How Becoming a Redhead Boosted My Confidence

How Becoming a Redhead Boosted My Confidence \ red hair \ ginger hair \ copper hair | Not Dressed As Lamb, over 40 fashion and beauty
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I don’t know how many of you know this, but I’m not a natural redhead…! When I went red, I went red for a very specific reason.

It’s no coincidence that becoming a redhead and starting a blog happened at around the same time for me – both needed a great deal of confidence. Yet now I think back I’m sure one couldn’t have happened without the other, but like the proverbial chicken and the egg: which came first?

I’ve just switched up my shade of red once again, and this time it’s because I’m collaborating with Clairol to promote the relaunch of their Nice’n Easy Permanent hair colour formula. I will admit I haven’t home-dyed my hair in YEARS, and to be honest I was somewhat trepidatious about doing it myself after relying on my hairdresser to colour my hair for so long. But I have to say I’m overjoyed with the results… my fears were unfounded.

So to home-dyeing scaredy-cats: Fear no more! Fabulous new hair colour IS possible at home. But first – why did I choose to become a redhead (and stick with it for so long)?

I shall tell you…


Becoming a redhead – the why, the when and the how

Here’s my hair (colour) history in 50 words or less: A natural brunette with red tones, I started dyeing my hair with henna (remember that smell, fellow henna users?) in my teens and have since been every colour under the sun (with the exception of rainbow colours). I’ve been brunette, auburn, blonde, ginger, copper, black and strawberry blonde – they’re just the ones I can remember.

But red is the colour I’ve stuck with the longest, and there’s a very good reason why: It does amazing things for my self-confidence.

It may seem a contradiction, but becoming a redhead made me far more confident because it’s impossible to be a wallflower when you have bright red hair… people ALWAYS notice it. And people always compliment it. I decided to go from brown to red around the time I started my blog in 2011 because I felt it would give me a unique identity if I were a redhead (and hopefully get me noticed and remembered more). I’d been red briefly a couple of years earlier, but I’d gone back to brown.

So if you’re a redhead you get a lot of attention, and that means you have to live up to the expectations that being a redhead bring (I don’t want to use the term “fiery redhead”, but that’s often what people think). I also knew that my love of colour would translate well on a fashion blog, and, well – bright red hair adds another colour to an outfit, doesn’t it?

It was a conscious decision to go red – and it worked. As with most fashion bloggers, I wasn’t super confident at first about posting pictures of my outfits online. But to “have great hair” was something I’d always longed for, and if there’s one colour guaranteed to make that happen it’s a beautiful shade of red. I started out with a dark red, and as the years went on I got gradually lighter and brighter. It’s no coincidence that as my blog grew my confidence grew, and as my confidence grew I switched up the shades of red more often.

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How Becoming a Redhead Boosted My Confidence: My red hair shades throughout the years | Not Dressed As Lamb, over 40 fashion and beauty

What this basically boils down to is how confidence can be attributed to how you feel. Posting pictures of yourself on a blog can be a scary thing to do as you never know what people will think about you (they’re always going to judge you in good ways and bad)! Luckily I’ve never been bothered about what others think about what I wear. But I WILL admit I’ve always longed for hair that people would remember me for.

It may seem trivial, but there’s no doubt my confidence on the internet came partly because of having long, red hair which people remembered me for. I was recognised as a redhead. I’m being totally honest here, but I’ll bet there isn’t a single blogger out there [that posts pictures of themselves] who DOESN’T get a kick out of seeing great pictures of themselves on the internet.

We [bloggers] are all at least a tiny bit narcissistic – to run a blog you HAVE to be to some extent…!


Nice’n Easy benefits and the results

As you can see from the timeline pictures above I’ve been going more strawberry blonde over the last year or so, and when Clairol approached me to home dye my hair I thought I’d take the plunge and change the shade of red I have. My hair and my colouring suit all the very warm tones, so I chose 6R Light Auburn, hoping for a lovely deep coppery colour. Of course the base colour of your hair will affect the final result, but my hair has been lightened by bleach a fair bit so I hoped the colour would take quite well. I also had grey roots coming through – Nice’n Easy is a permanent colour and promises to cover 100% of grey (what a relief)!

