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Red Hair

Adventures in Color Oops

I am a natural brunette with some blonde and some red highlights who started going grey at the age of 13.  At first it was one or two but by the time I was 18 I had enough grey hairs that people would have a hard time concealing their shock at my silver streaks.  Not that I minded the comments but I was in no mood to be grey in my twenties.

I started dying my hair the summer after I graduated High School.  I did the whole thing dark brown with a red glaze and I loved it!  Naturally I kept that color for quite a while but like all dyes with red in them, eventually they turn orange.

It was expensive to dye my hair over and over again so I started buying boxed dye.  Easy-peasy!  So for the last 6 years I have been boxing it up with visits to the salon maybe once a year after the summer ended (less chance of sun damage).

Over these years I had gone from brown to red to red-brown to brown-red and everything in-between.  I even highlighted blonde once (what a mistake!).  So when it came time to dye my hair this past summer I wasn’t worried at all. I picked a dye a little more red than I usually go but I thought why not.  I can always go to the salon if I need to. I forgot to mention that I had not been to the salon in a while (well over a year) and thus I was rocking the reverse ombre look thanks to the sun.

 After following all the necessary steps and examining the finished project I was hesitant.  I looked like The Little Mermaid.  My hair was way redder than I had anticipated.  I showed my husband who was not impressed.  He’s usually very good with hair questions but he just kept telling me it looked funny.  What was a girl to do!?  I gave the hair a test run which further proved my hubby’s calculation of my funny looking hair.  I received comments like “Boy that’s red,” or “Ooo you’re a real red head now!”  Not what I was looking for.  I never wanted to dye my hair a color that wouldn’t look somewhat natural.

Determined to remedy the problem before real damage could be done I went back to the store and bought Color Oops.  For those of you who don’t know, Color Oops is a product that claims to strip your hair of the dyed color, leaving you with your natural locks:

Ammonia- and bleach-free formula restores hair to its original shade. Hair Color Remover by Color Oops features an extra-conditioning formula that moisturizes with soy protein and aloe vera. Safely removes both permanent and semi-permanent colors in only 20 minutes. Gentle formula allows you to re-color your hair the same day.

Perfection!  Or so I thought.  After following the mixing instructions I managed to explode the bottle all over my bathroom bleaching my bath mat and removing the finish on my husband’s razor.  Regardless, it was going in my hair.  The instructions say you should act fast so I did.  While washing the awful smelling concoction out of my hair I began to notice that my hair was very, VERY blonde.  I came out of the shower and reluctantly un-wrapped my toweled hair to reveal strawberry blonde tresses to my husband’s amusement.  I even blow-dried it to see exactly what it looked like.  Note to Self: If I want to go blonde-Color Oops.

I might have left it alone but it was just such a change from what I was used to and I really wasn’t read to be a blonde.  Not to mention it was more of a brassy yellow.  Not really nice.

Thankfully I had the good sense to buy a bottle of brown dye along with the Color Oops and so dyed my hair that very night.  A few weeks later and my strawberry tresses are starting to seep through the brown dye.  Tip: If you are going to go red, be prepared to be red forever.  I don’t mind so much but will probably be heading to the salon within the month for a fresh head of hair.

Maybe that was my natural hair color and maybe not but I hope this tail is a warning to anyone using Color Oops.  Everyone’s hair is different so you might want to test a section before you do anything!

Best of luck!


  • Beth Beth says:

    A follow up: I have dyed my hair professionally since the incident and I am happy to say my hair is back to normal. I did not experience any negative effects from the color-oopse other than the shocking blonde that is no more. Though I am thinking of going lighter!

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