My Colors

I’ve been looking at the book “Color Me Beautiful” by Carole Jackson on Amazon, “looking inside” it as much as I can, online that is. I don’t own the book, never have. I’m familiar with the concepts since the early 80’s through many sources at the time.

Anyhow, I reached my “limit” in how many pages I could “look at” in the ‘surprise me’ mode, but can still “search” in the book and I did find this reference, but can’t see the whole page about it, and wanted to comment on it here.

Summers most often feel drab and want to enliven their looks by doing something to their hair. Often they were blonde as children, and their hair turned mousy as they entered early adulthood

Bingo, that was my experience. But …

I experimented with hair coloring and at one point tried to “go back to being blonde” and got a horrid orange yellow instead of the supposed “what should happen” color. I had the help of a thank-goodness-she-s-visiting-right-now sister and dyed it a light ash brown and that made it look better. My hair then, over the space of time, turned a light blonde, so very nice it was, but then … it grew back in darker, and with red in it, but not “red hair” but with sort of metallic red strands here and there, and some hairs were auburn/brown and the rest just some sort of whatever color it is to hold it all together into a strange looking mix, that is thankfully also curly since my early teens and discovering the wonders of hair gel and humectant conditioners. My timings of what I’ve done in my teens may be mixed up, the point being it did get funny colored when I tried to go blonde, and it was fixed with an ash brown dye. I am thinking now that my hair did grow back in darker and with the red stuff in it, and I used light ash brown dye a few years later to cover any brassyness that I’d attained from the South FL sun, and when I went to CA to visit with another sister for a few weeks it’s THAT rendition of hair that turned a lovely highlightless light blonde, that really did suit me then, I thought. I’ve been looking for a photo snapshot from that time, and I can’t find it, but I can see it in my mind. I know exactly what it looks like, but it’s lost in the mass of unorganized pre-my-own-camera photos in a photo “shoebox” or elsewhere, in fact, perhaps.

Since all that I’d embraced my darker look, and THAT went on to always confuse those who wished to place me in a “color season” saying with green eyes and “red” hair I had to be autumn, though I disagreed with them highly because of how sick the colors made me feel to wear, though admitting that they DID make my hair look good, to some extent, but then I was only hair and a clothing color and the “me” was invisible and gastly feeling interiorly.

All along I’d felt my hair was actually darker than I truly now think it really has always been. I have to admit that the red is there, surely it is, but before I was 13 it wasn’t there. I was blonde as a child, with a bit of body or slight wave to my hair. The blonde darkened through my childhood until in my puberty year it was mousy dark blonde/lt. brown. I suppose I have to go with saying it was really what is considered dark blonde. It’s at that point that the “curl” came in as well, but I didn’t work with it, I worked against it, blow drying it to death usually, hair spraying it further to death, and doing a worse thing twice, chemically straightened it at home in my bathroom –ugh — it never made my hair straight, that’s for certain, and I’m foturnate I didn’t lose my hair — I still remember how it stretched as I combed the goo through it as directed in the instructions. I could nearly faint remembering it.

So it was from all that which somehow my hair got red in it, or it naturally would have happened anyhow, whatever. I have a sister with very red hair, deep auburn red. She’s an Autumn, or “should” be though I can’t confirm it since she doesn’t live around me but she seems to be one, but I don’t know if her eye pattern is the “autumn” one that I speak of in the next paragraph. I have another sister that wasn’t red to start out with, but turned from blonde to what I would call “chestnut” quite early, from how I remember it being told. I don’t know what her color season is. I was blonde into my tweens (which is not what we called it then) and my hair to darken to that mousy brownish color at 13 to 14 years of age. My other two siblings, both I bet are Winters, dark hair and light skin, cool toned, distinctive. Maybe all of us are “blends” –which I am probably, but based on how I put it, being a Summer/Autumn blend isn’t really understandable from my perspective, as all that “autumn” stuff is wacky looking on me.

