I decided to include these pictures to show you my transition from blonde to brunette. Yes, these are all pictures of me (LuLu). No, you will not be seeing my face (as I’ve explained my reasoning here). If the fact that I’ve cropped my face out of these pictures bothers you, please feel free to skip reading this blog post. If not, I hope you enjoy reading this post and maybe even find it useful or would like to share your own experience in the comments section. Thank you!
Ever since I was 17, I’ve had my hair dyed blonde. I assure you, I went to great lengths and took great pains to make sure it was an ash-y blonde. It might look yellow in the photo but that’s only because I’m doing the whole duck-face selfie in the bathroom mirror thing (don’t judge me). This was taken in 2012.
If I’m not letting my hair air-dry into messy waves, I always use a hot-air brush (which isn’t that hot) to dry my hair. One because it’s faster. Two, it gives amazing volume! Three, I like the way it makes my hair look (like I’m not trying too hard… because let’s face it, I’m honestly not). In the photos above, you can see what a few minutes of running a hot-air brush haphazardly through my hair can do. The ends might look a bit unhealthy but that’s because I’m well over-due for a trim.
I always use a hot-air brush to straighten my hair, before going in with extreme heat to properly straighten, wave, crimp or curl my hair. I always curl one section inwards (towards my face) and the next outwards (away from my face). Also, I never separate my hair equally, always making sure the sections are disproportionate. The reason I do that is because it creates messier curls and adds volume, and I’m all about that life!
Here’s another photo of me with curled hair in natural sunlight. My hair might look shorter, but that’s just because I always part it to the side. I find that a side-part is so much more flattering than a middle-part.
My hair is quite long naturally because I don’t get it trimmed regularly. I keep putting off cutting my hair mainly because once I get it cut, I’ll have to take better care of my hair (using heat protections sprays, deep conditioning treatments, and easing up on the hot tools). So whenever I’m due for a hair cut, I figure I might as well make the most out of it (swimming everyday, going ham with my hair-styling products, curling the life out of my hair using hot tools, etc…) since I’m going to get the unhealthy ends cut off soon anyway. Basically, in anticipation of all the extra effort I’d have to put in after getting my hair trimmed, I keep putting off said trim, and that is why my hair is so long. I don’t want my hair to just look effortless, I want it to be effortless.
Then I dyed my hair for my wedding because I didn’t want to regret having blonde hair in the wedding pictures. Keep in mind that I’d been dying my hair blonde for more than 10 years so it was kind of a big deal. Everything (clothes, jewelry, makeup) looked so different on me! Things that used look great on me as a blonde, now looked awful on me as a brunette. By that same token, things that used to look awful on me as a blonde, now looked great on me as a brunette.
Case in point, this yellow gown I came upon while out looking for a wedding dress (yeah, I get side-tracked easily because I have the attention span of a goldfish). Even though I was on a mission, I couldn’t resist trying it on. When I first got engaged, I was all “Yeah, I’m totally ‘gonna get Vera Wang to design a wedding dress for me.” Then I got distracted until eventually I forgot. A few months later, I was like “I’d like to go with someone a little more closer to home, like Elie Saab“. Years ago, he had custom-designed an absolutely beautiful wedding dress (with gorgeous intricate hand-stitched detailing to match the theme of the wedding) for my sister. Of course I got distracted again until I eventually forgot. A few months later, my wedding was days (not weeks, days) away and I was still wedding-dress-less. I couldn’t afford to be picky at this point. I needed to find something (anything) to wear on my wedding day and I needed it to find it soon. Me in the yellow gown (that had nothing at all to do with my upcoming wedding, I was just trying it on for fun) was me in hustle-mode.
Five months later, my husband and I were on a plane to Thailand for our 30 day Honeymoon. Notice how much lighter my hair had gotten after only five months? I’d gotten my hair styled at a salon closer to my new home because I didn’t have enough time to leisurely style it on my own. I was unhappy with the result because it looked too prissy and perfect for my taste and I prefer my hair to look a bit undone or messy if you will. Worst of all, it didn’t have enough volume.
