Francesca’s secret for fabulous hair color

Here at Manolo for the Big Girl, we believe in the basics. Are you wearing the correct size bra? Are you moisturizing and cleansing your skin properly? Are you wearing sunscreen? Are you taking care of your feetsies? Do you have a superfantastic fattitude?

Only when the basics are covered do the clothes become important.

Today we ask you to check: Is your hair truly a good color for you?

Perhaps you are answering “Of course it is. It is the natural color which God gave me in His wisdom.” To which Francesca replies: Yes, and perhaps the Good Lord wishes you to Work With Him to perfect your hair. If you truly love your hair color, if it makes you feel confident and pretty and knowing that everyone around you can only dream of such a beautiful hair color, then stick with it! But if you are thinking “I wish I wasn’t starting to go grey” or “It is feeling a little mousy to me” or “I’d feel more vavoom if I had highlights,” why not take care of those issues?

Francesca is not ashamed to admit that her haircolor comes from a bottle. She does it herself at home, and chose a color which is almost her own shade, just a leetle beet more pizzazzy. It is so close to Francesca’s own hair, that if Francesca goes a few weeks without updating, the roots showing is not a catastrophe. The color is “Francesca Plus.” And it makes Francesca feel wonderful.

This is a good way to go because, just as with clothes, there is no point in denying the obvious. If the clothes that fit best on you are a size 24W, there is no point trying to squeeze into a 16W. If God blessed you with brown hair, there is usually little point in pretending that blonde will be better, unless you can afford an excellent colorist and the time and money to update the roots often. Francesca suggests that you go with “You Plus,” just a shade or two away from your real hair, perhaps with highlights, or just a little more blonde, or a little deeper brown, or a little more red.

Please . . . walk away from the henna.

henna hair(Is this someone’s child, or Bozo the Clown?)

Francesca is perfectly OK with ladies coloring their hair at home. It saves money from doing it professionally, and if you choose the correct color it will be fine. The trick is choosing a color that does not make it look like you color your hair.

Francesca uses this product,

coleur experte

and no one ever guesses that it is from a bottle. Many times, people say “Francesca, if only I had hair like yours” and when I tell them the secret, they cannot believe it.

The reason is: Natural hair is not all one color. Naturally, hair has highlights and lowlights. Strands on top will be a little bit lighter, and the hair next to your neck a little bit darker, and all over you might have strands that have some more red, or more blonde, than the others.

So, by adding teeny, tiny highlights, Francesca is making the new color look more natural.

Another way to go is to do the base color at home, and splurge on professional highlights. It is still cheaper than having the professional do the entire color job.

Happy makeovers!

xoxo, Francesca

15 Responses to “Francesca’s secret for fabulous hair color”

  1. EvilScienceChick October 23, 2007 at 11:55 am #

    I use that exact same kind of hair color, and my hair always looks very natural. In fact, the first time I went to my current hairdresser, it totally fooled her – “who colors your hair? it looks great!”

    My tip: the less anal you are about placing the highlights perfectly, the better they look. Nothing looks more fake than evenly spaced, perfectly symmetrical highlights!

    (this is my first ever comment here, but I’ve been stalking for a little while now. THANK YOU FOR THIS BLOG!)

  2. Kelly October 23, 2007 at 2:14 pm #

    I may be the opposite. My from-a-bottle color is what I affectionately call “whore red,” a vast improvement over the mousy brown that genetics gave me (and the grey it also saw fit to provide me starting at age thirteen).
    It isn’t natural, although with my pale irish coloring it could be, and I get complimented everywhere I go.

    But then… the grey is severe enough that I get my own DIY highlights, as those spots just turn out all the brighter.

  3. Bridey October 23, 2007 at 3:55 pm #

    Like Kelly, I’m an Irish chick who gets her red from a bottle — in my case, a coppery color that a boyfriend of mine once called “Pinup of the Provos red.”

    I actually started life as a real-deal redhead, direct from my Irish great-grandmother and namesake. But my hair got darker and darker as I got older and by the time I was in my teens was no particular color at all. So, years ago, I began dying it back to my “real” color, and nobody seems to suspect a thing (or, at least, nobody’s been rude enough to say they suspect!)

    Also, I have deeply, deeply terrible hair — super fine and wispy, perfectly straight, and just-above-shoulder length is as long as it has ever consented to grow. But at least the color can be nice!

