Monday, 7 February 2011

My Hair History

Loads of bloggers have done this post already and I always REALLY enjoyed seeing the photos of them growing up, changing and becoming who they are today.  Since I was at my folk's place at the weekend, I decided to root out some old photographs for this post.  I didn't so much mind the pics of myself as a child because any bad hair choices could be blamed on my mum.  BUT the rare photos from my teenage years...well, they are just plain cringe-worthy! ha ha.

Now, lets look at my very first hairstyle...the much coveted baldy look...

Here's me at around 18 months sporting a rather unhappy expression with my older brother, Gary. 

Me and Gary spent most of our time either getting on like a house on fire or bickering.  My hairstyle is starting to look suspiciously like a mullet!

The mullet got longer...

And then I discovered my love for makeup with my first set of face paints...although my technique maybe needed a bit of work...

For special occasions, my mum always wound my hair around rags before I went to bed to give me wavy hair (I guess it's a good way of styling a child's hair without subjecting it to any heat!)...

These next two pics were taken on one of our holidays to Cornwall when I was about 4 or 5 years old...

This next one is incredibly 80's! I think this was when I was going to a Christmas disco and my mum made the dress especially for the occasion...

I was in the girl's brigade when I was about 10 years old and this pic was us doing the 'Pink toothbrush, Blue Toothbrush' song...don't ask!...

I was christened when I was 10 so my mum made me another dress.  Once again, the rag method was used for my hair...I do remember it being really uncomfortable to sleep in though!

I was a bridesmaid at my auntie's wedding when I was 10 as well and the fringe has finally been grown out.  However all this served to do was to highlight my rather large forehead! Chris finds this photo hilariously funny and on first sight of it he turned to me and said "well at least you grew into your freakishly large forehead eventually".  Charming!

Oh dear, this is when my photos take a real turn for the worse.  This pic was taken when I was about 11 or 12 and as you can see, I had NO idea about fashion!  I also had no idea about posture and the fact that it's never a good idea to stand with your stomach pushed out!  I'm rocking the ever so awful hairband AND scrunchy look.  My mum told me I insisted on wearing both.  Sigh... 

Yes, it gets worse people! I started to dye my hair all manner of shades when I was about 14.  This pic was taken on Christmas morning (before I had showered I might add) so I had no makeup on and I'm in my pyjamas.  Thank god Ben the dog was there to mask the embarassment of my nightwear!

I always used home dye kits to colour my hair when I was a teenager and it ranged from very dark brown to reddish mahogany shades to browns with a plum tone to them.  None of them suited me so all of the photos from this era show me looking pale and downright ill!  Ah yes, another flattering picture of me when I was about 15 going through my tomboy phase...

This is probably when I started getting interested in makeup, when I was 15.  I got my hair cut shoulder length and got a fringe.  Then I started wearing a little bit of makeup which to be honest, totally transformed my world!

So how could it go so wrong again you ask? Well, I started getting my hair highlighted because I wanted to be blonde!  BUT the first time I got it done, I got a reddish toned brown and a blonde put through my hair resulting in this horrific ginger mess when I was 16 (check out my chubby face!ha ha)...

I kept the hair colour but chopped all my hair off so it was well above my shoulders.  This was taken at the school prom when I was about 16 and a half.  For some reason I chose to wear a dress that a middle aged woman would wear!? I always remember feeling so self conscious and I never felt confident when I was a teenager.  I got bullied by some nasty girls and it really affected the way I saw myself.  I hid it by acting like it didn't bother me but I do remember feeling really sad for a long time.  I noticed on looking back at photos of myself as a teenager that I hardly ever genuinely smiled in photos, it was half hearted...that in itself is quite telling.

I finished school at 17 and went to university! I felt totally liberated when I left secondary school because I could finally get away from the people who had made me feel so low for so long.  I finally had some control over my life.  My hair was still short but I started to grow it out after realising that it really didnt suit me.  So I started the long and laborious process of growing my hair long again.  Here's a pick from my first week at university (I'm the one in the middle with the purple patterned dress on).

Whilst I was at university, me and two good friends decided to go backpacking around Europe on a whim.  We hatched the plan quite quickly and I remember being so excited.  I was only 19 and I had never been on holiday without my parents before.  This was a massive learning experience for me and a great way to check out loads of different places and cultures.  I was still growing my hair out and it had reached that annoying stage where it would never sit properly.  This pic was taken in a bar in Budapest...I remember I had no makeup on and had just let my hair dry naturally, given that backpacking is not the most glamourous experience!

Fast forward to finishing uni and turning 21 when I had moved back in with my parents.  I had finally managed to find a hair colour that suited me.  I started to get two different shades of blonde put through my hair and got some layers cut into my hair to give it more shape.  I also started to use makeup alot more and finally started to get better at applying it.  I think this picture is definitely the one where I can see the biggest change and this was the time when I finally started to feel good about myself.

I got a new job at the age of 23 and moved into a flat in town.  I remember being really excited to be independent and free to come and go as I wanted.  I didn't have to tell anyone what time I would be in after a night out, I could buy all the kind of food I liked (don't know why that appealed to me so much but it just did!) and also, when I dated someone, they didn't have to instantly meet my parents when they picked me up!  I had been having my hair highlighted for a few years at this stage so the colour started to look alot better once the shades had blended together.  I started to get lighter blonde shades in my hair and kept growing it out.

My hair stayed the same from that time to just before I met Chris at age 25.  I went REALLY blonde at this stage and looking back I think it was way too light for me.  The bleach also damaged my hair and I found it got really weak and brittle.  It looks white in this next photograph!  This was taken on my first visit to Chris' home in Ireland.  We had only been going out for about 6 months at this stage.

