Forums > Model Colloquy > Hair color.. Natural vs bleach or dye?


abc def

Posts: 65

Portland, Oregon, US

When to change your hair color?

My whole life I have cut and colored my hair.. It has been 3 years now since I have colored my hair and have been growing it "long"! I am very happy with it but, sometimes I miss having lighter hair..

When is is maybe not beneficial in this industry to change your hair color?
I also kinda thought that more photographers might prefer a all-natural girl..?

♥ Would love to hear peoples thoughts

Apr 24 13 12:45 pm Link



Posts: 344

Portland, Oregon, US

No permanent hair color for this girl!! Sometimes I use a brightening gloss, but my hair color is part of my appeal.

Apr 24 13 03:04 pm Link

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Posts: 39444

Boston, Massachusetts, US

In 2009, when I went from having plain natural brown hair, to dying it an unnatural bright, fire-engine red color, my bookings exploded. Marketing-wise, it was the best thing I could have done for myself.

Of course, it totally destroyed my hair after two years, and when I changed it over to a more natural red that was not so damaging to my hair, some people complained. By that point, I had a good enough portfolio and references that I was still able to book work on reputation and portfolio alone, but the bright colored hair gave me an extra edge that I needed to get more attention, at the time I did it.

Apr 24 13 05:43 pm Link



Posts: 3557

Muncie, Indiana, US

I only dye my hair because I have grey. Hair color is damaging and if you want to keep it long then you want it as healthy as possible. Don't dye it.

Apr 25 13 02:41 pm Link


Thomas Van Dyke

Posts: 3079

Washington, District of Columbia, US

Lilu Love wrote:
Hair color.. Natural vs bleach or dye?

Natural is a wise choice for a myriad of very compelling reasons...

Most all bleaching agents are going to damage your to some extent... excessive exposure to these chemicals will lead to over-processed hair i.e. dry, rough and fragile hair...  Also bleached hair oft requires pre-pigmentation before a color application. Dyeing bleached hair with a darker hue/chroma can result in rather unpredictable coloration...

There are four main types of coloring agents... permanent, demi-permanent, semi-permanent, and temporary. You would be wise to start with temporary and work your way up this progression, going in the other direction is unlikely to yield optimum results...

all the best on your journey...

Apr 25 13 03:53 pm Link


Lynn Elizabeth

Posts: 1336

Palm Beach, Florida, US

Your natural hair color is beautiful! But if you want to change it, maybe just a few highlights to lighten it if that's the direction you want to go. It's not so much of a change that it would compromise your look that extreme.

Apr 28 13 11:39 am Link



Posts: 5227

Detroit, Michigan, US

I used to dye my hair black with regular box dye (Garnier usually). My natural hair color is a medium brown with some red tones (very minor) or ashy tones depending on the season. I have no idea how it changed color like that, but I have photo evidence somewhere. Anyway, the blue black always went over very well. I mentioned changing it back to something light a couple times and was always told I should stick with the black. But then I started having reactions to the hair dye like itchiness and they were getting progressively worse.

So I tried a dark red brown color from a henna based dye, not straight henna and it did still have some of the chemicals in it, but not the one that was apparently bothering me. It was pretty, but I just like the black better. So now I use a combination of henna first (as a base), then indigo and I get a beautiful soft black with red highlights. It takes all day to do, but it works well and I like the way the color sort of morphs between colors and melts in with my roots so I only have to do it every 8 weeks or so.

The black also has a surprisingly interesting effect of making my ethnicity very ambiguous and since I do not know really what all I am, I like that. As a model it is nice too because I can span different culture looks. Yesterday an Eastern Indian woman asked me if I was Chaldean (which I had to look up). Serbian, Italian, European (just in general), Spanish, Asian (that one may be a bit off), etc. Plus, I think the color just looks better on me. So really, I do it mainly because it makes me happy, the other stuff is a nice bonus. As a part-time model who is not totally dependent on booking work with others for my income, I can do that thankfully.

It really depends on what you want and how it is going to affect you. Keeping a hair color up as a model can be a little bit demanding on you and your hair. When I was using standard dye it was every 6 weeks or I had pretty obvious roots and they can be hard to re-touch. I think going lighter can be even more difficult. A lot of models do dye their hair and are quite successful. It depends on what suits you and the style you want to do.