So what’s the deal with this particular home dye? Home dyes have come a LONG way since I used to dye my hair black in the 90s, thank goodness – the formulas they use now are much, much kinder to your hair. Nice’n Easy has been relaunched as a result of the damage blocking technology, an allergy gentle molecule (that helps to prevents those without hair dye allergies developing one), Clairol has been developing for 10 years. There are also conditioners at every step, including a tube of ColorSeal™ conditioner that has a total of four applications for the dyeing stage and three subsequent washes to protect your colour.

Clairol Nice'N Easy Permanent hair colour formula | Not Dressed As Lamb

Note: I did an allergy patch test 48 hours in advance as instructed in the leaflet to ensure I wouldn’t have any problems. Do not miss this important step and plan in advance for it if you’re home dyeing your hair!

Applying Clairol Nice'N Easy Permanent hair colour formula | Not Dressed As Lamb

So once it was all applied, rinsed and washed as per the instructions (all very easy and you only have to leave on the dye for 25 minutes), it’s time to see the before and after – the most exciting bit!

BEFORE – a light strawberry blonde with light ends and lots of grey roots coming through…

How Becoming a Redhead Boosted My Confidence \ red hair \ ginger hair \ copper hair | Not Dressed As Lamb, over 40 fashion and beauty


How Becoming a Redhead Boosted My Confidence \ red hair \ ginger hair \ copper hair | Not Dressed As Lamb, over 40 fashion and beauty

I think you’ll agree this is a beautiful coppery red colour – I absolutely LOVE it. I think I’ve found my new shade of red for at least a while yet! It looks and feels shiny and healthy, and this change took less than a couple of hours. The range has so many shades of red (I actually ummed and aahed for ages trying to decide which one to try), and it proves that you can still achieve that feeling of a fresh new look and give yourself a confidence boost with just one box of Clairol Nice’n Easy, an old towel and a couple of hours to spare.

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I’ll admit that my fears of home-dyeing are behind me (look how well my greys have been covered – that was always my worry)! It really CAN be so easy to give yourself a mini makeover in no time at all.


Can hair colour really affect self-confidence?

I’ve always believed that your appearance can make a huge difference to how you feel about yourself. “Get great hair” was something I set out to do many years ago, and being known as a 40+ redhead blogger truly gave me such a confidence boost every time I read that phrase in articles where I’d been featured. It’s widely accepted that feeling confident has a huge impact on your performance in all sorts of areas in life, so who wouldn’t agree that “new hair” makes you feel amazing when you rock up to work or see your friends with a new colour and you get to lap up the compliments?

Whilst I definitely wouldn’t say that appearance is everything (this is the girl who is more than happy to slob out at home in pyjamas or pop to the shops without makeup on), it’s fantastic to be the best version of yourself when you have to be on your game. Many, many factors have contributed to where I’ve got to in my blogging career, but I won’t deny becoming a redhead was a major one.

If you’re thinking of making a dramatic hair colour change, I say DO IT. Who knows what it might lead to…?



Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Clairol (click here for my full disclosure). All content is original, however, and opinions are my own and 100% honest.


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  1. 3 May 2018 / 4:47 pm

    So fun to see your red hair evolution Catherine, and the new shade really suits you! It’s so natural and a nice transition from your strawberry blonde. I have dabbled with red hair over the years, having light brown hair that pulls brassy I have even been called a redhead, which annoys me for some reason! I have had people insisting to me that my (natural) hair is red (it’s not!). I think red hair is lovely and have family members with gorgeous real shades of red hair, I would never call myself one though naturally! I have fallen into the bronde/highlight cycle the past few years, getting a bit bored of it though tbh! Anyway it’s great that it has given you so much confidence, it obviously suits your personality and colourful style so well!

