I've Started The Incredibly Unnatural Process Of Going Back To My Natural Hair Colour

After more than a decade of different colours and a love of being bleach-blonde, I'm lowlighting my way back to brown.
Publish date:
April 17, 2013
hair color, Tresemme, blonde hair, aveda, hair masks, lowlights

I’ve been dyeing my hair for 13 years. That is HALF of my LIFE.

“What is your natural hair colour?” people would joke with me as my hair changed from dark brown to red to blonde to pink. I would always reply with: “A mousy brown that will never again see the light of day for as long as I live!”

For the past two years, I have been a Dolly Parton-esque blonde, bleaching away any signs of pigment over my bathroom sink. And I have loved being a bottled blonde. It was so obviously fake, and I didn’t care--I always thought blonde reflected my personality. But I’ve been getting tired of having to touch up roots every three weeks.

My obsession with changing my hair colour started when I was about 11--I already wanted to be blonde! Blonde hair was the epitome of beauty to my prepubescent self.

Finally, the summer when I turned 13, my mother bought me Sun-In spray, claiming she used it when she was younger and it gave her natural highlights. She forgot to note that it dries out hair, so she gave in and let me buy my first box of hair dye to cover up the damage.

And since then, I never looked back. Until now.

I’ve been lucky that despite all the dye, blow-drying and straightening, my hair has stayed thick and pretty manageable. But in the last couple of months, I’ve been creating tumbleweeds on my bathroom floor. Even after a fresh haircut, the ends looked like straw.

It was time for a change. I decided to go back to my natural hair colour.


I booked an appointment with my hairdresser, who I knew I could trust with this transformation. Katrin is from Poland, so I knew she would know what to do. I come from Polish heritage, and my hair is very stereotypically Polish. For real--my friends jokingly bought me a book about Poland, and I can open it up to any page and find my natural hair colour on every person photographed.

It probably also helped that I let my roots grow for a couple of months out of laziness, so they had something to compare hair swatches to.

Ironically, going back to your natural colour is a pretty labour-intensive, chemical-filled process. Katrin, knowing my vain attachment to my hair, told me that going completely natural at once would be a shock to me, and she didn't want to send me away with hair that I hate. So we agreed on lowlights that would leave some blonde peeking through and would blend my roots in.

Two hairdressers spent a good hour filling my hair with dye and tinfoil, all so I could walk away a little closer to natural.


My hair already feels healthier and has a bit more bounce to it. I am still using the same products as before, but they seem to have more of a positive impact now that some pigmentation has been added to my hair.

Once a week, I put the Tresemme Rejuvenating Mud Masque on overnight and wake up to Disney princess hair. A great product for fried and over-dyed hair.

I also splurged on Aveda Be Curly Curl Controller, even though my hair is pin straight. It’s a little more than I like to spend on hair products, but it smells like how I imagine Fern Gully smelled before the bulldozers moved in, and it gives me the body and volume I haven’t been able to achieve before.

It seems silly, but makes total sense: after going more natural, my skin looks healthier and my eye color pops more--because it’s the hair colour I’m supposed to have! A couple of days after I had it done I was asked if I have a weave, which is really is the greatest compliment because it means my style and colour were flawless!

At my next hair appointment, we’ll add more lowlights, but I’m going to wait a couple of months because right now you can’t even tell I have roots. It’s such a relief and time-saver to not have to worry about them!

If you’re like me and you’ve tried it all, surprise yourself by starting to go back to the color you were born with. I thought I would look drab, but the right hairdresser will make sure that doesn’t happen (I would NOT recommend doing a hair project like this yourself). I’ve even found a new lipstick shade that I could never pull off before!

Do you color your hair? What’s your natural color? Have you ever considered going back?