DIY Hair Colour Update, With Digression About Biotin
May 8, 2020 Beauty and body

Three weeks ago yesterday, I coloured my hair at home for the first time since the Nineties. The Nineties, guys. Prior to the pandemic, the last time I coloured my hair at home, I was wearing crop tops and high waisted denim shorts with belts. And now we live in a world where young girls and women once again wear crop tops and high waisted shorts with belts. Sunrise, sunset. The big wheel keeps on turning and Proud Mary keeps on burning.

Anyway, my hair. I did not expect much. I did not expect the colour to last well; red is particularly prone to fading, and I have been spending a lot of time outside, walking and gardening. I guess I am a person who lives by you get what you pay for and since I paid $6.99 for a box of colour, my expectations were low.

But lo! Behold!


The colour itself has hardly faded at all! My roots are coming in, of course, because hair grows, but that is to be expected. All in all I am very pleased, although looking in askance at the incredible amount of time and money I have spent on my hair over the past two plus decades. Well.

Speaking of roots coming in, this is something I have been meaning to bring up for a while: biotin. Back in the fall, a friendly acquaintance on twitter mentioned Nature’s Bounty Hair Skin & Nails supplements, and how taking them had really helped with hair loss and hair growth. She isn’t an influencer, and wasn’t writing a sponsored post on it or anything, and I had seen the pink bottles in Costco and often wondered about them. My main dissatisfaction in life, as you all know, has been my hair. Well, and my skin. And my nails. So I thought, why not.

People, I am here to tell you that it really does work. It’s not immediate; obviously you need to take the supplements daily, and for a few months before you actually see results. But my hair is thicker than it has been since the glory days of pregnancy, and it grows pretty quickly too, as evidenced by my root situation. I still get occasional nail breakage, but I also wash my hands many times a day; this is not merely a Pandemic Thing, it’s a Nicole Thing. Mostly, my nails are pretty strong though. My skin, well, I am still a wrinkled crone but maybe I would be MORE of a wrinkled crone without it, who knows, this is not a scientific study and I don’t have a control group with a clone of aging self.

The point is that the biotin has been working wonders on my hair, to the point that I don’t feel I can really complain about the rapidity of my Grey Root Emergence. One cannot take biotin for hair growth and then complain about hair growth, am I right?

It also seems to work for eyelashes; this is slightly harder to tell because I use a ton of mascara every single day, yes even during the Pandemic, yes even though I am not going anywhere or doing anything. I still have to look in the mirror occasionally. Back to the original point, I seem to be using less mascara to achieve the same, Pre-Biotin results.

The downside, of course, is FACIAL HAIR. Ladies of a certain age, and particularly if you are a fair-skinned natural brunette like me, might notice a significant uptick in the old beard-and-moustache.

Ellen Griswold: It’s my mother accusing your mother of buying cheap hot dogs, and your mother accusing my mother of waxing her upper lip…

Clark Griswold: Your mother waxes her upper lip?

Ellen: She has for years.

Clark: Huh. It doesn’t show.


With my 10x Daylight Magnifying Mirror, though, the not-insignificant chin hair crop can be harvested pretty easily, and there are a ton of different wax strips for the old Magnum, PI. I use – wait, I don’t know what I use. Please hold. Oh, I use Veet Natural Inspirations. Good thing I looked, I thought it was Neet. Didn’t it used to be Neet? Anyway. If you are interested in biotin, I would probably suggest amping up your Facial Hair Crop Harvesting Routine. Unless, of course, you want to look like my sons.

HOO BOY, you guys, they still haven’t shaved and the teenage moustaches are out of control. I zenly repeat to myself, it’s their bodies, they can do what they want, it’s just facial hair…but eeeeeee. There is really no describing it. You will just have to use your imagination here.

