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Darker Hair - for good! (hopefully)

I've started dying my hair when I was in High School. I used to have a massive amount of really thick hair, but ever since I've been pouring chemicals on my hair, it has noticeably thinned out and become really flat. So I decided that this will be the last for a very long time, and to not color my hair and let virgin hair grow out and the ends trimmed.

The last time I did my hair was 3 months (or so) ago. I went to the salon and asked for the lightest color without having to bleach or double process my hair. My stylist didn't like the idea since my hair was already stripped from color and really dry. He persuaded me to do a mixture of 7 & 8 (shades that go higher in number are lighter colors). I did what he wanted to and ended up with light brown hair.

This is how it looked like with the camera flash on.

the lighter strands are not highlights. They are the misfortune of my sad attempt to lighten my hair at home during the course of two years.

and below is a shot of my hair indoors, without flash.
as you can see the roots are coming out, and the ends are dry and bleached out due to previous lightening at home.

I wanted a really dark color, a color that could match my original hair color so I wouldn't have to continuously dye my hair whenever the roots came out.
Um.. something that could bring my hair back to when I had no artificial coloring in my hair.

like when I first started making Youtube videos.
My hair was my natural color back then, and I miss my natural hair color.

So I did my homework and read up on a lot of home kits and decided to go with L'Oreal's Excellence cream. A lot of people complained that the shade "dark brown" and "chocolate brown" came out as jet black. Like emo jet black (no offense to emos, I have nothing against them). Most seemed to advise to go for a shade lighter if one were to buy the kit.

I did as many advised and got 5AB Mocha Ash Brown since I wanted a dark brown shade.

Btw, the reason why I always opt for "ash" or "cool tone (green or blue)" colors is because people who have black hair like me will look brassy and red when they apply warm undertones. Black is not black but more of a red+red, so if you want to balance out the redness, it is best for you to use ashy or cool undertone colors.

So, here's how the box and inside stuff look like.

The cool thing is there is a Pre-Color serum. I used up almost all of it on my dry ends :p

I tried to apply all of the formula equally on my hair so I wouldn't get any patches. I wrapped my hair with plastic wrap and left it for 35 minutes.
It was quite though to get all of the sliminess out of my hair when I was washing out the formula. I rinsed everything out and left the L'Oreal conditioner on for 5 minutes.

Reviews said the formula was gentle and not very damaging.
I guess my hair was already damaged enough - my hair felt like synthetic fiber while I was rinsing it :( I could totally feel the damage! I really don't believe such claims as "non-damaging" or "feels better!" or "healthy for hair!". Chemicals are chemicals, and no matter how you try to sugarcoat it, altering colors is going to be damaging no matter what.

After feeling the roughness, I didn't even dare try to blow dry my hair.
Here are the results.
The color came out a bit lighter than what I wanted... But, it is VERY similar to the color shown on the box. Strictly speaking, it is a true color match and if you are going from light to dark, I think you should just stick to whatever color you want.

I should've stuck to my gut feeling and do "dark brown"... :'(

And here's a shot of my bangs that are already pretty dry..
the brassy light color hasn't been covered completely! *cries*

And here's the completely dried version with flash on.

in natural lighting..

urm... ashy it is, but not quite the look I was going for

.... ahahaha... I hate to be a complainer, but it's basically not that different from my previous color :p aww man.. I really should have grabbed "dark brown".

I have a feeling that my hair is going to turn out like this girl's hair...

I'm so fearful it's going to happen, but I'm so sure it's going to happen: my ends are going to fade like this girl's..
I need to let virgin hair grow out and keep trimming off the old yucky hair.

I am done with coloring my hair :p and I hope I won't go through this madness again.

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  1. Ow... I'm actually going the other way lol! Going blond :) But this time I'm quite careful, making sure it stays healthy using hair masks :)

    But about 2 years ago I also took a break from colouring, the new grown hair was so healthy :D Good luck to you!

