My New (Subtle!) Summer Color

Yesterday, after 7 long years of follicular virginity, I jumped back into the world of hair color. Highlights, to be exact.

Okay, the verb “jump” might be a little too strong…let’s just say I dipped my toe into the proverbial water.

I am happy with my natural hair color, but MAN, it gets tough browsing through photos every week while writing these makeover posts. I was craving a little change. So I requested a few auburn highlights from my stylist. Actually, I think my exact words were, “Subtle. SUBTLE. I SWEAR TO JEBUS IF YOU GO OVERBOARD I WILL HURT YOU.”

(I’m so glad she puts up with my slight anxiety when it comes to these matters.)

She told me not to worry and re-introduced me to my old friend, the foil.

And voilá! Shiny, VERY subtle auburn highlights!

Yay! Let the summer games begin!

  • Lauren Lindner

    June 12, 2009 at 6:57 am

    I absolutley love the change! It is very subtle, yet a nice change! I’m happy for you!

  • metalia

    June 12, 2009 at 7:01 am

    PRETTY! And–yes!–subtle. Now, talk to me about “baliage” or however you spell it…my stylist has been trying to convince me FOR EONS to color my hair using this method, but I am: (a) petrified of coloring my hair, and (b) giggle every time she says it, since it sounds like a fancy French way of talking about matters of or related to balls.

  • Sarah

    June 12, 2009 at 7:06 am

    Oooh, Baliage can be really gorgeous and natural-looking if done by a TALENTED stylist. Otherwise, it can look like donkey ass.

    (HAHAHAAAAA…thinking of my comment in terms of ball-related matters. I think Baliage should be the term for Artistic Scrotum Painting.)

  • Iheartgreen

    June 12, 2009 at 7:19 am

    Very, very pretty hair. Also, random question if you don’t mind–what shirt are you wearing in your updated picture? The color of the shirt is one of my all time favorite colors. All time favorite.

    Old Navy tee! $8!!


    They don’t have the gray online, but it was in the store.

  • Stephanie

    June 12, 2009 at 7:33 am

    Beautiful! So her foil placement concentrated more on the ends and not framing the face? It’s so subtle and natural. I love your cut– it makes me want to fly across the country for a trim.

  • Sarah

    June 12, 2009 at 7:38 am

    Yes, Tera didn’t put any highlights on the top of my hair or around my face. That way, if I didn’t like it, I could grow out easily without roots.

    I love the result – you can see hints of auburn when my hair moves around, but it’s completely subtle.

    Flying across the country would be worth it – Tera is AMAZING!

  • zizi

    June 12, 2009 at 7:43 am

    Looks great!

  • bethany actually

    June 12, 2009 at 7:47 am

    Very nice, very summery, very subtle. I’m getting highlights for the first time in a year on Wednesday and am so looking forward to it. :-)

  • Calee

    June 12, 2009 at 7:55 am

    You’ve now officially convinced me to make the 20 minute trek to Tera. Your hair looks great.

  • Colleen

    June 12, 2009 at 8:18 am

    LOVE LOVE LOVE the hair. So shiny and healthy looking (then again your hair always looks healthy and fabulous). Great choice!

  • kate

    June 12, 2009 at 8:29 am

    You are even more lovely than usual! Love it!

    PS. Do (admitedly lame) Hair Thursday guest editors get bumped to the front of the line if one were to submit herself for suggestions?? Just asking…

  • tera Stephens

    June 12, 2009 at 8:32 am

    sooooooo sub tle……. u forced us to coin the new term “clientzilla”
    good thing we love u!!!

  • little miss mel

    June 12, 2009 at 8:34 am

    turned out great! good for you! :)

  • Darcey

    June 12, 2009 at 8:36 am

    LOVE LOVE LOVE! Soft, wispy and a little bit of movement. Also, loving the more graduated bang and lightness to the hair vs. the original photo. Though, if I never saw them next to each other, I would’ve said they both look absolutely fantastic on their own!

  • tera Stephens

    June 12, 2009 at 8:39 am

    btw calee, i trek 20 minutes myself every time i go to work!!!

  • Rebecca (Bearca)

    June 12, 2009 at 8:44 am

    Gorgeous! I wish we were doing happy hour tonight so I could see it in person.

