New Hair, New Avatar

Most of you who have been following G&G for some time know that I created an avatar for use across all my social accounts a few years ago, and haven’t changed it since. Avatars, believe it or not, play an important role in social media: They marry your “brand” or identity across all social spaces; they enable fast, visual recognition for following and engagement; and because they represent YOU consistently, they instill trust.

BUT, if your avatar is your face, and you change your hair radically, you probably need to change your avatar.

Dang. After all these years, the time had come to change my avatar. And so I did. On Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram…everywhere!

My Hair (and Avatar) Evolution

In December last year, I finally (after a decade of dark, dark locks), decided to add some red streaks to my hair and lighten up a bit. I loved the reddish tones, and Hubby and most of you did too. I thought it would be the beginning of my transition to being a redhead…the color I truly am in my heart! I got away with not changing my avatar because the red streaks were still pretty subtle. Or maybe I wasn’t 100% ready to let go of my raven-haired online identity.

After my initial color, I watched my red fade to brassy orange over the next three months. I thought I was doing everything right, but then I noticed a color-depostiting shampoo I was using actually contained sulfates…which are known to strip color. Talk about a red hair fail. It was time to get serious about color care.

When I touched up the roots and refreshed the red in April of this year, I became even more vigilant about protecting my color from fading: I didn’t wash my hair for five days after in a desperate bid to make that red really stick! I avoided the sun and sulfates and every other bloody thing that is a detriment to dyed red locks. I wrote about the products I had discovered that either helped preserve my red color (no small feat when I have an allergy to methylisothiazolinone, which is in virtually every shampoo), or did nothing to save it.

Left: Fresh, new, beautiful red highlights. Right: After my first root/color touch-up.
Left: Fresh, new, beautiful red highlights. Right: After my first root/color touch-up.


And in spite of my new (expensive) Pureology-and-red-depositing-conditioner hair care regimen, my color still faded to brassy orange.

Then I finally accepted the ugly truth all formerly-brunette-redheads in the world have come to accept: Red is hard as hell to maintain.

At just over six months into my red hair stint, I gave up. I decided that the money and life sacrifices required to be red—even just a tiny bit red—were just too expensive and painstaking, even with a mother who does hair for a living and does mine for free.

Finding myself at crossroads the color of brass (again), I asked my husband for the tenth time if I should go back to dark. After he answered with a resounding “NO!” for the tenth time (“The dark is too aggro…it’s too boring.” Gee, thanks, Hubs, I thought you loved exotic brunettes…), I did what any normal blogger would do: I hit Pinterest for some hair inspo. Dark brown was no longer an option, and neither was red.

Love Kate’s highlights + balayage ombre; Elle’s long hair + chunky highlights; and Sarah’s blend of the two.

Armed with images of Kate Beckinsale, Elle MacPherson, and Sarah Jessica Parker, I figured that instead of covering the faded red streaks in my hair, I’d just lift some of them and add blonde. And so I did.

Hello…blonde! My hair is still half wet in this shot, but you can see it’s a huge difference.

The result is a much lighter look, and I love it. I was a little too chicken to go full balayage ombré, but do still I have my dark roots with some of the previous faded red, plus blonde streaks that are woven in a few inches from the scalp. Over time (and when my hair gets a little longer and I can trim off some damage), I do plan to go for more of a balayaged look.

The lighter hair and lighter avatar also inspired me to lighten up the accent color here on G&G…no more fuchsia links! Plus, I’ve seen the black/white/fuchsia color scheme on way too many fashion blogs. It was time for a subtle change.

So I’ve become that ubiquitous highlighted brunette. And I’m OK with it. I get it, too. When you’re fighting grey and brass and age (let’s be honest), blonde is almost always the best solution.

Hey, if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. 😉



  1. Vahni, it’s FABULOUS!! Seriously! It’s soft. It’s youthful. It’s just gorgeous! As a fellow brunette, I feel your hair color dilemma. I also can only imagine your initial trepidation…..I mean hair is half my look!! Ha! Ya did good girly!!! Serene

  2. Fabulous hair!
    Very similar to mine – this is exactly how I transitioned back to my natural colour from a brief stop in brunette land, once, a long time ago. 🙂

  3. I love it…as I said over and over on IG, ha.
    Kate was my inspo as well when I went modified ombre!!! Love my lighter locks! Just what I needed this summer.

  4. Loving the air! it’s too bad red is so hard to maintain. My older sister is a dedicated redhead but even she has incorporated some blonde over the years. Also, you reminded me that I haven’t changed my avatar/gravatar everywhere so I finally did that (or started to)!

  5. Sometimes I wish I still had long hair. I cut it all off about 4 or 5 years ago when I just got sick and tired of it thinning, falling in my face and causing headaches when I pulled it back. Not to mention being harder to wash and dry.

  6. I’ve tried being red haired in the past. Everyone agreed that the color suited me as I am fair skinned and have green eyes, but yes, maintaining red is hell and after every touch up I’d end up with a different hue of red. Not to mention that it turned orange during summer months. So what I did was to dye my hair dark brown (my natural color is light brown) and let the red fade away. For one year I didn’t dye my hair at all (was 25 at the time, so no grey hair) and let it come back to brown. So red, never again! I’m a big fan of ombre and had balayage highlights for almost 4 years until I chopped of half my hair last month…still haven’t decided what the next color move will be!!

    1. Hi Anna,

      Yes, the red…so lovely, such a bitch! I’m with you on the ombre and balayage. Heavily leaning in that direction. I get a lot of compliments on the highlights I have now, much more so than the red. I really heavily resisted the blonde because soooooo many women are highlighted brunettes, but you know, it really looks good one everyone when the colors are right.

      Curious to see what direction you will go in!

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