  2. Good luck! I vowed the same thing about 4 1/2 years ago and I haven't dyed it since. It's definitely way healthier!

  3. i hate it when the color doesnt come out as expected. I still think it looks pretty nice and ur hair will def get stronger once u stop dying it. Mine did!

  4. OMG! I hate the feeling of damaged hair especially after dying or doing something to my hair. T.T I dye my hair a lot and I also perm it which is probably even worse. The last time I dyed my hair, a whole chunk of my hair came out and I freaked out. Now, I'm determined to not color it or do anything else to it. My hair needs to heal. sighhh. LOL. We all need to give our hairs a break! ;)

  5. Aw, I love your new hair color. xD I wanted an ash brown color for my hair, but I didn't use my brass-tone remover correctly and it turned out badly...

    I'm glad you posted this! I wanted to dye my hair darker so I can let it grow out without dying my roots since my hair is in awful condition and even grows out to be wiry.
    Good luck with your hair!

  6. Ah funny is that I kept having the same thought as you this whole month, really trying to let my real color just grow out but once you dye, its so hard to avoid it haha esp when its light and its like "ugh gotta dye it again so its darker" and then next thing I know, my hair doesnt even match it when roots come out haha and it fades light. And im not really one to do a blunt two toned hair. One thing I learn was to not go jet black and like a mind of a girl, change back to light, a very damaging costly process. And I agree, colors are always the surprise fun..and not so fun haha. Hopefully this time around we can both stick with it! goodluck

  7. Even if it's not the shade you wanted, I think you made the right choice. I once went from a light brown (a bit darker than your initial shade) to a close match to my natural black hair so I opt for l'oreal creme too, but I don't remember the shades I took. However, I know it was a dark chocolate brown that I took and it did came out a bit too dark, as in black, but not the real kind :P But then, after 2 weeks, the color faded and it looked like a dead grass brown -_-

    Completely grossed out by the color, I dyed one last time (I was like you, sick of dying and dying non-stop to hide the roots) with Clairol Natural Instinct in Rich Darkest Brown - Coffee crème (the name is quite horrifying yeah), and it really did the job even if the 'shine' after I dyed wasn't as vibrant as l'oréal's.

    So I hope you will maintain your hair better than I did so the color doesn't fade -_- once you dye, everything becomes so bothersome eh? :P

  8. I would like to dye my hair some day but it does sound really bad to the hair. After my mum dyed her hair, she became allergic to it and turned to henna.
    I wouldn't like that to happen to me - its so much simpler to just buy a dye without worrying about allergies :/

  9. Wow, I could totally relate to your story. My hair color (and cut lol) is very similar to yours. The last time I dyed my hair to a light color was summer of 2009.

    However, after the color started fading, it started becoming orange and brassy (like I expected). Before this, my hair was finally grown out into my Asian virgin black hair (after dying it continuously for the past six years) and now I wish I had never decided to dye my hair lighter :(.

    The last time I dyed my hair though was around January 2010, when I dyed it a dark brown hoping it would cover my half head of nasty orangeness and blend in with my other half head of roots of natural hair. It worked fine...but this color started fading after only about a few months.

    It turns out that dying your hair ontop of already dyed hair does not last long at all, and eventually that second-time dyed hair will fade and leave you with what you had before.

    This summer, I went to Asia and contemplated whether I should let the salons dye my hair a darker color, to again blend it into my natural hair color. I just despised the look of nasty roots and orangeness! But after much thought, i decided i was going to let my natural hair grow out to a length where i could keep cutting off the dyed part of my hair time by time.

    as of right now, im left with half a head of my natural color and half a head of orange hair -_-. So everytime i would tie my hair up, only my ponytail would be orange as opposed to the rest of my hair which is not. And if i let my hair down, it would just look gross :(

    oh well, all i am and could do now is patiently waiting for my hair to grow and grow and grow out so i could happily cut off all that nasty dyed hair. AND someday (even if it might take a year!) when i will finally be left with a full head of my virgin black hair, i have decided I will NEVER dye my hair again, or at least for a very very VERY long time :)