So anyhow, my skin tone is blue undertoned. I love silver, muted silver (banged up stuff), platinum, sapphires, etc. I used to live in denim –my “favorite” color to wear, especially the well worn look, faded washed denim. I love the idea of the seaside colors, to wear, to look like that. Just my hair is weird. Also then my eyes have the supposed “autumn” pattern in them, but I see a “cracked glass” sort of ring around my pupil, and I haven’t gone deeply into “eye pattern” info enough to understand that yet, and blended patterns … but I have my husband, a Summer, to look at, he has classic Summer eyes with the cracked glass look, and the blue outside with the changeable inside color sort of yellow. And my eldest child, boy – 11 yrs. old, has the classic cracked glass iris too, except his coloring is blue over all with a teeny weeny hint of yellow-ish around his pupil, one eye more than the other, but barely noticeable unless you look decidely, deeply, hunting, and a light blond (hair). My two middle children, girl almost 9, boy 7, have Spring eyes and coloring. They have similar eyes to each other, both golden and green and brown in such a different way than mine or the other two I’ve mentioned above, both are blonde/blond but a darker blonde/blond than their older brother, and the girl has a goldener color that is turning redder by the year for the past few years definitely. Then there is the newborn — he has lovely dark blue eyes, with the same design as me … a flower like pattern, but inside that, by the pupil is a “cracked glass” sort of ring. He appears, thus far, to be very fair and blue undertoned. His hair is looking to be fair, light blond, though he’s only 4 1/2 months old right now. It’s different hair from his newborn hair though. He looks awesome in blue, like his eldest brother did and does. Like I feel like I do, and like I feel my husband does. Blue –the color for each of us, over all others. The two middle children, they aren’t primarily blue oriented, nope, they are a spring palette sort, and look good in lots of other things. I know my boy that’s 7 looks good in orange, but it’s not an “autumn only” sort of orange (I’m not entirely certain he’s a full Spring either) it’s bright and that makes it more akin to Spring as it seems to be right now.

The “autumn” pattern is called “aztec sun” in some places, and I’ve always called what I have a “flower” –like I and my baby have, but the photos I’ve seen online don’t look like my and his eyes. Mine are green with gold sort of colored “pattern” and his are blue with “white” colored pattern and we have that area around the pupil that is just the same, pattern-wise, but his eyes are blue and mine are green. Both darker than lighter, but not super dark.

So then, over the years I’ve occasionally toyed with the idea of lightening my hair some, but never so much as since I’ve been thinking of color seasons for the past couple of weeks. I know that in the past I’ve really liked my hair more when I “ash”-ed the red out of it, even though I sometimes “like” the red in it, but I really feel more “me” without it, even though it’s “naturally” there. I have some white hairs showing up the past year or so too, not much, but enough to know I will have to do something about it, and going lighter may just be the thing. Dark ash blonde, if I can manage to get it that way without a huge hassle/ton of money. I will attempt this myself, and only go to a salon if it is too much for me, if I can afford it. Otherwise, it’ll have to be a deal where I use a light or medium ash brown to cover up horrid mistakes. I know that I abhor the idea of getting it done at home and looking great, and then having to deal with lightening roots appropriately when they come in, and get it to match. THAT is where I feel not quite up to the challenge.

I’m not doing this in a vain way. I want to look right for who I am as I get older, not brassy, and I do not want to be dying my hair red or auburn when I do feel so much more my introverted Summer self with lighter (than I have now) ash non-highlighted hair, which was one of my childhood editions, since I went from lighter to darker in stages as I grew up. All in all, just my hair as it is ash-ed to mask the red would be a welcomed change (and cover the white/grey that comes in.)

8 responses to “My Colors”

  1. Hey,
    I think I do have a photo of you when you were staying with us in SD. I will look around for it and scan it and send it to you. For your info, my hair has been depressing me lately. I seem to have lost the red to get the grey covered in a close match color, which is brown or a deep brown. Not even a golden brown or reddish color. Adding any reddish color turned out to look brassy on me and red doesnt cover grey or white very well. I have a lot of grey hair but patches of it and I have my hair parted on the left side and that area in front doesnt have any grey, but my callic on the right was one of the first things to go grey. Anyway, yes, I am autumn. I have greenish blue eyes with dark golden brown spots in them in random places. I have golden tones in the star pattern from the pupil. My husband has the white or silver based light blue eyes, and my son Daniel’s eyes are identical. Now my other son’s eyes are two different colors, one is deep dark brown and the other is light brown, kind of like our Mom’s eyes. When he was a baby his brown eye was the same dark and his other eye was light blue and looked rather striking. His facial tone is autumn like mine and my husband and other son are summers. Anyway I am wondering what to do to my hair to get the red back. I was visiting my husband’s family a few years ago during the time I started coloring it, and one niece said “Didnt you used to have red hair?” That made me feel so bad since back then I really did think it was still close to my normal color of red I had all my life. Any tips you have would be welcome. I’ll look for those photos of you.

