The power of colour in a good hair day

The power of colour in a good hair day

Nikki ParkinsonBeauty 33 Comments

Sponsored by Schwarzkopf Australia

I remember the first time I coloured my hair.

Do you?

It was with lemon juice. Not even lemon juice out of a lemon. No, I used that yellow squeezey bottle of lemon juice concentrate.

I was 17 and not happy that my hair was verging on the moussy side of blonde.

I’m sure Dolly magazine told me I’d look like a sun-drenched beach babe if I added lemon juice to my hair and sat out in the sun a while.

I didn’t. My hair was dry, crusty and still moussy.

Fast-forward two years and a grown-out 1980s perm later and I was ready for my first foray into salon hair colour.


Yep, the old plastic cap and crochet hook torture trick.

It would become my hair colour routine for TOO many years. And if I ever forgot to take painkillers before an appointment, I’d sit there, eyes watering while yearning for a fast forward button on the whole process.

It was ALWAYS the end result that got me through the pain.

Good hair days

The power of colour in a good hair day cannot be underestimated.

Thankfully now the process to getting my good hair days now involves a combination of permanent colour, balayage and foils.

There’s usually about three hours of salon chair time involved as well.

I prioritise this time – it’s non-negotiable every six weeks.

How’s that for a beauty confession?

A good style cut makes me feel amazing, don’t get me wrong, but my hair colour is even more powerful in determining whether I’ll have a good hair day – or month.

I’m happiest – and my eyes and skin tone are brightest – when I’ve got light blonde tones around my face.

When this colour mix is right, it’s like getting an instant facelift. When it’s wrong, it’s like I’m looking an ok version of myself but one who looks visibly older and washed out.

This was the reaction from my family when I experimented with a darker colour a couple of years ago:

Teenage son: It’s straightened and sort of orange …  no wait, it’s just the light.

Teenage daughter:  It’s cool. It’s less fake.

(Then) five-year-old son: I don’t like that colour. I like it blonde (then proceeds to start crying).

Husband: I’ve only ever known you as a blonde.

See for yourself!

The power of colour in a good hair day


I’ve never hidden the fact that I have my hair coloured and if that’s something you do regularly, you shouldn’t either.

The men in our life will never understand the beauty maintenance lengths (and expense) we will go to.

In fact many of us will go to very creative lengths to work the expense into our household budget.

One very smart girlfriend of mine confessed to me that she takes a little extra cash out each week when doing the groceries so when the time comes to visit the salon, there’s no trace of the cost back through the family budget.

I admire such ingenuity.

Do you have a beauty confession

Changing it up

Just like we can get into a rut with our wardrobe, it’s so, so easy to do the same with your hair.

I have a lot of trust in my hair stylist that she will know when and how to tweak my hair colour so that it keeps looking fresh but is not too far removed from my “normal”.

This trust is something I encourage everyone to try and achieve with their hair stylist.

Perhaps you colour your hair at home? The rut thing can still very much happen.

When did you last change the colour or type of product you buy?

So many improvements have been made in the both the formulation of home hair colour products and how they’re applied. You can check out the Schwarzkopf range here.

Colour care

Whether you’re opting for home or salon hair colour, your hair colour deserves a whole lot of love and attention.

There is absolutely no point in devoting time and money to beautiful hair colour without treating it right in between colour applications.

Choose a shampoo and conditioner that protects and enhances your hair colour.

If your hair is blonde, consider using a toner to help reduce the brassiness of yellow gold tones between colours.

And do amp up the protection factor should you be a regular beach or pool go-er. Wet your hair first to open up the hair cuticle then comb through your hair conditioner.

This process “fills” the hair cuticle so that it is less able to absorb salt or chlorinated water, keeping your hair colour in tact and your hair condition shiny, hydrated and happy.

BE.YOU.TIFUL Confessions

Have you visited Schwarzkopf Australia’s BE.YOU.TIFUL site yet? Why not head over and ‘fess up about your hair colouring history?

The site’s aim is to make us feel ok about taking time to look and feel our best.  Head on over to BE.YOU.TIFUL and share your beauty confession for a chance to win one of 10 hair and beauty packs each week … or just read the ones already there and be proud of who you are and the individuality you create, no matter how much or little effort it takes. You can also find more inspiration on the Schwarzkopf Australia Facebook page.

Do you colour your hair? Or have your hair coloured? Does it lift your mood and confidence when that colour is fresh – and right for you?

Coordinated by The Remarkables Group

Comments 33

  1. I used to have dark brown hair before I got married. Then my two boys became adamant that I had to have the same colour hair as them (blonde). I dye my hair at home, and so they would accost me in the beauty aisle of the supermarket and take the brown out of the trolley and put the blonde in…. so blonde it is 🙂

  2. I definitely think the light blonde suits you really well. My first proper hair colour was an at home colour applied by my older sister. She is 10 years older than me so was always great for helping me with these things. My hair has been the same dark brown for a long time now with variations of foils and panels. As I am getting a little older I have started wondering if I should change to a lighter shade of brown as it might be less harsh. It’s such a big move though to make a change after all this time. I wish I could see a photo of what it would look like before I decided what to do. I will have to ask my hairdresser what he thinks at my next appointment.