Apr 28 13 01:29 pm Link


Sabryna S

Posts: 306

Quakertown, Pennsylvania, US

I am having the same predicament right now.
I've been dying my hair black for years now, but my natural hair color is more of a dark brown. I am actually not entirely sure WHAT shade of dark brown to be specific, because it's been that long since I've seen it.
As it says on my profile I'm trying to "grow it out" back to its natural color, but considering the length of my hair as well, it's going to take a long time. I've been considering just going back to dying it because obvious roots aren't a very good look for me, but at the same time I want my hair to be healthier. So far I haven't gotten any "complaints", and photographers seem to enjoy my dark hair, so it's pretty conflicting.

Apr 28 13 02:14 pm Link


Yves Duchamp- Homme

Posts: 3212

Virginia Beach, Virginia, US

Lilu Love wrote:
When to change your hair color?

My whole life I have cut and colored my hair.. It has been 3 years now since I have colored my hair and have been growing it "long"! I am very happy with it but, sometimes I miss having lighter hair..

When is is maybe not beneficial in this industry to change your hair color?
I also kinda thought that more photographers might prefer a all-natural girl..?

♥ Would love to hear peoples thoughts

Dye jobs that are good enough usually LOOK natural anyway. I don't really have a preference as long as the color is good and it suits MY needs. (If I need a blonde model, I will cast a blonde model.) I'm sure most clients work this way, too.

Apr 28 13 03:59 pm Link



Posts: 609

San Francisco, California, US

I'm allergic to permanent hair dye. (I break out in itchy bumps that ooze pus....)

So I'm pretty much stuck to keeping it my natural color, which is dark brown.

Apr 28 13 05:51 pm Link


Eva Marx

Posts: 40

West Hollywood, California, US

It really depends on what subject is needed for the shoot! Natural hair is better for most genres I would think, but depending on how much lighter you want to go, I don't think there should be a problem.

A nice, natural blonde or lighter brown shouldn't give you too much trouble.

Apr 28 13 10:29 pm Link


Scarlett de la Calle

Posts: 414

Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia

Personally I colour. My natural hair colour is a moussy/dirty blonde. It is not appealing for any type of photography.

I do however stick to only having 1 hairdresser work with my hair. Only washing it once a week (may be more often if I have a few shoots booked).

Putting a leave in protein spray in my hair after towel drying.

I hardly ever use heat on my hair (Again only for styling in photoshoots).

I used to colour my hair myself but its really shit for your hair get someone professional that knows what they are doing to colour it

Apr 28 13 10:37 pm Link



Posts: 4627

Little Rock, Arkansas, US

I bleach my hair blonde then dye it bright red. Same with my extensions. I went back to my natural color a few months ago after my boyfriend talked me in to it. I HATED it. I guess the shy girl in my secretly wants to stand out in the crowd. Plus the bright red helps me get noticed more.

As for photographers, only the ones in the Critique have said anything negative about my hair. The ones I've actually shot with love it.

Apr 28 13 10:45 pm Link


Erika Rieck

Posts: 36

Chicago, Illinois, US

Okay based on my portfolio, do I need to change my hair color. I been thinking of changing it to a golden blond, or a platinum blond? Also so one told me to even out my hair color. I basically have a ombré that is suppose to look natural what do you think? I really appreciate some feedback.

Apr 28 13 11:14 pm Link


Alivia Autumn

Posts: 610

Seattle, Washington, US

try reshaping your hair, bangs?

Apr 29 13 08:59 am Link


Magic Forests

Posts: 530

New York, New York, US

Lately when I've been feeling that itch to change up my hair, I decide on little highlights instead of an entire dye job. I've coloured my entire head copper a few years back and it became old. I grew it out and swore never to colour my entire head again, although that doesn't stop me from wanting to do so!

Since then I've done a green and a silver stripe (Slytherin/Harry Potter phase), and now I've got a blonde highlight at the back of my hair. It's cool enough for people to ask about it and interesting to see.

Whatever you do, make sure you're absolutely in love with it.

Apr 29 13 09:46 am Link


Erika Rieck

Posts: 36

Chicago, Illinois, US

Thanks for the help I was thinking of bangs.

May 02 13 12:31 am Link