  2. Becky, Thanks for looking for the photos.

    I don’t have anything much to offer, off the top of my head at 4-something in the morning, about how to get the red back, except to say it might be a trial and error thing to find the right product. There are so many things on the market now, in the hair coloring department, things have changed dramatically since I last looked to do something (I did use Natural Instincts in their secondary product line, not permanent, lasts thru approx. 24 shampoos)

    Your hair color has always been so beautiful. I’ve had this thought before, and it seems to be true from what I’ve seen, that natural red heads, at least the sort in our family, which are a variety of sorts, don’t hold on to the red forever. Our mother used to try and put the color back in her hair, when I was a teenager, at least I know she did. It never turned out nice, and was very brassy. That was late 70’s/early 80’s though, a long time ago in the hair products department.

    My hair has always been strange, and I recall once in high school when I got a layered hair cut some kid ‘accused’ me of coloring my hair brown. In those days we lived in S. Florida and the top layer of my hair was rather brassy, so a layered cut brought fresh hair to the surface. FWIW.

    So then you had always had that lovely deep auburn, so very red but not the carrot-top sort of red. Was it through and through color, solid color, in other words? My hair is a mix of all sorts of colors overall some kind of lt. to lt. medium brown with some kind of a reddish bent to it in the sun, but not indoors (and not all of it is such, much is an unremarkable mousy color) and then there are strands of hair mixed in that are “red” unmistakably anywhere. It’s all a messy mixed up lot. I couldn’t duplicate my look if I wanted to. It’s one reason though I’d used those non-permanent hair colorings a few times, it’d give me the varied look but tone down the brassier top layer, make me feel more “put together” overall.

    It’s true for me that my hair color is subjective. Some people think I have red hair, others think it’s brown. Compared to a ‘real redhead’ I don’t have red hair, but it is ‘brownred’ FWIW.

    Ack, people don’t really look at me anyhow, I can’t tell you how many people thave thought I have brown eyes over the years, when they are decidedly green. I have two brown eyed children, not fully brown, but way darker looking than mine. Mine seem dark, but looking at theirs I realize that mine are not that dark.

    I grew up looking at our parents eyes, and our Dad’s were watery blue, and our Mom’s were not very interesting to me, back in the day. I am trying to recall exactly how they looked, how the pattern looked, the color was a light golden brown, wasn’t it? That’s as far as I can get. I know that I noticed the “pattern” in my eyes long ago, Debbie did too. Now I can’t remember what sort of pattern she has, if it’s like the supposed “winter spokes on a wheel” or not. It seems quite normal to say our Dad was Summer and Mom was Spring.

    You might be able to find something to aide your return to “how it used to be” eventually, but it might be a hard trial and error task, and if you could find a salon to do it, it might be worth it (but not one so highfalutin that they’d not teach you how to do it yourself if it is do-able at home.) That’s my best advice.

    I wish there were a machine that we could put a swatch of hair in to have scanned, and it’d spit out the info we’d need to do what we want to it. Like for me, the machine would be able to tell that when I lighten my hair it gets an orange funny glow to it and it’d know what to tell me to do, which brands, step 1, step 2, step 3, The various best products for each step, etc. For you it’d scan your hair, and also a few photos that depict your lovely red hair from your younger days, and it’d tell you what to do, as well.

    That’s what professional artists in hair salons are for though. It’s not as easy as a machine could make it, moreso subjective, but artsy. And out of my league. I’m a “do it at homer” and if it doesn’t look good, something will cover it up, a darker shade. That’s pretty much it. I haven’t done a thing with color for several years now. I’m prancing at the gate, chomping at the bit, to start now.

  3. I have had through and through red, never layers like you have had. Although when living in SD, and keeping it in a pony tail a lot, the tail parts got bleached and looked rather blond when held next to the rest of my hair. In recent years, though, when not coloring it, I have noticed especially when washing my hair and the hairs that came out seemed different shades, some dark brown, some that looked almost black, some light red, some medium red, but most were medium red. Now I think that I have a mix of grey and brown and there are about half as many med red left. I hated having such a different hair color when I was young, but as an adult, I felt lucky having that color and proud that I didnt have to color it to get it like that, and so many people tried to get their hair that color and it never looked natural. Well, I have to be grateful for the years I had good hair, and now at least my brown is much richer than most people’s brown colored hair. They can’t believe I dont have golden brown dye. It is just a medium brown, kind of flat. The lady who helped me with it said that my red would pop out of it and it has somewhat, that is what the richness in the brown comes from. I dont know what I will do, but maybe experiment a little. I’ll let you know.

