Hair Journey Part VII: Copper.

I looked forward to copper hair so much.

It wasn’t in my original plan, but after going dark red at the beginning of my journey, I discovered that the color my hair faded into felt right. I liked the warm tones in my hair, the brightness, and the contrast it made to the clothes I preferred to wear—blues, greens, purples, even black and white. I didn’t want to be Ariel red, but an Ann Shirley ginger felt right at home.

So, after my initial accidental foray into anime-orange, I decided to tone things down a little. By making my hair more red.

Several pictures of myself with copper hair.
These are the pics Elizabeth took right after she did my hair. I tried to embed her post from Instagram, but their code doesn’t seem to be working. You should definitely go follow her at @hairartistelizabeth, though.

I went from this hair appointment to pick up some groceries, and had about eight compliments on it before I got home. Even the cashier lady told me “I hope you know how good that color looks on you.” (I did.)

One amusing side-effect of the copper hair color, however, was that it well and truly brought out the Irish part of my background. To such an extent that I felt like an American cosplaying an Irish stereotype: bright red hair, skin so pale it clearly hasn’t seen sunlight for days, green sweater, and a claddagh necklace for good measure, because if you’re going to be fake-Irish, you might as well go all the way.

Me with bright copper hair, blue glasses, and a green sweater.
My great-great grandfather immigrated to New York at the turn of the century, so like any Irish-American, I’m going to milk that heritage for all it’s worth.

I keep saying “copper,” but most people described it as “red” at first, and “orange” later. I don’t blame them, although the dye bottle says otherwise. It certainly was vibrant. I didn’t realize quite how much it stood out until I saw this year’s Thanksgiving photos. Gee that hair is hard to miss.

One other thing I loved about this was how well it held its color. At least part of that was due to the pigmented shampoo I used, though. Which: pigmented shampoo is funny! It’s like normal shampoo, but a bit runnier, and it deposits color pigment in your hair as you use it. Not much, but about as much as you need to replace what would otherwise be washed out with every shower. However, these shampoos are a little less nuanced in their color tones than the dyes themselves. This is what I used.

Honestly, I’m glad I kept this color for as long as I did. It gave me a lot of time to sink in to this shade and really feel at home in it. I loved this color. It felt right when I wore it. But it’s time to move on to the next stage of my journey, and what I originally planned as the last. I’m off to dye my hair purple. I can’t wait.

My final portrait of copper hair.

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