look does look really natural on you.

  13. I'm at a similar in-between state, though my natural shade is more of a light brown/dark blond. I don't like to pay for salon hair coloring after a bad experience, and the last time I did the pull-through-the-cap highlights, I ended up in tears because it hurt so much!

    Wah wah. #firstworldproblems. For real. I know.

    (I'm intrigued by Hillary's advice!)

  14. You are SO like me... My natural hair color is what I describe as "mousey brown" which I can't stand. I first dyed my hair (blonde) in 2010 and I just can't go back. I love having any shade except brown! Earlier this year, I decided I'd go really nice and blonde and because I TOTALLY FAIL at dying my own hair, I ended up very, very ombre. The look was okay, however...

    When I looked in the mirror, especially as my hair color was fading, I felt the exact same way.

    Just this month I bought platinum blonde hair color. I figured my hair would be light enough for no more ombre and I was WRONG and I did wanna cry...

    Hair IS JUST HAIR. And I tell myself that all the time, but dang, I just want a full head of BLONDE HAIR.

    Rant over.

    I suggest, if you do start dying your hair from home, bleach your hair first... Manic Panic has great bleach, from what I've heard, otherwise you'll have leopard spots or ombre like me.

    Either way though, you are simply gorgeous!

  15. I think your natural color is pretty, and it seems to be growing out nicely. I think blonde is really pretty on you, but going brown would probably make your eyes stand out and look amazing!

    Oh, and the hair loss can be pretty traumatic, I know. I have fine hair so having a lot more during pregnancy was wonderful--and then at 12 weeks postpartum it fell out for about 5-6 weeks, then stopped. Basically your hair's natural loss slows way, waaaaay down while pregnant, so all the hair you lose afterward is hair that you would have lost little by little over the previous months... just all coming out more at a time, in a shorter period. It IS scary in the shower, or if you look at your hair brush, lol... but it really just goes back to its normal state, and you'll get new growth (I grew in lots of baby hairs around my hairline in the front). So hang in there!

    You have gorgeous hair, whatever you decide to do with it!

  16. For what it's worth, I think your hair looks gorgeous as is! BUT if you're hell-bent on getting some highlights, have you ever considered going to a hair school? I live in Chicago right near the Aveda Institute, and they do a really good job for less than half of what you'd pay at a normal salon. I think highlights are only like $50-60 there! Plus, a teacher checks all of the student's work and makes sure things look good throughout the process and when you're finished!

    OR try and see if you can find apprentices looking to build their client bases (with discounted services).

  17. My natural hair color is similar to yours and I've been getting highlights since I was a teenager too. (I dyed it blonde once, and ugh that was a big mistake. By the end of that summer it was platinum blonde from the sun and chlorine!) Lately I've been getting lowlights along with the highlights (although, the bill kills me! I try not to get it done too often). And recently I've been toying with the idea of dyeing my hair to a color similar to my natural one so I can let the natural color grow in without it looking obvious. But I'm afraid it'll just look too mousey, and it gets greasy easily too. I used to be afraid of it not looking blonde enough, but now I'm more afraid of it looking too blonde, lol, because I think I might want to dye it brown but I don't know if that'd look good on me and it's been blonde for so long and I do like the blonde (when the highlights aren't getting too yellow-y!).

    Wait, if I can't even decide what to do with my own hair then I probably shouldn't advise anyone else in the same situation!

    I think your hair looks pretty the way it is right now though! You don't notice the highlights growing out; it seems pretty natural.

  18. Hi! I never comment on here but I have something to say, so I think I will today. Lol

    If you want to go natural or darker during the grow-out season, I would use a non-permanent dye like Natural Instincts (by Clairol, I think?). It's cheap, it washes out after a month or two, and it doesn't damage your hair because it doesn't contain ammonia. Also, it fades out gradually so that you can stop dying it and reveal your natural hair whenever your highlights grow out! You could get a shade close to your natural color (or with a bit more vibrancy if you feel it's too mousy).

    The thing is, you can only go darker that way (or equal darkness. But not lighter). Still, if you really feel more yourself as a blonde, going lighter all over and keeping that up yourself is still much cheaper than highlights!

    Good luck with it! PS, worst case scenario, the ombre look is workin for you. Even if it is annoying to live with ;)

  19. I went back to my natural color with a couple highlights through it in order to make it less... traumatizing. My hair stylist did bump up my root color to make it softer, but try putting in some low lights gradually, to blend it all together. It'll be less dramatic then dying it all dark at once, and it'll grow out really pretty. (I think it looks pretty now, very honey colored).

  20. I don't know anything about this postpartum hair loss business, but I think your hair still looks lovely! I also want to grow in my natural color to save money, because maintaining my highlights is so expensive. Except I, like you, think my natural color is really dull and mousey. Good call on getting base bumps to help with grow up. Maybe I'll follow your lead...

  21. I have that mousey light brown color as well, first I started highlighting then I became a total bleach blonde. Eventually it was just too high maintenance to keep up with or afford. I let it grow out a little then went to the salon for a semi permanent color which surprisingly lasted until the blonde grew out. Eventually I got used to the light brown color even like it but don't you know now I have grey hairs popping up so eventually think I will need some blonde highlights to hide those. :)


    I would go a shade darker than your natural. Because as I see you without highlights, I can see the vibrancy that a darker color would bring to your skin tone.

    But, heck, you always look stunning.


  23. Cracks me up that I am reading this right this second. Same boat...right here in this house. I actually called my hair dresser today and cried....tears. My problemo is yes I am a blonde by bottle, and could go darker. But I have blonde eyebrows!!! So, when I go darker I look like a character from star wars. I will continue to rock the ombre as you call it. I like that. Oh, you should add a feather extension...I recently did that and feel quite hip and People magazine cool mom ready. Smiles!!

  24. Hey Beautiful,

    You dont haaaaaave to go dark. In saying what I'm about to say to you, I'm sure all fellow hair stylists are cursing my name but; John Freida makes a line of products called "Go Blonder" All the products in the line are gradual lightening products (about a 4-6 days). There's a shampoo,conditioner,and lightening spray. they're each about 6$-8$ but I've seen the sets of 3 at target for 10$! I have a naturally dark blonde sister who I used to have to highlight ever 6-8 weeks and, these products have virtually eliminated any need for me! haha its such an amazing line! Give it a try!!


  25. I don't think it looks bad. Truly. I know the frustration though. Mine is growing out and depending on the hairstyle it looks terrible. But yours really still looks cute.

  26. I LOVE your natural color. It looks awesome!

  27. Add some low-lights...a few do-it-yourself brown strands will blend it while you grow it out!

  28. I completely love you, lol. Just when i was having a bad day i read this and it made me smile. Ps: i'm all for the no-fuss hair thing. You're starting to look very much like my shade!! I'm a little more strawberry blonde but loving your out-growth. I let mine grow out 10yrs ago and haven't looked back. Sometimes it's nice to have a shade unlike any other -ie: more your own. <3

  29. 1. I love your blog!
    2. Your little girl is ADORABLE, and I cry at mine baby's doctors appointments too!
    3. This post made me laugh AND made me feel better about the clumps of hair I've been losing. I felt like it was a cruel trick right out of the movie The Craft until I realized it was post partum's fault.
    4. I went from blonde-ish to dark brown in college & haven't ever gone back. It is just too easy & too cheap! I use Loreal Preference Dark Brown, which my hair stylist loves until I tell her it's out of a box and then she scolds me. $10 every 6 weeks? Can't top it.


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