Colouring my hair for the Engagement/ Pre-Engagement Dala Exchange

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For 20 years, I had been too scared to colour my hair, however, ever since I got my first highlights, I’ve become hooked to changing my look by altering my hair.

It started off with barely noticeable mahogany highlights, which progressed to more pronounced caramel highlights and one fine morning I just decided to lighten all of my hair and add caramel blonde balayage highlights to the tips of my strands. Although, I loved the look, stripping my hair off its natural pigments left it extremely dry and after only a few months, I had decided that all the nourishment upkeep was not for me, and that it was time for me to go back to my dark locks.


Hair colour from 2014

Of course, now that I had discovered the magic of colour, I couldn’t just go back to monotone hair, and so, with the encouragement of my mom I decided that ruby-red balayge on black-brown hair would be my next look (yes, my mother suggested the ruby-red hair). This was probably the best decision I had made hair-wise. I have received countless compliments on my hair in the past year and it’s also back to it’s healthy state.

To be honest, I was scared of switching to this unnatural shade of red, as I had seen that such shades of red fade away rather quickly, leaving the hair a ghastly orange colour. However, with tips from Valentina, my hair stylist, I mustered up the courage and took the step, and was extremely pleased with the result. For one whole year, I did not go for any touch-ups and the red remained  very vibrant (more on this below).

I had contemplated changing the colour before the engagement, just because I had the red hair for a while now, but since I loved the colour much, I decided to keep it for the engagement and pre-engagement events. I did, however, decide to re-do the ruby-red balayage and thus returned to Valentina at Estilo (Claredon Street, South Melbourne). I’ve only ever gotten my hair coloured here, as I’m extremely picky about my hair and have been very happy with the results here.

Now, for those of you, who haven’t tried balayage, it’s a very long process, especially for those who have long hair. It involves teasing the hair, colouring it (foils), and then detangling it (not the most pleasant experience) but on the plus side, you don’t have to worry about your roots showing so you need not go through this process frequently at all.



Starting off


Teasing and foils


Oh so much teasing…


More foils, adding the red


It was a long, 3.5 to 4 hour process




After the colour, I also got my hair cut, and although I love layers, at that time I had avoided adding too many as it interferes with hair styling (I wanted an updo for the engagement). When it came to drying my hair, Valentina does an amazing blow-wave that leaves my hair voluminous and flowy, and I get it done every time I’m there, including the last time.

Maintaining the red

This is the annoying bit. I use De Lorenzo’s Nova Fusion Colour Care shampoo in Ruby Red on the tips of my hair every time I shampoo. It’s a pigmented shampoo that stains everything, including your hands (it’s washable, just annoying) so I also have to use a different shampoo for my scalp. Also note that it will stain your towels as well so for the travellers out there, if you’re using this, pack your own towel when you travel. The shampoo should also ideally be left for 5 minutes for the red to show its vibrancy. I’ve also avoided applying anything else on my hair, including hair masks, and I’ve avoided hot oil massages and swimming in chlorine water in order to maintain the colour.






Update: After the engagement, I chopped off a significant amount of my hair and added lots of layers, so it’s much shorter now and the red is also less visible. There are high chances that I’ll be switching from the red once I’m back in Melbourne, but I’ll post more about that once I’m back there!

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