Going to the Dark Side

By Kearsten Shepherd

As the weather starts to change and the leaves begin to fall, it’s hard to miss the fact that summer is over. Soon we will have day light savings and we will all “fall” backward an hour – giving us earlier sunsets and fewer hours of sun altogether until we get through winter and move into spring. With the changing of the seasons, many women also start to change their hair – many of them going darker in the fall and winter months – a sort of hibernation of sorts.

In my younger years I openly objected to such a strange routine, even going blonder in the fall and winter months with rebellion. But as I’ve gotten older I have found I much prefer the darker tones in the colder months when my skin has lost all trace of summer’s golden hues and I am left with a skin tone much closer to Elmer’s glue. Often I stay within the blonde spectrum, adding some low lights or darker browns as I transition with the changing seasons – but this year I decided to go all out and try to get back to my natural color (whatever that is).

I have to say that the transition has been an interesting one. After a few months of slowly darkening my roots into an ombre inspired color scheme I decided to go all out and just dye it the dark brown I had been striving for. Even with the months of slow transition from light to dark, the color was a bit startling. People at work didn’t recognize me at meetings or walking through the halls. Even some of my family members got me mixed up with a dark-haired cousin at a few family gatherings, but at the end of the transition I am very happy with my decision to go over to the dark side.

Dos and Don’ts for darkening your hair:

  • Do consult a professional. My hair had been bleached for so long it took two takes to get the color to absorb and get to the shade I wanted.
  • Do trust your stylist. They know what they are doing. It took a combination of both permanent and semi-permanent color on my hair to ensure I got the right color. I would have never been able to it myself.
  • Do go outside your comfort zone. It’s just hair and it can always be recolored, touched up, or even cut off if you don’t like the end result.
  • Don’t use an over the counter product (unless you’ve done it before). Depending on your color and how much blond is in your hair, the transition can leave you with strange hues or even orange hair.
  • Don’t expect everyone to love it. No matter how much you love your new look, there will always be those people in your life that prefer your hair a certain way or color. What matters is what you like – what other people think shouldn’t matter anyway.
  • Don’t be afraid to try something new. Changing your hair is one of the easiest ways to make a change- whether it’s subtle or drastic and can help improve your mood in mere hours.
  • Reevaluate your make-up.  What looked great with your summer hair might not look as good with your fall color update.
Kearsten Article
Then (left) and Now (right)!


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