  10. Hey Catalina!!
    I had the exact same problem in the summer of 2008. I had orangey brassy hair after a few months of dying it dark brown. I was so tired of always dying it and saw the effects it had on the integrity of my hair. I just wanted my hair to be it's natural colour. When I went to Hong Kong that summer, a stylist died my hair this semi permanent colour that was jet black in the beginning. Then it faded to this dark brown that matched my roots. To this day, a single drop of dye hasn't touched my hair. So you might want to go to a hair salon next time if you are tired of boxed dyes.

  11. but your hair doesn't look damaged in the pictures! LOL I know what you mean though I was trying to grow out my black hair but the roots got so gross that I gave in and dyed my hair last week -__- need to get over it lol! the hair color looks gorgeous on you though :)

  12. I've been thinking of dying my hair for ages but I'm just so lazy >< plus I have so much hair I feel like I would need two boxes or something :(

    You hair doesn't look that damaged ^^ and even though it's not the color u expected I think it looks quite nice.

  13. You can use henna! Even if it smells funny, its definitely not as bad as those horrid chemicals. And it only comes in shades of medium brown but that's still cool, everyone still goes for chocolate hair..

  14. i dyed my hair too i hate it when my hair is damaged so i dyed it, its not black but it looks like black im going to let my hair grow to,,goodluck!!

  15. If you wanna go darker you gotta fill back the colours you have stripped previously or else it would not last. Its better off to go to the hairdressers because colour correction is a big no-no at home.

  16. Hi Catalina,

    U shouldn't use box hair dye from the drug store if you want to dye your hair. The chemicals in the hair dye will definitely damage your hair. If you want to dye your hair and not make it too damaged.. try buying the products from Cosmo Prof (If you know someone who has a hair license they can purchase it for you). The thing with the products from cosmo prof is that you need to buy the color you want, then mix it with the developer. I have a friend who does hair and this is how he always does my hair. I dye my hair every 2 months and till this day it's still shiny and smooth (of course not as smooth and soft as my natural hair, but it's still good for super dyed out hair). Hope this helps.. oh yeah, maybe you should let your hair rest before you do anything else to it :) Best of luck :):)

  17. Don't worry about your hair, it'll get better soon :) i experienced the same thing a while back and dyed my hair jet black so that it would fade to my natural hair colour as time passes. So it did and my hair's much healthier now. I stopped the hair dryer, flat iron and curler. Washing your hair on alternate days may help too.

    You should try loading up on proteins as well like eating almonds.

  18. Awwn good luck! Don't worry I'll grow it all out! I tried dying my hair with the same loreal product last spring and Ure right chemicals are chemicals, my hair got dry and brittle and broke a lot! And I thought loreal was gentle :(

  19. Hi,Catalina! I just watched some videos on youtube and your tutorials are really awesome!--the only problem is that I need more practice (-_-;
    Hair color...yea, I am on a break from coloring my hair too. but I think I will start doing it again this winter break when I go back home.
    By the way I am Chinese,and go to college in US.


    p.s. what's the title of your novel? mind if I check it up?

  20. That scarlet shade looks awesome. Wished I had the guts to wear it though! So sorry to hear about the hair colour, I experienced the same when I got adventurous and decided to dye my hair ash brown over the summer. It turned out yellow and I really hated it but after blowing hundred-ish on a salon dye, I didn't want to do the same just to rectify it. Made my flatmate dye it back for me with a drugstore dye(superdrug). I used dark brown and it did work - got it to my original colour.(: It's from the uk though, but I could send it over if you needed(:

  21. What was the lipstick you used above? the one with red pointers to your hair? :D

  22. Catalina hi..urmm i like the shade of lipstick you're wearing in the picture..what shade is it? :) its really pretty


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