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I Highlighted My Hair a Shade My Colorist Didn’t Approve

Fresh off 2014’s blonde ombré color trend, I knew I needed to try something new. I gave the ends of those locks plenty of light, and quite frankly, the burnt orange look after four washes just wasn’t working for me anymore. I knew in my heart that I wanted burgundy highlights. At the time (and quite frankly, even now, probably, to the average person), it sounded like a huge risk. I wasn’t talking fire engine red, here. I was simply looking for a plum-ish shade. I knew it would be to my liking because in 2004, I did chunky burgundy panel highlights, and the color was amazing. It wasn’t sustainable at the time, due to many reasons, but it was always a hair moment I treasured.

Fast forward to now, I spent hours flipping through magazines and scrolling through Instagram, screenshotting so many cool looks. Friends who knew a thing or two about hair urged against it. Both my colorist and hairstylist laughed and said, “Oh, Dahvi. Come on now.” No one was doing unnatural red—unless, in very rare cases, it was a vibrant full head of red (and obviously that’s a whole other look and topic).

I kept insisting, and my colorist suggested we meet somewhere in the middle: no more blonde ombré, but rather, some medium brown highlights to liven up my naturally very dark all-around color. I agreed to her suggestion, and while the adjustment didn’t look bad by any means, I still knew that the mahogany of my dreams was the color of my choice.

Finally, I came in one day, and told her straight-up, “I want to do the red today. I know I’m going to like it, and if for some strange reason I don’t, I’m not going to blame you.” I pulled up a photo I’d been storing in my iPhone for months, and at long last, we got to business. Throughout the whole process, I didn’t have a single doubt. We went subtle—deep with the color, scarce with the placement. Voila, I loved it.

freshly curled burgundy highlights

The next time I came in, we did more. It looked fabulous. It was everything I could have ever wanted and more. My colorist was pleasantly surprised, as were all the other naysayers. I knew I’d love it. I first took the plunge in mid-2017. For years, I’ve never once thought of changing up that shade. Length and texture, sure; color, no thanks. As the saying goes, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” I’m glad I stuck to my gut. Even as the color fades, it still looks flattering. The only times I’ve regretted hairstyles or shades is when someone else picked them for me, and I’m going to remember that moving forward.

burgundy hair color

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