Are You Thinking About Changing Your Hair Color?

Published in: Hair

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I usually change my hair color a couple times a year, especially when it warms up outside. That’s when I’ll go lighter. I’m thinking about caramel highlights for spring! How about you?


Are you thinking about changing your hair color this spring?

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I have to admit… There’s another reason why I’m itching for highlights.

I’m dying to try Redken’s new Color Extend line (more on that in a few), and I really want to see if lighter hair makes me look a little younger.

In my teens and 20s, people would always say I looked young for my age, but I feel like I’ve aged a TON in the past few years. Sometimes I look in the mirror and can’t believe all the business that just keeps popping up — a wrinkle here, a white eyebrow hair there — lovely.

I know I can’t stop the clock, but I wouldn’t mind slowing it down, LOL!

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I think the whole I-feel-like-I-look-older thing is why Charla Krupp’s How Not to Look Old beauty book caught my eye. Charla’s a former beauty director at Glamour and a senior editor at InStlye magazine.

The book gives readers makeup, skin, hair and wardrobe tips they can use to “look 10 years younger.”

One of the age-defying things Charla suggests women can do with their hair is going lighter and cutting their bangs. Hmm… I think I’m gonna do both. Hair always grows back, right? Twenty-three, here I come! πŸ™‚

Charla Krupp’s How Not to Look Old uses several before and after pics of celebs to illustrate points, and I gotta say the pics are convincing.

I think the book goes a little overboard with the cutesy abbreviations (Y&H = young and hip; OL = Old Lady), but it’s packed with interesting tips that make it worth a look. Flip through it next time you’re at the bookstore.

Keeps hair color from fading

The new Redken Color Extend ($13-$16) line I mentioned is a collection of five items to cleanse, condition, treat and style colored hair. The products are supposed to keep hair color from fading and to protect it against sun damage.

Each one’s infused with cranberry oil, which some are calling nature’s perfect moisturizer. We’ll see, right? Redken says it helps condition colored hair, too.

redken color extend shampoo and conditioner

Last night I tried the Color Extend Shampoo ($13) and Conditioner ($14). I have to say one thing about cranberries — these products smell REALLY good. As for how well cranberry oil works, today my hair does feel super soft and isn’t tangly at all.

I still have more testing to do, but I’m liking what I’ve seen so far.

redken color extend total recharge and rich recovery

Later this week I plan to try a couple more things from the line.

The first is Total Recharge ($16), a conditioning spray you spritz on in the shower after shampooing and leave in for a minute or two before rinsing. It’s supposed to detangle, strengthen and safeguard hair from UVA and UVB rays.

Then I also want to try Rich Recovery ($16), a thick, rich treatment that’s supposed to act kinda like a hair mask. You slather it on after shampooing and towel drying, leaving it in for 15 minutes before rinsing. Redken claims it helps make hair more manageable and stronger. Let’s hope so!


Operation Skinny Jeans, Day 2

I’m heading to the gym tonight for more stair stepper action (blech). I think I may try to see how long I can go without holding on to the hand rails.

If you don’t hear from me tomorrow… you’ll know why.

Got any plans tonight? How was your day?

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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So far, 40 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Lindsay says:

    I know it’s crazy, but I don’t think I’ve ever had the same colour twice in a row. I’m just 18 though so it’s forgivable. πŸ˜‰ My hair is always in the red family though because even if I go for a darker colour or something strictly brown, some of the red comes through.

    Lindsay´s last blog post..Weekly WTF

    • Karen says:

      Hi Lindsay,

      I’ve always had trouble with red. I did it about ten years ago and the color wouldn’t stay in for nothing!

      That’s really cool how you are so adventurous with your color.

  2. Kailey says:

    I’m coloring my light blonde highlihted hair a shade lighter…or maybe darker. Whatever is more POP against my face haha.