  • Kara

    June 12, 2009 at 9:43 am

    Your hair looks great! But holy mother what I’m really writing in to say is that I was just on instyle.com and Kate Gosselin is all over the homepage with that hair!!!!

  • Angella

    June 12, 2009 at 10:00 am

    You look positively smashing!

  • Becky

    June 12, 2009 at 10:57 am

    I’m impressed at how well you styled your hair in the “before” shot — it’s very similar to the after shot. I can never get my hair to look remotely like the way my stylist will blow it out (even though I use the same products and brush, go figure).

    Oh, that photo is from a looong time ago. (It’s actually the photo from my “stylist” page, and Tera had styled it that day too!)

  • kat

    June 12, 2009 at 11:36 am

    So pretty! I love it – a hint of summer oh i have been in the sun color.

  • Lisa

    June 12, 2009 at 11:55 am

    I would love to know how Tera colors her hair! Love the blonde shade she has. As a recovering brunette, now over 50% gray I am digging the blonde thing but have a hard time getting a good mix of highs and lows so it looks natural. Plus I live in South Dakota — kinda limits my options! :-)

  • Kim Yamaguchi

    June 12, 2009 at 3:34 pm

    The highlights look fabulous and you, as usual, look simply gorgeous. I so need Hair Thursday help but I’m too shy to ask (and too nervous to let what I really look like get out there LOL)

  • Kerri Anne

    June 12, 2009 at 10:17 pm

    It looks all caps AWESOME.

  • Tammy

    June 12, 2009 at 11:53 pm

    It’s official, you have PERFECT hair! You look amazing!

  • Jackie Whitley

    June 13, 2009 at 9:03 am

    NICE !

    Did anyone see Sandra Bullock on David Letterman last night ? I usually love her hair. It was longer than normal & there were these black roots under wings around her ears along with streaky blond highlights. It was very distracting to look at.

  • wishcake

    June 13, 2009 at 12:13 pm

    So, I’m totally going to print out a photo of your hair take it to my stylist (AKA: Great Clips, I have no shame) because I totally love your cut (and I have no doubt that Great Clips will make a hot mess of it, but whatever).

    The highlights? Gorgeous.

  • Zandor

    June 13, 2009 at 3:30 pm

    Your hair looks great. It’s perfect.

  • Missy

    June 13, 2009 at 9:50 pm

    I wish I was going to BlogHer again this year! I am totally in need of a Tera trim. Love the highlights.

  • Hala

    June 15, 2009 at 3:37 pm

    How can I locate this Tera? I am being a good girl and growing my hair out FOR REAL this time so that I have more raw material to work with for my next cut, and I would absolutely LOVE for Tera to do it for me!

  • Sarah

    June 15, 2009 at 3:40 pm

    All of Tera’s information is here.

  • Hala

    June 15, 2009 at 4:25 pm

    Thanks a million, Sarah!

  • Bianca

    June 15, 2009 at 10:35 pm

    Your highlights look wonderful! I took the exact same plunge a couple of weeks ago. I’d avoided all highlighting for years – I just didn’t want to get back on the blonde track. Subtle, brown-auburn highlights are definitely the way to go – they give a little light and excitement, without taking away the beauty and drama of the over-all brunette color.

  • Erika

    June 16, 2009 at 6:35 am

    Sarah! Looks amazing. Can’t really tell you changed the color, you just look BRIGHTER. LOVE!

  • Ouidad

    June 20, 2009 at 9:28 am

    You look great! You have a great natural color, but it’s always fun to switch it up! The change is so subtle yet makes such a difference and brightens up your whole face! Enjoy the change!
    Linda for Ouidad

  • Jenna

    February 13, 2012 at 2:52 pm

    Thank you for posting this!!! I too am a follicular virgin, and I am going in to have partial highlights. After weeks of scouring the internet trying to find a very subtle shade that will match my hair color, I stumbled up on this page. My hair color is the very same as your before photo, and I had been leaning toward the realm of subtle reds. I am so excited to find a photo of a real life person (not a celebrity or a head of hair done up for a hair mag). I am now going to get my highlights done in confidence. :) THANK YOU!