This next pic was taken in 2009 when I started this blog and also when I started my weightloss journey!  As you can see my hair is quite a bit darker because I started to get my natural colour blended into my blonde highlights to tone the overall colour down.  It looks a bit flat here because I had straightened it after wrestling with it for ages...I just gave in a got the GHD's out.  I much prefer my hair with more volume though.

And that brings us up to the present year! My hair is very long, I now get three shades of blonde through my hair...a light blonde (not bleach), a honey blonde for warmth and my natural colour to prevent my hair from going too light.  I think I have finally settled into something that really suits me, flatters my skintone and face shape and makes me feel confident when I look in the mirror.

It took many cringe-worthy photos to get to this place but hey, I don't mind you guys seeing those because it's part of who I am.  There's no point in pretending that I am perfect and I have always been girly and groomed.  I was an awkward teenager with no confidence but through time, experience and the unconditional love of my family and friends, I grew into a more confident and self assured adult.  If I could go back, I wouldn't change anything because everything I have gone through has made me the person I am today.

All the ups and downs of my life's journey finally lead me to the wonderful life and future I have with Chris today so I am very thankful for that.

I would LOVE to see other people's hair history if you haven't done it already!


  1. I LOVED this post, so honest.

    I can really relate to the way you describe your teenage years and lacking confidence. I was bullied at school too and always made to feel like the ugliest thing in the world. Even though I've come a long way since then I still have moments where those ugly thoughts creep back in, I'm often shocked that someone as gorgeous as my fiance wants to marry someone like me!

    You look amazing now, seriously stunning. Chris must be very proud to have such a beautiful wife.


  2. @LoveAudrey - I hate the picture of me as a teenager because it brings back bad memories BUT I think it's important for people to see that I haven't always been confident and hopefully, if there's people reading this who struggle with confidence, it might help them to see that you can get over that. It's about looking inside yourself and accepting who you are, flaws and all and being happy with it. Thanks for your lovely comment :) xxx

  3. Such a great post! Thanks for sharing! I had similar feelings when I was growing up especially in high school and early university. I started coming into my own and feeling more confident in my mid-20s and my 30s have been fantastic. I totally agree with everything you've stated above! Well-done! And of course, you look positively amazing!!


  4. the pic where you are 21 is absolutely stunning! i think we all have pics like this, I certainly looked an absolute shambles until about age 16. but they bring good memories regardless. how lovely to see you going from babyhood to the very gorgeous woman you are now :) xxx

  5. I really enjoyed this post :)
    I think your hair now is stunning and i love the colour! Do u know what colours you have exactly? Like numbers? Because they take so beautifully- loving them

  6. I really enjoyed reading this post. I'm glad that you feel so much more confident now. It definitely shows.

    Would you ever get a full fringe? I think you'd really suit it! x

  7. I know exactly what you mean about the teenage years. They were horrific. I think that's why we hate the idea of ageing, by the time you get into the 20s, even more so in the 30s, you finally get comfortable in your own skin. After all that time getting to this point, it scares the hell outta me when I think about more changes.

  8. Great blog post! I had same problems as you, my high school years were not so charming and great either. But I guess that stage made us even better persons :)

  9. Love this post! So warming :o) xoxox

  10. I loved this post so much! I think we had really similar styles growing up - I had the hair dye obsession in high school, too, and went auburn as well. I kind of want to do one of these posts now, but god, the pics would be embarrassing!

  11. @Michelle - It's weird how much confidence you gain as you get into your late 20's and i would imagine it keeps growing. I hate to think that there are girls out there who feel the same way I's no way to live.

    @sophie rosalind - I don't think there are many teenagers who are confident really. It's such a confusing time!

    @Emma - I'm not entirely sure of the numbers but I could ask my hairdresser and get back to you!

    @Andrea - I have thought about getting a full fringe but it's scary to take the plunge since it's not the kind of thing you can cover up if you don't like it!

    @Lillisal - I actually like getting older because I get a better understanding of who I am as a person, the older I get :)

    @Passing fancy - It was definitely a character building time!ha ha.

    @chloelebreton1 - Glad you enjoyed it :) xxx

    @dontcallmejessie - Go for it! It's actually kind of satisfying to put it all up there and say "this is me, like it or lump it!". It's embarassing to admit that you looked a state at certain points in your life but that's part of the fun :) xxx

  12. I loved your hair journey...I also have to say I'm insanely jealous at how good a fringe looks on you! x

  13. Awesome post! I can totally relate to your hair/beauty/personal development story, with these troubled and sometime really painful stages that make you grow into a more confident and happier person. Oh, and I'm just in love with your blog.

  14. i really love this post! its lovely to see you grow up sharin with us bloggers :)

    good on ya for gainin confidence!

    wish mine would kick in now lol


  15. AW! I LOVE this post, Ive done a post about hair history a while back. You look great as a fair haired lady =D

  16. I was just googling blonde hair pictures and came across your blog, and i am sure glad i did, because it's very enlightening to know that pretty girls have had awkward hair stages, I'm 17 and i feel that ever since i used a permanent hair dye when i was 14, I have ruined my hair's condition! These days I am just trying to grow out my obsessed-dyed hair colour hopefully i won't give in to another cheap box of dye, or atleast wait till i can afford to go to a decent hair dresser and get the blonde hair i really want (like yours)
    great post, interesting to read through the stages of someone's life - and hair :D

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