This post was inspired by Jane at Is That You Darling, who recently shared some of her past hairstyles on her blog. Unfortunately, a lot of my old photos are in England so I can’t go back quite as far as Jane (no baby photos here), but I’ll do my best.
I was born with black hair (as was my sister), but it wasn’t long before it became clear that I was going to be a red head. By the time I got to about 10, I hated my hair colour, mostly because the other kids called me gingernut – even though my hair colour was technically too dark to be properly ginger! My mum always referred to it as “the colour of autumn leaves” because if you looked closely, it had bits of blonde and brown in it, as well as the red.
This first photo was taken when I was about 3 or 4. I do apologise for the quality of the photo (and most of the ones from when I was a kid). I have no scanner, so I had to take photographs of photographs…
The dog in the photo with me is Cindy. She belonged to my grandma and I was devastated when she died. In this photo she’s probably about 5 years old.
The next photo shows me aged 7. I’m sure on the age this time because that was the age you had to be to join the Brownies! I was so proud of my uniform.
Now for a few “special occasion” photos. One was taken at my cousin’s christening in 1991, which would make me seven (it was before my birthday). I’m including it despite my looking less than impressed because it gives you an idea of how different my hair can look depending on the light. The other picture is from an official family photo session (was anyone else dragged to those every few years?!) – my brother and sister are actually in the photo with me, but I’ve cropped them out seeing as I don’t have their permission to post them all over the Internet. You can see my brother’s arm still, though. Judging by how little my brother is, the photo must have been taken in late 1991 or early 1992, making it less than a year after the other photo and me 8 years old.
In the christening photo, the light makes my hair look almost blonde. The other one shows my actual natural hair colour. See, I told you I was a redhead! Also, note the crimped hair in the second photo. That was the 80s/early 90s for you… the minute there was a special occasion, the crimpers came out!
Once I got older and was given permission to start doing what I wanted with my hair, I started dying it various colours to get rid of the red. Ironically, as I got older, my hair’s natural redness began to fade to a more brownish colour, at which point I started dying it shades of red that are much more intense than my natural colour ever was. In between, I’ve experimented with plums, browns and even blue (it went green… not exactly the look I was aiming for!). Meanwhile, my natural is still red, but you can only tell in the right light, so most people assume I’m naturally a boring mousy-brown. Here’s a photo that was taken after my hair started to darken:
I’m not certain of my exact age in the above photo, but I can’t have been older than about 11 because the woman in the photo with me is my step mum and she died only a few months after I turned 12. Look how thick my hair is! That was the reason my mum went and got it cut really short at some point. I then moved to a new school at 13 and spent months being asked “Oi, are you meant to be a boy or a girl?” Needless to say, I soon grew my hair out and have never dared go any shorter than chin-length since! I can’t show you any photos of the short hair phase because (thankfully) I don’t have any here…
How about some more recent photos?
Both of the above photos show my natural hair colour at roughly the same time. The difference is, one was taken outdoors with the sun shining on it and the other is indoors away from the light. Notice how one looks plain brown while on the other one the ends at least seem to have a hint of red?
Above are some more of the various colours and styles that have graced my hair over the years, from left to right:
1. Dressed up as a goth, aged 17, for a sixth form Halloween social. The black dye was temporary.
2. Me at uni in 2003 after an attempt to lighten my hair (I later did it again and ended up an orangey-blonde colour)
3. Year abroad, either the end of 2003 or the beginning of 2004. Natural colour and far too long! I acheived those waves by putting my hair in two plaits over night.
4. Year abroad, June or July 2004. By this time I’d had my hair cut and dyed it dark red.
5. Austria, December 2005. Back to my natural colour. I’m including this because I cut my hair myself! And yes, it’s a selfy!
6. A different shade of red, 2012
And finally, the most recent photo I have of myself. This one was taken at the Weinfest on Saturday. Considering I still had toothache here, it’s actually not a bad photo😉 (This time it’s my friend who’s cropped off, not a sibling).
Phew… I think that’s more photos of me than I’ve posted on my entire blog until now! I do hope no dodgy people are going to track me down because of it…