Well. Body autonomy and all that. I am not going to die on that hill, not today, Satan. Plus, it’s Friday! My favourite day of the week! I teach a lunch-hour zoom yoga class, I’m making my favourite dinner of all time, and WINE, YOU GUYS. Even if it’s a Pandemic, I am not deviating from my Wine on the Weekend rules in the slightest. Otherwise, woooo, would it ever be a slippery slope around here. Only 11 hours until 5:00! Have a beautiful weekend, friends. xo

"6" Comments
  1. I think it was Neet. I have fuzzy memories of applying Neet to our legs in a poorly ventilated bathroom at a friend’s house the summer we were twelve. The fumes!

  2. I love the Griswold conversation; one of my favorite movies. (All of them)
    Bravo on the haircolor!
    I’ve been dealing with thinning hair and started taking biotin about a year ago; not much change yet.
    As far as the facial hair, I’ve always had it. About 3 years ago I started getting facials with dermaplaning. I love it. When I can’t get in for an appointment, I do it myself at home. Yes, I shave. 🙂
    Funny about your sons facial hair and I give you mad props for keeping your mouth closed about it; that’s a challenge.
    Happy mother’s day to you.

  3. So glad you stumbled on a decent hair color. It looks great.

    I started taking Nutrafol in January at my dermatologist’s suggestion. I have serious hair loss due to my failure to absorb nutrients for YEARS as my celiac disease was misdiagnosed for a very long time. Gluten wore down my celia and I was unable to aborb nutrients without realizing it. Anyway, celia grow back so back in business but not sure the hair loss can ever be corrected. Real bummer. I do not really think the Nutrafol is helping, but I want to see the dermatologist before I give up.

    Love the Griswald dialogue. Ha!

    Coach is begging me to cut his hair but I prefer to wait till more of the boys are needing cuts. They are not interesting and Coach is pouting and I am not forcing the boys to get a cut. This might mean I get full of hair for just one desperate client.

    Happy Mother’s Day!

  4. Your hair looks remarkably similar to when you get it done and I might be side-eyeing your stylist as well – 6.99! If you’re paying anything like what I am paying for hair colour, that is a SIGNIFICANT SAVINGS. Angus’s moustache (which I not-so-proudly DID post evidence of on Facebook ) is KILLING ME. Why would you WILLINGLY LOOK LIKE THAT. Deep breath, bodily autonomy, so little is in his control right now, can’t I just maybe shave it off in his sleep? probably not. I cringe at the idea of using wax strips for my moustache – I have such sensitive skin and every time I’ve gotten my eyebrows done it’s been red for days. Keep the moustache or go around looking very obviously like I’ve just waxed the moustache? It’s a dilemma.

  5. The color still looks amazing! Prior to *waves around* “all this” – I was thinking I needed to start having my hair professionally colored…now I’m thinking I’ll just keep getting my box colors for now.

    Good for you for not saying anything. I have a picture of Man-Child when he went through his mountain man phase – it’s a mystery to me how he actually got a job teaching elementary school children looking like that. Eventually, (hopefully) they’ll outgrow it.

  6. Okay this whole post was a Mood Lifter. You are so funny.

    But it also brings up one of my biggest recurring fears, which is, What If My Facial Hair Situation Is Such That Other People Wonder Why I Am Not Dealing With It?

    I have fair skin and light brown hair (I mean, I think it’s light brown. I color it, so who knows really). And obviously I have hair all over my body including my face because I am a mammal. But I have NEVER done anything to any hair on my face except pluck my eyebrows and pluck a single recurring mole-hair. Is this ill-advised? How do I KNOW if people are looking at me and thinking, “Wow, I admire the courage of a woman who boasts such a full moustache.”? (Referring to upper lip hair a Magnum PI is HILARIOUS and INSPIRED by the way.) My husband claims I am fine, but his observational skills are sometimes suspect. My mother — possibly the only human who would actually tell me — lives thousands of miles away and also has a very strong bias against doing anything to your facial hair; she is of the belief that if you touch it, it will return with a vengeance. I don’t have any lady friends who I could ask and trust to tell me. WHAT DO I DO? Might you offer a facial-hair-spotting service?

    This is a very odd comment indeed.

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