This photo was taken at Patong Beach about a week or so into our trip. I’d styled my hair using only a single product (a magical product but more on that in another post) and my hot-air brush making my hair perfectly undone with sufficient volume, just the way I like it.
Which was pointless because at night while we were having dinner at a sea-side restaurant at Surin Beach the humidity played havoc with my hair (as you can clearly see).
This was taken about half-way into our vacation. This is what my hair looks like (tangles and all) after dipping in and out of the water about half a dozen times. Note how it looks lighter in natural sunlight.
Even though my hair might look shorter in some photos, it’s actually quite long which is why I will always love scrunchies no matter how unfashionable the rest of the world deems them because they keep my hair out of my face. Normally, I prefer having my hair tied up in a super-high ponytail but only if I’m not out in public. If I’m going out I’ll opt for lowering it (by a lot) as you can see in the photo. However, I don’t mind going out with a super-high bun.
By the end of our trip, not only had I gotten a tan but my hair had lightened up considerably after hours of being in the sun. This photo was taken in Bangkok.
A year later, back in Kuwait, my sister-in-law had an appointment at a certain salon so I decided to tag along and once I was there I decided to get ash-y highlights and a sorely over-due trim. This was the result.
It might not look it but my hair was quite short after that “trim”.
I had such a hard time trying to style it that unless there was a certain event coming up, I just let it do it’s own thing.
Thankfully it grew back pretty quick. So what do I do?
I chop it ALL off… by myself… just because. The hair I chopped off was a lot more and a lot longer than what’s in my hands but I only thought of snapping a pic for posterity towards the end.
Everyone was shocked because normally when people decide to go shorter, they tend to do it gradually, not go from super-long to super-short. I couldn’t stop shaking my head slowly from side to side – like a kid – because it made my hair swing.
Strangely enough, I loved it. My hair took less than five minutes to style. It took even less to dry it. The epitome of easy-breezy!
Aside from my father (who is pretty old-school and thinks all women should have long hair) everyone said short hair looked cute on me. Plus, Lobs (long bobs) were having a moment.
One day, I was like “I know what will make this look even better! Bangs!” so I proceeded to cut bangs for myself (with no prior experience). Obviously, I messed it up so I had to clip my “bangs” up while I grew them out.
At the behest of everyone who “cared” for me, I went to get my hair cut (read: fixed) professionally. The stylist felt the need to point out that whoever cut my hair had made a mess of it. She said she couldn’t fix it but she could cut it so it would look better as it grew. The end result was I straight up looked like a boy.
I still loved that I could shower and my hair would be completely dry only minutes after. Somehow that made me even more lax when it came to “styling” my hair. I’d just shower and go out, letting it air-dry along the way to my destination. No hair products, no hot tools, no nothing.
As it grew and grew, I got more and more annoyed with the ash-y highlights in my hair. Somehow, I’d gotten tired of having lighter-colored hair and all the fuss that came with it (regular appointments to dye the roots, sitting in a chair for an eternity, the smell of the hair dye).
I was glad when my hair was long enough for me to start messing with it again. I actually missed spending upwards of an hour curling my hair or straightening it or just styling it. It could be annoying but it could also be pretty fun too!
So I decided to make the most of it and play around with my short hair to get it out of my system, which is where the whole slew of new hair-care products and hot-tools come in, (for example in this photo, I had used my beloved Garnier Fructis Style Curl Construct Mousse). Since my hair was short, it was easier to experiment with. I believe it was around this time (when this photo was taken) that I decided to get a divorce.
I also decided to get the ends trimmed regularly (by a pro, lesson learned) until I’d gotten all the blonde/ash-y highlights out of my hair. I was done with lighter-colored hair.
The longer my hair got the happier I got. It’s nowhere near long as it was before and I’m still getting it trimmed regularly to cut all the lighter ends off (no more blonde, no more highlights, because I want my hair to be one shade, my natural hair color) but I’m happy with it for now.