    • catherine
      12 June 2018 / 4:03 pm

      Red hair IS wonderful, isn’t it Steff?! There are so many shades to chose from I don’t think I’d ever get of being a redhead! Thank you hon xx

  2. 30 April 2018 / 6:25 pm

    I was positive that you were a natural red hair. Honestly, red hair looks amazing on you. It complements your blue eyes and it matches your skin tone so well. It looks so natural on you. Great to hear you’ve found a perfect colour that makes you feel confident! I don’t dye my hair often, maybe once or twice a year and I usually go for black (my natural hair is very dark brown, pretty close to black but not pitch black) because my husband likes when I have dark hair. Thanks for sharing.

    • catherine
      12 June 2018 / 4:02 pm

      Wow thanks Ivana – yes I seem to be surprising a lot of people with my “not a natural redhead” confession!!

  3. 30 April 2018 / 4:22 pm

    Wow, hair colour! Now that’s inspiration for a post of my own. You certainly suit red hair and have been adventurous shade-wise. It’s been a theme in my life too. I decided I wanted to be a redhead from an early age when my mum hennaed her hair.

    I’m naturally dark brown. When I discovered punk as a teenager, I changed my mind about the henna. My hair has been all colours, including bright green (once was enough, although I did like it!). I loved having blue shoulder-length hair – I do love seeing girls who remind me of a younger me! – but like yourself I settled on red. So I had various degrees of red hair, including actual red. When I turned 39 I bought a tub of bright blue Directions hair dye as I thought it would be great to turn 40 with Atlantic Blue hair. But I knew it woukd be a lot of effort and maintenance, and so I handed it on to a youngster and stuck with the red.

    And then something odd happened when I reached 43. I dyed my hair back to dark brown – and I absolutely loved it! These days I occasionally colour it plum which I like. And in fact, you’ve inspired me to pop into Boots so I’m looking forward to a purple spring!

    One shade I’ve never really thought suited me: being blonde. But all that could change!

    • catherine
      12 June 2018 / 4:01 pm

      The smell of henna always takes me right back to being 16 again Emerald – it was the first time I dyed my hair, it came out a deep auburn colour and I loved it!! I’m surprised you’ve never been a blonde as most people who’ve done the rainbow colours thing have been blonde at least once. First time for everything as they say…! 😉

  4. 28 April 2018 / 12:25 pm

    Back in 1998, gosh 20 years ago! Kevin and I were in our second year of our international life–that we had no idea would turn into our actual profession of teaching overseas. It was our second year in El Salvador, and I had become great friends with Katia. Katia, a young female business owner in El Salvador, owned a salon. At one point she needed hair models for an event, and I volunteered. Oh my! My long hair was completely chopped to a pixie and it was dyed a bright and fiery red. When I got home, Kevin’s remark was enough to send me crying! I’ve never dyed my hair since! I’ve never volunteered to be a hair model either hahha! Our marriage recovered despite the nasty comment! And of course my hairs grew out and have since gone through pixies all over again. In terms of color though, I just don’t have the guts to experiment. Now granted, every summer I tend to get a hold of the Sun-in bottle. So silly and so bad for your hair but I love when my hair gets sun kissed so to speak. Although I’m paying for it now with bright orange ends! In terms of my greys, I pluck them out. In fact, just tonight I paid my sun $50HKD (that’s about $8USD) to pluck 20 white hairs! Hahah.

    Anyway, I thought I’d share some of my hair diaries. Oh, and my husband hates my bangs–which I adore, and he’s asked me to grow my hair out long, so I’m doing that for him. He actually doesn’t usually have strong opinions, and I can wear some crazy things, so I’ve promised him I’d grow my hair out. I kinda miss my long locks anyway.

    To end, I can say even though he didn’t like the red hair 20 years ago, I thought it was pretty cool!

    You wear your red hair so beautifully Catherine. Just beautifully! And um, sponsored by Clairol!! Right on Sister!!

    Love, Ann from Kremb de la Kremb

    • catherine
      12 June 2018 / 3:59 pm

      Wow Annie what a hair story!!!! Poor you with your husband hating the red crop… I can imagine it took a while to grow out!

