Wednesday, February 14, 2007

The Perils Of Too-Dark Hair

Originally uploaded by Peacebang.

Remember Emily Watson, the simply brilliant actress who made you cry so hard in Lars Von Trier's "Breaking the Waves" that you thought your eyeball would pop out?

(If you haven't seen it -- SEE IT!! For heaven's sake!! It's got at least THREE sermons in it!)

Here's Emily a few years ago, with kind of overly-cutesy bangs but otherwise just fetching and glowing and with her trademark mischievous smile. She's a delight.

But oh, regardez, mes amis.

Quelle dommage! Someone has taken a dark rinse to Emily's hair and not only destroyed her complexion in the process, but taken every bit of light from around her:


Lesson, pumpkins: none of us has a halo yet, so our hair should reflect light or we will look like zombie people. It doesn't help that Emily is grimacing in this photo or that she's wearing a truly horrible black satin gown and terrible liver-colored lipstick. It's the hair that's the problem. The updo isn't good, but the color is flat and far too dark for her. Let's hope she had it done this way for some new movie role in a tragic drama and not for real life. If it's for real life, she should fire her colorist right away and scamper off to grt help from someone who understands how to make a gal look good. That's going to be a tough color to chip into, though. Another lesson: if you want to go a lot darker, do it in increments.

Gents, this is for you, too, because don't think PeaceBang doesn't know how many of you are covering that grey with Miss Clairol. Which is fine, just make sure there's some dimension and variance in the color or you'll look like a Ken Doll with molded, plastic hair (Mitt Romney, are you listening?).



Anonymous Madgebaby said...

Thanks for the absolution, peacebang--I was just feeling guilty about amount I spend every two months for foil highlights!

12:25 PM  
Blogger revsean said...

I like this one.

2:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just this weekend I noticed a member of my congregation who has been coloring her hair to cover gray for years. She has recently gone darker--and it makes her look soooo much older. I think that naturally graying hair very often matches a gracefully aging complexion.

2:50 PM  
Blogger Berrysmom said...

You've got a better eye than I do, PB. All I could see when I looked at the photo is a woman dressed in a shiny black window curtain.


3:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have never colored my hair and am getting to the age when the grey in the blondish brown is starting to make me look washed out. Any tips for a beginner? How do you find a good stylist and what should I ask for?

3:55 PM  
Blogger PeaceBang said...

Anon,it's hard to know where to begin, but you might ask women who's hair you think looks terrific if they have a colorist they'd recommend (a tactful way to ask would be, "Is there a professional hairdresser who helps you achieve that gorgeous chestnut brown hair? Would you be willing to share his or her name?").

If your hair seemed to be a perfect color for you at one time, by all means bring in a photo so the hairdresser can go by that. Given the changes in your complexion over time,it's wise to spend some time consulting, as you may want to make a fairly considerable adjustment to tone or shade.

Also to consider: how often do you want to have to touch it up? If the answer is "not often," consider an all-over color with highlights, which will actually grow out more naturally than one all-over color.

Consider your make-up, if you wear any, and how you might want to amp it up a bit to go with your shiny, gorgeous hair.

Shine on, and let us know how it goes!

4:01 PM  
Blogger peg said...

PB -- I loved it when you were Malificent, but I'm really lovin' the real you! Hi there -- you're gorgeous!

4:23 PM  
Anonymous Kim Hampton said...

I don't think the hair color would have been so bad if she had looked happy AND had a dress that suited her.
The dress caused me more heartache than her hair.

Plus....her colorist went too dark. She could have gone darker....just not that dark. She doesn't have enough yellow in her skin.

I can't believe I'm really talking about this.....I wear wigs.

5:17 PM  
Blogger Maggie said...

Solution for anonymous with the grey/blondish-brown hair that worked well for me. I had very blonde highlights put in my hair for years to blend and brighten the gray. As I got grayer, I needed touchups less and less frequently. When my hair got to the point where it didn't look much different whether I had it highlighted or not I let it grow out. Hope this helps.

5:21 PM  
Blogger PeaceBang said...

Thanks, Peg.:::batting eyelashes:::

Madge, honey, just remember that there is NOTHING particularly moral about refusing to color one's hair, although some people would have us believe so.

Maggie, great suggestion.

Kim, LOL!

6:37 PM  
Anonymous Madgebaby said...

I just started coloring my hair recently--I actually have much more gray hair than my mother in law!

I typically go in wearing less makeup than I usually do, and I emphasize that I want my hair to match my eyebrows. Finding someone through a friend or associate whose hair appeals to you is really the best way to find a colorist, and whatever you do DON'T TRY IT AT HOME unless you stick with very minor semi-permanent changes. I learned this the hard way :)

8:04 PM  
Blogger boyinthebands said...

Hubby and I euphemize gray hair by calling it "light blond." Of course, his natural color is a dark ash, so he just looks dashing. But even with brown-black hair like mine, the key is not to color but to keep all the hair well trimmed.

Gray hair seems to grow in coarser and springs our perpendicularly from my scalp, rendering me like an unfortunate German shepherd-beagle mutt. This means I keep on top of my scalp, ears, eyebrows, nose, beard and (at the risk of TMI) chest. I'm hoping to look dashing, too.

8:49 PM  
Anonymous jinnis said...

Speaking of naming the gray, most of mine is around my ears under my length and I seldom wear my hair up, except for the gym. So I call it my "underlights."

7:21 PM  
Anonymous A Woman of the Cloth said...

With 30% or less gray hair, adding highlights will create a nice color blend that doesn't look "going gray" and will be low maintenance and thus less expensive.

When the gray gets to a higher percentage, it's more common to first color the whole head (lowlights) followed by adding highlights. This will begin to involve touching up white roots as they grow in. So don't let the base color, the lowlight, get too dark.

Home box treatments tend toward "redshift" and I'm not talking astronomy. Gray hair doesn't take color the way your original color did -- it's harder to color. If you need to do a box, pick a significantly lighter shade than your natural color -- keeping a nice dark color is going to start looking harsh.

12:06 AM  

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