  4. Ashe Mischief October 23, 2007 at 6:14 pm #

    I’ve been coloring my own hair since I was in seventh grade (about half of my life now!), and just today, one of the owners of the salon I frequent says to me, “You have such a beautiful haircolor. I know I say that every time you come in.” At which point my hair stylist says, “And she does it herself!”

  5. Despina October 23, 2007 at 9:46 pm #

    Ciao, bella Francesca!

    I’ve often thought about trying the L’Oreal Couleur Experte, but I’ve had a phobia about home highlighting ever since my last endeavor in the late 80s, which left me with a head full of gawd-awful orange streaks.

    Any advice on how you do it so expertly?

    Love the blog — keep the fabulousness up, girlfriends!

    Despina

  6. dinazad October 24, 2007 at 5:53 am #

    Errrr… what’s wrong with henna? I’ve been using my favourite auburn shade of henna for the last twenty years or so. Love the way it adapts to my natural hair colour. And since I’m pretty salt-and-pepper now, highlights make themselves, since the white hair get’s a coppery sheen and the dark hair remains auburn.

  7. Misalexis October 24, 2007 at 3:25 pm #

    I do not think that there is anything wrong with the shade of red that the girl in the picture has. Her hair looks beautiful, healthy, and she has the right complexion and it looks like the right age to pull it off.

  8. Abbey October 24, 2007 at 7:03 pm #

    My hair is my natural dark brown. I finally managed to grow it all out into my natural colour and I couldn’t be happier. My hairdresser looked at it and went “people pay me for this colour”. I’m a university student so it’s nice to not have to worry about paying for hair dye to cover up obvious roots.

  9. KateriBella October 24, 2007 at 8:04 pm #

    My hair color is its natural, dishwater blond color. My hairdresser played with my hair for a good half of an hour before she added my first time ever, professionally done lowlights for fall/winter. She was so excited that she got to play with “virgin” hair (I had dyed it a couple of times in college, but that was several years ago — long enough that everything was back to its natural color). I love her because she’ll tell me straight whether or not a style would look good with my perpetually round face (she has one too, so it’s a perfect match!). Find one that isn’t afraid to tell you what’s going to look good or not (not only do I have “mostly virgin” hair, but while it’s baby fine, there’s a lot of it)!

  10. cthulhulovesme October 25, 2007 at 12:10 am #

    My natural hair color? Almost-black.

    My hair color of choice? Kelly Green. Some of us look better in crayola shades.

  11. raincoaster October 25, 2007 at 1:42 am #

    Henna has been responsible for an awful lot of washed-out-eggplant-heads. The colour in the picture looks both synthetic (amusing, considering it’s not synthetic!) and unflattering. Nobody should pay for “Burnt Tomato Sauce” hair.

  12. Kimberly October 27, 2007 at 2:18 pm #

    My mother and I were both “blessed” with chicken-shit brown hair – medium tone, greyish cast, no highlights. Ugly, ugly, ugly, especially as we both have pale skin. My mom went through the frosting and the highlighting and in in her 40′s finally settled on red hair. She’s now almost 70 and the hair is still red, and she looks fabulous, and a good ten years younger than her real age.

    I went through brassy blonde, platinum blonde, orange, red, green, black, white and purple before settling on red with blonde highlights. Costs a fortune but the payoff is immeasurable. It’s a great feeling to know that your hair coloring is flattering to your skin tone and meshes well with your life and personality. I’ve never understood women who were afraid to color their hair, or who thought it was “fake” to do so, but I suppose I came by the dyeing naturally in my family.

  13. Kristin December 13, 2007 at 4:11 pm #

    This is an old entry, but I had to say that a) that photo has been debated by hennaheads for a long time and is almost certainly fake and b) henna doesn’t have to be dramatic. I use a light, diluted gloss of henna on my dark-blond hair, mostly for its fantastic conditioning benefits, and I’m not Irish-setter red from it yet: it adds coppery highlights that light afire in direct sun.

    The key is to use pure, fresh good-quality henna and to strand test first and go easy.

    Also, my #1 favorite hair color? Fuchsia Fatale. Cthulhulovesme is right.

  14. Schlauchboot November 24, 2008 at 3:47 am #

    Hi I like your post “Manolo for the Big Girl!” so well that I like to ask you whether I should translate into German and linking back. Answer welcome. Greetings Schlauchboot

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