      Thank you my lovely, I’m so pleased with this colour x

  5. 28 April 2018 / 11:36 am

    Isn’t it funny, I hated my natural red hair as a child and a teen because it was different and it made me stand out. But now, I love it!!!! I have only known you as a redhead and it really is your signature look. It’s fab looking at your hair over the years too. It looks absolutely gorgeous now. It looks as good as any salon colour too. I love the waves too by the way xxxxx

    • catherine
      12 June 2018 / 3:57 pm

      Liz your hair colour is beautiful, so unusual! And thank you, you’re such a poppet xx

  6. 27 April 2018 / 10:01 pm

    You have fab hair Catherine, I didn’t know you weren’t naturally a red-head! I was born ginger (and bullied as a child for it) but red fades a lot with age so me and all my (even more ginger) siblings are all darker now. I still use henna every once in a while but otherwise have never dyed my hair. A fellow redhead in school tried once and it came out green, hence my reluctance… I love being a red-head now, my husband sings that ‘Red-headed woman’ Bruce Springsteen song to me!! Xx

    • catherine
      12 June 2018 / 3:56 pm

      Oh gosh you didn’t realise I wasn’t a natural redhead Porcelina, and I didn’t realise you WERE one!! I’m so glad you’ve embraced it now xx

  7. 27 April 2018 / 8:44 pm

    I once had pitch black hair. A stylist told me to go light ash brown, and I was already doing that, because, well, you’re supposed to go lighter and lighter as the years go on, aren’t you? But, go to a decent chemist where they are trained in colour for hair and make-up, and they can go differently. I was given one shade darker than light ash brown by such a woman, and, surprisingly, my hair looks blackish without being black, it’s not too dark and is really flattering. I have home dyed for nearly 20 years, and have finally branched out into doing roots properly (well, as much as I can). Home dyeing IS easy – with practice on my part, but it quickly gets into a do-able routine. Good on you, Catherine.

    ps: your hair looks lovely xx

    • catherine
      12 June 2018 / 3:55 pm

      Seems like you’ve had an interesting hair colour history, Ratnamurti!! I used to have black hair too (25 years ago in college), but looking back I’m not sure it was particularly flattering…!

      Thank you hon x

  8. 27 April 2018 / 2:51 pm

    Oh boy does it ever!
    I couldn’t agree more with you on this Catherine. Having been a Clairol red head myself for many years, I totally get where you’re coming from. Not only did I feel confident but I was often mistaken for a natural red head! I think my firey personality helped add to this misconception but I didn’t care, I felt like a super-star! I was often stopped in the street by admirers, I kid you not. It was during the years I worked with Isla Fisher, we were regularly asked if we were sisters. Even the shows producer joked I should play her older sister on Home & Away! True story…
    That’s why I never understood the negative “ginger” naming in the UK. Gosh being a truly natural red head is special I think.

    • catherine
      27 April 2018 / 3:40 pm

      Wow what a story, how fab to be asked if you were Isla’s sister!!!!!! You should have taken them up on the offer of being in H&A, you’d be a guaranteed Hollywood star by now (weren’t they all in Home & Away and/or Neighbours – Russell Crowe? Chris Hemsworth? Guy Pearce? And just about every Australian actor ever 😉 )

      I’d LOVE to see you with red hair… maybe you should have a total image change to boost your confidence again (not that you’re NOT confident, lol…), or just as a general boost after the crappy time you’ve had lately? xx

  9. 27 April 2018 / 1:38 pm

    Ooooh, you’re making me miss my red hair. And you’re right, being a redhead definitely boosted my confidence. I felt very ‘me’ with red hair. Maybe one day I’ll go back to the fiery side!

    • catherine
      27 April 2018 / 3:33 pm

      Yes you should, Elizabeth!! Once you go red you can never go back, hehe 😉

  10. 27 April 2018 / 11:30 am

    Changing hair color is life-changing!! Especially as we pro-age. I’ve stopped coloring Hair it’s original black—it’s too harsh and I’ve been trying a lighter brown.
    However, due to hair loss and thinning I wrest wigs! Going lighter, to Blonde has not only boosted confidence, but people treat me a bit differently in the nicest way!! I’ve been told I’m more approachable with lighter hair!
    And as for my recent Birthday, my husband (bless his Parisien heart) gifted me with…. an Auburn wig and it’s fabulous!! Fun and a bit edgy!!
    Catherine I’m with you on this one!!!