  4. Becky, the “red popping out” thing — I know that it has happened to me, using Ash dyes, it tones down the uglier stuff but lets the nicer red through soon after the process of dying, but not right away. Thus my knowing how difficult it is to lighten my hair at all, with some red in it.

    Anyhow, you sound like you have a darker version of my hair that I’ve had since I was a teenager at some point, probably redder than mine over all since my ‘brown’ isn’t rich, but mousy. So you do have the autumn sort of richness and I have a mix of red with mousy summer browns. Does that make sense?

    So I would say to you, you might have a decent time getting some sort of thing to work, staying in your hair’s depth of color/darkness or a tad darker — and when you say “flat” it seems you could be saying “ash” –which is my experience to tone down red, but not fully “out” it, maybe heightens the good red.

  5. Becky, This product from Clairol looks interesting, and might be helpful for you to attain a better look for your hair along with whatever coloring you might find to work … it’s a glaze for between coloring treatments.

    Here’s a link to all their products, FWIW

    Of course there is also L’Oreal that has several nice products as well.

    I don’t know what I’ll do, since I’ve been looking around different websites about hair color … will I try and get a Perm. color to go a bit lighter, or not … or just stay with a Natural Instincts sort of Semi or Demi, whichever it is.

    I’m nearly convinced to just do a light ash brown sort of color with Natural Instincts, I think it’s called “Tweed”. I’ll see what that does, and then later I can do something else if I still want to.

    As for you though, Becky, there are lots of super red colors on the market, I’ve looked at L’Oreal brands and Clairol as well, I don’t know what brand you have used, I’m only suggesting looking at the deeper shades as a possibility.

  6. My copy of Color Me Beautiful is packed up now, but I remember her saying that Summers alone can frost their hair successfully, and they nearly always have to stay away from “warm” or “golden” tones, even when they have naturally occurring golden or red colors in the hair. You’re right on doing the “ash” colors.

    I’m a Winter so thankfully my “grey” is coming in silver and I don’t have to do anything to it to make it look good — besides staying away from orange or yellow colored shampoos and such, which would dull the color.

    That might be something for you to look into — I use the purple shampoo made by the Alberto VO5 company. I think it’s called Free Me Freesia. And it does keep the silver from looking drab. Maybe it would help brighten your hair.

  7. Well, I did color my hair with “Tweed” Natural Instincts “Light Ash Brown” this after noon and it’s now darker than I hoped it would turn out … so my overall natural color hair is probably lighter afterall, so now I am sure that once this color is gone (4-6 weeks) I wll lighten it somehow, either myself or at a salon, not yet sure which.

    Also, the “red” is still there, more than I hoped it would be, and I ain’t so happy about it. I need a massive “toner ash” to get it out sometime, no doubt.– cancel all red, orange, brassy stuff — but I do want to be at least dark ash blonde, so what I’ll have to go through, I’m not so sure of, and then I worry about how my “roots” with look after a month. :rolleyes:

  8. […] I did use Clairol’s “Natural Instincts” hair coloring “Tweed” [writing about it on my other blog on Nov. 19th] –which is a level 2 hair coloring (washes out in 24 “shampoos” –washes out in “washings” really, since I don’t “shampoo” unlike most people, I use the Curly Girl method of washing with conditioner only.) It made my hair a tad darker than I had wanted it to, I also did use it mostly to tone down the red in my hair, and to cover the gray hairs I have, none too many, just 1 here and there, and the little hairs along my forehead coming in light as well … moreso white than gray, really. But I didn’t want them. I’m considering still trying to go a shade or two or so lighter, and have the red totally gone, I hope, and that would be a dark ash blonde, and maybe have some lighter highlights, or whatever. I don’t know as of yet how that will go. It’ll be a maintenance thing, and that’s not something I’ve ever dealt with, keeping any style or color up at all. I’ve never had my hair colored, only have done it myself, mostly in the further past, with only this one Natural Instincts coloring in quite a few years, if not further back. My hair styles, I’ve upkept myself entirely for over 10 years, except for one haircut I had in 1998/1999, I’m not exactly sure of the exact timing, it was while or after pregnant with my 2nd child. My hair was awful, the curl flopped tremendously, and my hair was just terrible compared to anytime previously or since. (That pregnancy was the only girl I’ve had — which seems to be something, as I had 1 boy before that and 2 more boys since the girl, and my hair was great during pregnancies with male babies.) […]

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