Yes, I am adopting my natural hair color again – with a little help from the salon
Until my recent return, it had been 16 months since I had gone to the hairdresser to have my hair colored. It wasn’t that I had joined the legions that adopted home hair dye during lockdowns. I was more among those who welcomed the return to their natural hue and felt more nonchalant about what other people thought of it. In truth, I rather liked going back to my real roots and letting them grow; it felt like some kind of time travel when I wore the same shade of hair again that I can see in photos of me in my teens and early twenties (albeit with a touch of gray on the temples). But eventually, as life returned to normal, the desire to tone things up again – to add more life, more shine, a bit more glamor – proved right.
Judging by figures from market research firm Mintel, I’m part of a larger movement knocking on the hairdresser’s door. Home hair color sales fell 9% in 2021 after the boom driven by forced salon closures. Certainly, world-renowned colorist Nicola Clarke (who has her own space in central London in partnership with John Frieda salons) confirms that most of her clients are now back.
Many, she says, like me, found their natural color wasn’t so bad. They also found they didn’t have as much gray as they thought (it seems many of us have been preemptively coloring for years). Plus, says Nicola, “grey isn’t really a taboo and we’re less judged on our gray hair.” She’s noticed that more and more of her clients “don’t get as much color applied and instead go for their natural shade or work on some highlights.” This is certainly what I opted for: just a little relief for the summer months but taking it easy. After all, how often do we get to start over with our hair color and see which direction we want to go? It’s a real-time makeover. Keep in mind that once you color again, it’s wise to take good care of the condition of your hair. I recommend the four products below…
DpHue ACV Hair Rinse A gentle alternative to apple cider vinegar based shampoo. It left my hair super soft. £32, cultbeauty.co.uk
Centered Daily Calma Conditioner This is an excellent hair conditioner that leaves strands looking shiny and nourished. £22 we are centred.com
Virtue ColorKick De-Brassing Shampoo Recommended by Nicola Clark. Enhances the color and tone of all hair shades. £40, spacenk.com
L’Oréal Paris Elvive Hydra hyaluronic acid shampoo provides excellent hydration and helps to make hair look fuller and shinier. £2.99, boots.com