    • catherine
      27 April 2018 / 3:32 pm

      I know how you love your wigs, Cathe, and I think it’s fantastic that you gain your confidence through wearing them. Hair is a huge booster (or bringer down!) of confidence depending on whether you’re having a good or bad hair day. And I love that you’ve discovered blonder shades and love them!! Good for you x

  11. 27 April 2018 / 10:50 am

    Red is absolutely my favourite hair colour, I used to be all sorts of red in my 20s. But it’s so hard to maintain, and my hair grows so quickly. So I went black in my mid 20s and never looked back. I think it’s so easy to maintain and even when it fades a bit, still looks very close to my dark brown natural colour. I have to dye my hair because of the massive amount of grey, but now that I have very short hair, it’s a 20 mins job from start back to dry hair. Quicker than going to the salon.

    I love all your red shades over the years and I especially love the before/after pics with those incredible cute freckles!

    I also liked your point about having hair as a recognisable feature. I used to have a very sharp bob, but now have a short pixie crop and they both make me quite recognisable. Though I had people not believe I was the same person after I had it cut.

    P.S. This is such a fantastic example of really well written sponsored content! You really are such an inspiration for bloggers in all niches!!

    • catherine
      27 April 2018 / 3:26 pm

      Wow Alex I can imagine how striking a dark pixie cut can be… I remember when VB cropped her hair short in about 2009, I absolutely loved it!

      Thank you so much, as a former (faux) redhead yourself you definitely understand how much work red hair is!! And I really appreciate you commenting on it being a well-written sponsored post, that’s very kind… it goes to show interesting sponsored content IS possible, you just have to write what you would normally write anyway, even if it’s with the backing of a brand 😀

  12. 27 April 2018 / 10:14 am

    You’re such a redhead to me, I can’t even IMAGINE you any other colour. I love the new redder tones you did yourself at home; it suits you beautifully. My hair gets darker and darker as I age, so I have to lighten it in the winter. I’ve always wanted to try a warm strawberry blonder (Nicole Kidman colour) and reading this post has made me want to get a little braver and try it! I love the idea of doing it at home too. xx

    • catherine
      27 April 2018 / 3:21 pm

      Oh wow I would LOVE to see you as a strawberry blonde, Lisa!!! I think you’d look amazing…

      Thank you for the lovely compliment, I’m so so pleased with the colour and the condition. xx

  13. 27 April 2018 / 7:49 am

    This is a lovely post and can see why you do it. I too colour my hair – to cover the grey. I’m not ready to become grey yet. Like you I feel my hair has defined me, having always had it this colour. I only ever dyed it another colour once before, I dyed it black! Yes you’d have thought my hair was black, but it looked awful – totally flat with no shine or feeling! What’s more my scalp went grey too – lol. I still laugh about this. x Thanks for sharing your findings Catherine. Jacqui Mummabstylish

    • catherine
      27 April 2018 / 10:05 am

      oh no (about your scalp going grey, Jacqui)!!!! I seem to remember having very unshiny hair when my hair was black, but then it was the early 90s so grunge was in, LOL!!

      Thanks hon, glad you liked the post x

  14. 26 April 2018 / 3:49 pm

    I think hair colour, hair cut, outfits. All these can impact confidence. A good hair day can make or break me. And I was just telling my daughter that I used to dress “smart” on tests or presentations because it gave me the confidence boost I needed to do well.

    Love the colour! It looks fantastic.

    • catherine
      26 April 2018 / 4:54 pm

      I totally agree with you about the good hair/bad hair days Jane… I can remember specific good hair days and bad hair days from years ago – goes to show how much of an impact they can have on your outlook and the way you feel on any particular day!

      Glad you like the colour, I’m so pleased with it 😀

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