  3. Mishel says:

    Funny I read this, I dyed my hair tonight a Medium Brown with built in highlights from Nice N Easy. I also chopped off 5 inches of hair earlier…it is so crazy. I don’t have to run my hands so far out when I finger comb my hair, I used way too much conditioner (not always a bad thing) in the shower because I’m not used to my new length. It was just time for me to try something new. I was super nervous but I’m glad I did it, it’s a change =)

    I think you should get like…espresso highlights =)

    • Karen says:

      Hi Mishel,

      Your new look sounds pretty!

      Oh, I know that feeling you’re talking about. After you cut your hair off and shampoo and shower it’s kinda surprising to find that all that hair is gone, huh?

      Have you heard any good news about the job at Express?

  4. Vanessa H says:

    I just cut and colored my hair on Sunday! my hair is down to my waist in longer layers and i dyed it a rich dark chocolate brown with a hint of auburn. πŸ™‚
    ohhh…the stair stepper. made me cry last time i used it lol

  5. Heidi says:

    My late afternoon run totally kicked my arse today. My laziness reached its toll and I couldn’t jog without huffing and puffing and stopping. I used to be able to run effortlessly, and now I have to start all over again. πŸ™

    I think caramel hightlights would look good on you. As long as it’s not too yellow, it should be fine. As for me, I’m staying away from hair color because I’ve endured enough damage already.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Heidi,

      We are in the same boat. I can’t run as far and as hard as I used to. How long did you run for?

      It’s all about baby steps… soon you’ll be back in fighting shape.

  6. Shiny says:

    I don’t have much to say on dyeing hair, mine is jet black and I plan on leaving it that way… just wanted to comment on the fact that you are aging damn well if you are into your 30s. I mean hey a makeover is always fun, but I don’t think you need to worry about aging yet. πŸ™‚

  7. Kate says:

    The only thing I do is I tend to color it two shades lighter in summer as my naturally mahogany/dark chocolate brown hair soaks up alllllllllll the heat and humidity that is known as the Midwest Summer. I had highlights once but it turned my hair burnt orange! I had to stick all my hair in a hat and race to the store for some brunette color!

    I may not get frizz or tons of flyaways like some people but I do soak up heat. Temporarily coloring it two shades lighter tends to help.

    Have you gotten Tabs a new collar yet?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Kate,

      Oh no! Orange hair is never cute.

      You are lucky to be frizz-free. Frizz plagues my life!

      Anyway, Tabs is still buck naked. I still haven’t had the chance to pick up a collar for him. I plan to get him a lovely rhinestone number tomorrow. πŸ™‚

  8. Mishel says:

    thanks! i think it’ll look good when i flat iron it and stuff…

    and yes ma’am, i’m an asst. manager there now, they are just checking in my references! =D (this is what i have succumbed to as a recent college grad, but it’s a cool job nonetheless!)

    • Karen says:

      Hi Mishel,

      Oh yah! That’s great! πŸ™‚ Hey, it’s a job, right? There’s always something new to learn, plus you can take those skills with you wherever you end up next.

      I bet your hair is going to look cute when you flat iron and add some shine serum. Pretty!

  9. nai says:

    hey, karen–

    so coincidental. i just came back from getting a trim (bags included) and was talking with my stylist about maybe coloring my hair. mind you, no dye has touched my hair for at least three years and i don’t have any greys even tho i’m firmly ensconced in my thirties (knock on wood). my stylist said that if anything, i should do highlights, but once i start, i won’t be able to stop. that was enough to convince me to leave my color as is, even tho, like you, i’m tempted to give myself a reason to try the new shampoos, conditioners and other products that sound really great for colored hair.

    i guess i should just be happy that i’m free of greys and my hair color is actually kinda pretty and save the hair coloring money for more mac…or my gym membership. =P

    • Karen says:

      Hi Nai,

      You are so lucky to be free of gray! Everybody in my fam goes gray early, sigh. Your colorist brings up good points — I am not looking forward to keeping up my roots. I think I’ll go for a little bit of change, nothing too big. That way when the roots grow out it won’t look so obvs.

