It all started in Camden when I was 13 (as is often the way). Stargazer. 'Lurid Fuchsia'. Cheap plastic gloves. Dying my hair in the garden so I didn't stain the bathroom. I still stained the towels - sorry, Muv. It was addictive. I had only intended to dye the tips (yeah, early 00s grunge kids were way ahead of the fashion curve) but then I put in streaks and then I gave in and dyed the whole thing. And it was awesome and I thought I looked awesome and, even now, I maintain its general awesomeness. I loved having pink hair. It made me feel unimaginably cool. Much to my disappointment it had all washed out within a week. The high and the awareness of the transformative power of hair dye stayed with me though.
Since then I have been highlighter orange, varying shades of brunette and a dark and glorious ginger. The latter was my favourite and the only one I repeated. I kept the henna up for about eighteen months and there were many things I loved about it. I used the amusingly named Lush Caca Rouge Mama henna and it smelt wonderful, during dying and for weeks after, and it left my hair in amazing condition with a bright but (relatively) natural colour. I still have half a block in my bathroom cabinet. BUT I haven't re-dyed my hair in months and months because, geez, it's a hassle. You have to grate it and then mix it up and then it is very runny and it goes everywhere and then I found that I had to leave it to soak in for 2-6 hours while my head was wrapped in clingfilm, which is neither comfortable nor attractive... I just haven't had the time or the energy to deal with that since I graduated. I feel tired just thinking about it.
Unfortunately that left me with some rather odd looking roots. They could have been worse but misc/mousy on ginger is kind of weird, particularly when your hair is up and you have a ginger bun sitting on top of your head! So when the opportunity to do an easy dye came along I thought, why not? Half an hour on a Saturday, bathroom un-ruined, you're done! I used John Frieda Precision Foam Colour and it was crazy easy and not that toxic. Seriously, after henna chemical dyes are such a relief. And my hair is soft and shiny, more so than usual, if slightly less so than post-henna. And so quick, so easy! (Clearly still feeling a bit overwhelmed by the ease of it all).
Admittedly the colour was a bit of a surprise. I wasn't expecting quite such vibrant purple tones from 'Medium Copper Brown'. I like my hair colour to like it at least could be natural (except when it is fuchsia) but, oh well. Lots of people seem to like this kind of colour - it must be quite popular. And purple was my absolute favourite colour aged 2-5 years old. Maybe it will illuminate a new aspect of my wardrobe. Being a brunette makes me want to wear bright and dark pinks, being a ginger makes me want to wear green, who knows what purple will bring? You've really just got to roll with it. That is my top tip for home hair-dying (as well as Vaseline on your ears and along your hairline). It will grow out or fade out and if necessary you can re-dye it but maybe see where it takes you. It might be somewhere unexpected.