  3. When I was 16/17 a local hairdresser advertised in our school newsletter asking for hair models so I thought I’d give it a shot. I started out with very dark brown, bra strap length curly hair. Over the next three years I was every shade from blonde ( not good, not good at all) to light brown to copper to reds to purples. I had foils, blocks of colour & full colour. I had a crazy amount of hairstyles but spent the majority of time with various short hairstyles ( even a number 2 buzz cut after all the hair shows were done!). It taught me a few things-
    Don’t ever be afraid of colour. It’s easily fixed/changed
    Cut your hair short at least once in your life ( or be like me & spend most of your 20’s with short hair & then spend the start of your thirties trying to grow it out)
    If you start going grey at 23 just keep dying your hair.
    When using home dyes the colour will almost always be darker than how it looks on the box.
    It’s only hair & it always grows back 🙂

    I think you have your colour sorted Nikki. Light blonde really suits you x

  4. Mrs Woog reminded me of my very first hair colour experience thanks to a photo she shared on Instagram of her school formal…SUN-IN! Oh I thought I was the bees knees with my tragic lightened hair. More like a streaky bumble bee!
    I’ve had my hair coloured in-salon for the past 13 years. I’ve gone from super dark chestnut brown to super white blonde – and every shade in between.
    These days I’m enjoying a subtle balayage look that emulates just what I was trying to achieve all those years ago with the Sun-In bottle!
    And yes, I adore my Chair Time at the hairdresser. Herbal tea, trashy mags and the most hilarious conversations with my flamboyant and outrageous hairdresser. Not to mention he is an absolute genius with a conical wand!

  5. I have dark brown hair, it’s curly and there’s a lot of it. I tried to bleach it myself when I was about 14, at home, on my own. DISASTER. Some bits went platinum, some orange, some didn’t get any bleach on them at all. My mother was very unimpressed when she got home, and the hairdresser rolled his eyes when she marched me in to see him after making me an emergency appointment.

  6. I go to my gorgeous friend/hairdresser to have my hair is coloured regularly – aside from the need to colour my hair it is a nice way to spend a couple of hours. She knows my hair well and most of the time, I let her decide what we are doing. I love having my hair done – it makes me feel so much better. Currently I am there every 4 weeks because I have decided to go dark and the greys poke through if don’t but that is ok with me!

  7. I naturally have very mousey brown hair, so have been had every colour over the years: from lots of blonde streaks (with the cap!), to bright reds and rich chocolate browns.
    Nowadays it is light brown with blonde balayage every 5 weeks for maintenance. This is non-negotiable, except when work takes me out of town and then it becomes first priority on my return.
    I have been to the same hairdresser for over 15 years, and followed him to 4 different salons in 3 suburbs. He has seen me through many colours and lots of different cuts and knows my hair so well, but I’m thinking I really should let go of the dependence and break out with someone new since I’ve just moved house.

    1. A hairdresser once referred to my hair as “rodent” brown. Charming! I have been dyeing my hair for so long now – even my own mother thinks I am a natural red head.

    2. The lengths that we go to for a good hairdresser, Johanne … my girlfriend who is my current stylist thinks she’s passing me on when we move but in my head I’m still driving back to the Coast! We shall see!!

  8. Yes i have my hair coloured back in the day when it was dark i used to home colour but as it has gotten lighter and greyer I leave it to the pros.I have 3 colours on my roots,an ash blonde a dark blonde and another blonde i leave it up to my hairdresser though and i have foils every second time blonde and some caramel i visit her every six weeks.,there is no way i could replicate what she does at the salon at home,so i happily pay her to keep my hair blonde,not as blonde as you but still blonde.
    I remember those olden days of putting lemon juice in your hair to lighten it,nope never worked on my brown hair either ,i resorted to peroxide straight out of the bottle straight on my hair ,i did this everyday to get the colour i desired a sort of streaky effect which went ginger then lighter i was very proud of myself and Mum asked me if i was putting peroxide in my hair and of course i denied it ,just blamed it on the sun and beach visits. At least i didn’t do what my sister and her best friend did ,they used chlorine and stunk out the house,and were caught of course,I suppose we are lucky we had any hair left.,But in those days i wanted to be a blonde at any cost!

  9. Nikki, even tho’ you have fabulous blonde hair, I actually really liked the slightly darker “you”! At first glance I thought it might have been your daughter! Anyhoo, yes hair colour is very important and can make us look drab or fab – I am an ash brunette with strange (natural) ginger bits that pop through now and again, although my skin is pinky-toned. Hard to find a good colour for me! Looking forward to reading more comments…

    1. The photo is more forgiving than it was in normal light Petra … it completely washed me out. I can do that colour to the sides and back but at front, I need a lighter blond! And you have a challenge there with colour … takes skill to work that out I think.

  10. Sad fact of life for brunettes when they get into their 50s – gonna need hair appointment every 3 weeks. I do this without fail and quite openly. I go to a salon where they use organic colours – so no damage to my hair (or nasty smell). I do admire women who embrace their grey and wear it with style. Keep threatening that I’ll give it a go when I turn 60. Nikki – I like you blond. At first glance I wondered who that “other lady” was 🙂

    1. Oh chrisatpb I am brunette and 50% grey/white in my late 30s! I am religious with my colour appointments. I recently found a product called ColourWow which is like an eye shadow you pop on your roots – I must admit I did not think it would work but it does! And has allowed me to stretch out my colour a little. My grey hair is mainly visible in my part and it sorted that out beautifully! I have to be a bit more careful around my face as it is quite dark and can stain my skin.

      1. That sounds great. Going to try it out. I sometimes use a spray called gray away, but you can only get it from the US. Thanks for the tip!

    2. I very much like me blonde too Christa. I don’t have greys as yet but I think I would still stay blonde for a while. I do know one of my regular readers here took the grey plunge last year – hope she pops in with a progress update!

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