      Oh! More MAC! πŸ™‚

  10. Yarisse says:

    Well, I changed my hair colour many times in the past (blonde and red highlights, various purples and reds…) but now I have my natural colour. The reason why are these:
    1. I like hair dyes with at least a hint of red and none of the red toned colours lasts more then 10 days. They just wash off.
    2. I am really lazy to go to a hairdresser or to dye my hair at home πŸ˜€

  11. Bj says:

    I cant decide, im pretty blonde as it is right now, but i normally go lighter for summer but it is more upkeep and i am quite enjoying the more natural color ive got now. I may just let the sun do its work and let it lighten a little on its own, lemon juice perhaps ha

  12. Stef says:

    I’m light blonde and thinking about going red. But kind of bright, light red like Joan on Mad Men. Almost a carrot shade. Is that nuts?!

    Stef´s last blog post..2 ways to be good

  13. I change my hair color somewhat every single time I go into my salon(every 7-9 weeks). I am constantly doing high or low lights or both, or all over color or whatever. I am a Gemini (yes that’s my excuse) so I get sick of things very fast. Plus when I am doing the blond thing, the blond-ness is never enough! My eyes get used to it then I think I’m not blond enough and go lighter, LOL!

    I SOOOO hear you on the aging thing. I have always looked young also for my age and when I was 30 (6 years ago) people at work thought I was 25 (yay!). I’m not so sure that’s still happening though… I swear I get two new wrinkles every single day around my eyes and forehead πŸ™

    Vampy Varnish´s last blog post..OPI South Beach for Spring 2009 – Part II

  14. Alison says:

    I always keep thinking I want to dye my hair, but keep changing my mind between going lighter and going darker! I have never actually had my hair dyed professionally and It hasn’t been home died in about 10 years, so at the moment it’s my natural colour (a medium brown with both golden and copper tones to it). I do really want a change but don’t know whether a shade or two darker would suit my fair skin or to go with some lighter highlights, what do you think?

    I think with your colouring some warm highlights would look lovely through spring/summer.

  15. Karen B says:

    I’m going to go darker again. But only so I can go to my natural colour to get it blond again… Hehe. I’m going chocolate-brown so it’ll fade to my natural colour. Then I can let that grow out so I can get highlights again. Sounds complicated right? Hehe

  16. Vanessa H says:

    It took me about a year to grow it out after I chopped it all off for no good reason πŸ™‚

    How did the stair stepper go?

  17. alice says:

    No changes here. Hair coloring doesn’t help me, unfortunately. I think dark hair is youthful anyway, depending on person. But try to keep my skin clear & moisturized, & makeup light and fresh, and drink lots of water. That’s about all I can do.

  18. AnneMarie B says:

    My hair is blonde; I usually like to experiment – sometimes a little lighter, sometimes darker; but I usually gravitate toward lighter. Just made an appt. for the first week of May to get it colored & do some type of high or low lights… but in the meantime, this weekend I have to color some grays! The lighting in our restroom at work is cruel!
    I’ve never tried the stair stepper! It took me quite awhile to master the treadmill after years of just being an outside runner… I still have a fear of losing my balance & I don’t dare ever look at my ipod! The majority of my workout routine is weightlifting and running for the aerobic side. :o)

  19. AmyLou says:

    Hi Karen!

    I am currently debating about my hair too. I *think* I’m going to go just a tad darker. More light golden brownish with dark blonde highlights–right now, I’m blonde all over and it’s just too much work! Plus, I like to tan (I know, I’m bad) and the dark skin, hair and eyes lets me feel exotic even though I’m sooooooo not! πŸ™‚

    You’ll have to post a picture of your new hairdo and color if you decide to go for it. Oh, and I love Redken products–they are my favorite brand!

    Good luck on the stairstepper. I just got back from running 1.5 miles. Doesn’t sound like much, but 2 weeks ago, I couldn’t run anything!

  20. Heidi says:

    It was approximately 3 miles but it felt longer. LOL.

  21. Daya says:

    Hey Karen!

