Not Going Grey Gracefully Part 4


Not going grey 3

So it’s now been over 2 months since I started my process of going lighter and I’ve had a second root touch up and tint with my hairdresser – Karleigh at Anthony Nitson Hair in Doncaster (Melbourne).

As you can see, I’ve gone lighter again, this time my lowlights are an 8.1 (ash based blonde), and my highlights is just bleach, plus toner.

We’re working to cool down the blonde. Because of the underlying hair colour, it throws warmth still (better this time than the first time), but it will take around 6 months or so as my hair grows out and is cut off, to really get the cool blonde effect I’m after.

What has been fabulous, is that I only needed to dye it every 6 weeks, rather than the 2 weekly dye job of my brunette days. The greys blend so much better with my new colour and the microfoils.

BlondeMy colouring has changed from being Dramatic (cool and deep with some brightness) to Refined (cool and light with a similar level of brightness to Dramatic).

My value contrast levels are medium now, rather than high, as my eyes are a mid-toned blue. ¬†Interestingly I’m not a bit obsessed with wearing white, having never particularly wanted to wear it previously. ¬† I’ve also been looking around for scarves in my new lighter cool colours.

Playing with Scarves
Playing with Scarves

Considering Contrast

How to Find Your Ultimate Contrast – Your Three Step Process

7 Important Factors for Working with Contrast

11 Real Life Examples of Dressing to Your Contrast

Getting Your Head Around Value and Contrast – the Celebrity Version



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  • I was wondering about eyebrows and hair color. I’ve noticed some blonds with super dark brows. Does that matter?

  • you look great. what fun! i have similar coloring to how you started (dramatic – pale skin, dark hair), but the greys are coming in and i’m trying to decide what to do. how has this hair color change impacted your wardrobe? in recent years I’ve chosen clothes that work with my high-contrast coloring. if i stay dark i don’t have to change that. but if i go lighter, how do i adjust my clothes accordingly? would love to hear your thoughts on this.

    • I’m wearing much lighter clothing in general, and medium contrast instead of high contrast. I’m having to find new ways of working with my existing wardrobe – new combinations to make my clothes work as I find my old high contrast favourite combinations no longer work.

  • The cooler tones of blonde look good on you. Wondered if you could expand on your cooler and lighter colour combinations and what you are finding most useful in terms of tops, scarves and jewellery near your face. Ideas for a Cool colour capsule too please.

  • The overall affects of your new look is a sense of lightness, softness and radiance. The color and cut of your hair, the lighter, softer colors, the glinting shine and movement of the silver earrings in the first photos are all very lovely and youthful looking. Beautiful transformation in progress.

  • I’m finding your changes fascinating. To be honest, at the start I thought “No, Imogen! You look great as a brunette!” however I’m now loving your new look and agree that it really suits you. I’m still sticking to dark hair (occasionally bleached by the sun) as I’m not sure that I could explain to my Spanish hairdresser what needs doing. I don’t need to have it coloured too frequently though, so I’m going to keep my dark colour for a while longer. You’ve certainly inspired me though to look at the possibilities.

  • Welcome to cool coloring with medium contrast, Imogene! Now your coloring is the same as mine. In terms of your playing with scarves, I think the first two look best on you. The third one washes you out. Too pale and matronly. At 57, I have to avoid the grandma look. BTW, you look GORGEOUS with the weightloss, congrats!

  • I love the cooler blonde look on you! I am a ‘winter’ but have been ‘blonde’ for quite a few years now to color the gray. I have been recently thinking of going back to brunette but hated to think of the gray roots showing too spectacularly. It’s difficult to get hairdressers to understand the need for a cool blonde without any warm tones. Thanks for sharing your ongoing experience with lightening up with your hair and wardrobe. It’s exactly what I need! I learn so much from you and always share with Pinterest.

  • I am loving seeing the changes to your hair colouring. Your hairdresser is to be congratulated. Have you had to change any of your makeup colours? Also in the second two photos your eyebrows in the left photo look the same colour as your hair (the warmer version) and in the photo on the right ( the cooler version) your eyebrows seem to be same colour as your hair. Have you changed eye brow colour as well?

  • I hope you won’t mind my saying this but I prefer the warmer blonde on you. I remember how warm, vibrant and even more youthful you looked in your previous post with the warmer blonde color. I think the cooler, paler, ashier blonde washes you out too much – though admittedly it could be the lighting. I do love your haircut, regardless.

  • You look amazing! I think the cooler blond is definitely better with your skin tone, but maybe this cooler blond is so light that it will take us a while to get used to. I’d love to see you try a cool blond that’s a tad darker than this current one. I’m off to the hairdresser tomorrow to make some color changes too, so maybe this is just on my mind.

    • In many ways I still shock myself when I look in the mirror as I’ve spent 45 years being a brunette, it takes a long time to expect to see blonde!

  • I have been reading these blog with interest, how do you find the reaction of other people to you going blonde? if I am right it’s only been about three months into this and I sure there are many people how you not seen for a few month and meeting now as a blonde do you get ” Oh you changed or hair colour” etc. are they surprised.

    • Yes people are surprised – some don’t really recognise me for a moment or two. I’m still getting used to the colour! I think because I’ve been dark for so long it’s a big change for everyone, but I’ve had many compliments fortunately!

  • I’m halfway along a similar hair journey, going from brunette to a dark, cool toned blonde via gradual foil lightening. Now that you’ve been blonde for several months to you have any upkeep tips, including how to maintain the colour between hairdresser trips and product to prevent bleach damage? I’ve been doing blue toner rinses at home but am struggling to keep the warmth out of my blonde.

    Your hair is looking lovely by the way, enjoy!

  • Hi, I like your transformation a lot and am actually considering doing something similar myself. However, I still hesitate because my hair or rather the roots are not yet grey all over. Whereas now I have to dye my grey roots to match my dark hair, what would I have to do later to match my still dark roots with my new light hair? Do you bleach your leftover dark roots to match the blonde? Thank you for your advice!

    • I used to have to dye my hair every 2 weeks because the white hairs were very obvious (I’m about 80% grey). Now I only have to touch up the roots every 6 weeks, as the darker hairs become more apparent (but the grey hairs don’t with the blonde) and since I only have 20% brown hair now it’s a much easier process. So yes the dark roots are bleached to create the blonde Ursula.

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