    I always go lighter in the spring/summer with blonde highlights (the caramel would be pretty on you!). It’s a tradition LOL

  22. Antoinette says:

    Hi Karen!

    So, I’m currently expecting and nearing the end of my first trimester. Before I was pregnant, I dyed my hair this really pretty auburn, but I’m looking to get back to my natural ashy brown/blonde color. The doctor said try to limit how much I color my hair in the second trimester- I was thinking of getting it colored once and letting it fade. Any suggestions on different hair color brands that would be safer for pregnancy? Thanks!

  23. Gloria says:

    I’m going for warm blonde highlights today.. i’ll probably ask my stylist to choose the base color..

    Gloria´s last blog post..Non-Lavender Lipstick: Fergie Ferg for MAC Viva Glam

  24. Amanda says:

    I’ve never colored my hair, except for the brief affair with over the counter semi-permenant color in high school. Now at 32 the grey is really, really starting to come out. πŸ™ I’m said, it makes me feel old, but I’m not sure I’m ready to start with the color…..because once I do I’m sure there will be no going back.

  25. Sexy Sadie says:

    I dyed my hair dark auburn brown last saturday. Usually I go for a more copper tone, but wanted something darker for spring.

    Sexy Sadie´s last blog post..Det gikk visst an

  26. Solé says:

    Hi Karen!

    I love Redken Color Extend. In fact, I swear by it. My natural hair color is dark ash blond but I’ve been dying it a rich dark brown for the past two years (which means I’m changing the base of my color, and that is when color fades the fastest). It hasn’t faded at all since I started using Color Extend. And it leaves my hair so soft, you would never know I dye my hair as often as I do. I have to retouch every 2-3 weeks because I have a ton of gray. πŸ™ I hate the gray so I vanquish it as soon as I see so much as a 1/4 inch outgrowth.

    About two months ago I changed the shade ever so slightly to a rich auburn brown and I love it. I usually do go a little lighter in the summer so I’m thinking about adding red highlights. Not sure if I will though because I can’t really afford the maintenance right now. Even though I do my own color at home, I leave the complicated stuff (such as highlights) to the professionals. So I’m undecided for now.

    I think a chestnut brown with multi-tonal highlights would look lovely on your complexion. Think chestnut as the base color and two shades of lighter brown (but not blond) highlights. My friend who is Filipino did that to her hair last summer and it looked beautiful.

    I’m thinking of cutting bangs too. I usually go half the year with them and then I grow them out for a few months once they start to bore me. I’m not highly concerned with looking younger though. I’ll be 32 next month but people often think I’m younger so I’m ok with that as long as I keep those insidious grays covered at all times!

  27. Louise Gray says:

    My hair started turning gray 16. I have had so many different hair colors throughout the years. Now I have it a wheaten blonde with bronze lowlights. When my gray roots start to come out too soon, I touch them up with the bronze color eye shadow in Stila’s baked gold trio. Today when I went to the hairdresser’s I reminded her of when my hair color was red. I am toying with changing back to it for some time in the future. But I also reminded my hairdress Sybil of how once when I asked for a change in color, she told me to buy some wigs. hahahahaha She had some nerve. That’s what I pay her for!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  28. abigail says:

    i would love to change it, but i take swimming lessons 3 times a week, and i’m afraid the chlorine might ruin it.. any thoughts about it??

  29. Marisol says:

    I plan on keeping my dark hair for now. I have had highlights and colored my hair in different colors but right now, I like the dark chocolate brown I have and that is the color that suits my skin tone the best.

    But during the summer I may change my mind…lol

    Marisol´s last blog post..Untitled

  30. Kim says:

    I feel like getting something of lowlights… Freshen up my giant block of espresso brown/black hair πŸ™‚ Dunno how itll work though.

  31. penelope says:

    im actually doing highlights this summer for my 15 birthday…first time and im a little scared.

    My day was just blah…i was tired all day!

    around 6 or 7 im going to walmart… going straight to the beauty aisle πŸ™‚

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