Monday, 29 April 2019

Back To Black - A Recycled Dress & An Experiment in Natural Hair Colour


 After years of avoiding it, I'm coming back around to enjoying the odd bit of black in my wardrobe. This Indian cotton dress reminds me of what the cool Sixth Formers at my all-girls' grammar school used to wear, often accompanied by a cloud of patchouli oil, when I was a first year in 1978.

WEARING: Interlinks, London Indian midi dress (eBay) with vintage Kashmiri hand embroidered waistcoat (also eBay), 1960s Gohill's exotic snakeskin boots (more about them HERE), Russian folklore belt (new with tags from a charity shop) and some Chloe-inspired sunglasses 'cos the sun's shining.

The dress is fully lined and made with light-as-a-feather Indian cotton gauze. It has an Interlinks, London label, a company that specialised in selling garments imported from India during the 1970s and 1980s. They're not around any more and their clothes can sell for £££s. At £15 with the original tags still attached, I think mine was a bit of a steal.

My Kashmiri waistcoat and tribal enamel & brass earrings bought in India
In fact, this dress is such a joy to wear that I wore it yesterday, too.


This time worn with Victorian-does-the-1960s lace up boots from a car boot sale and a vintage Tyrolean belt Helga sent me nine years ago.

Jaipuri metal earrings (India) and a bit of vintage label porn
As this dress is an unworn import I treated it as I do all my Indian clothes and hand washed it in lukewarm water with organic baby shampoo, I gently wrung it and hung it up to dry away from direct sunlight (not that there's been much around lately!) Many Indian textiles are made using natural colours which aren't fixed. Always wash your Indian textiles separately (and not too often) and don't panic if a shedload of colour comes out.


I've had raven locks since 2006 when, after months of being almost housebound after a total hip replacement, I was sick to death of looking at my natural blonde hair in the mirror and decided to dye it black. These days I retouch my roots every five weeks or so, only dyeing the rest once a year but I love how my hair colour has lifted after last year's long hot summer, the week we spent in Greece and during our trip to India and I'm keen to embrace its more natural look. 


This was taken on Thursday afternoon. Those roots are bad - it's time to dye!

After thirteen years of using Superdrug's semi-permanent Natural Black, I've finally decided to give natural hair colour a bash. Unlike your average hair colourant, Daniel Field (famous since 1981 for his organic & natural hairdressing services & products) Water Colours don't contain ammonia, hydrogen peroxide or alcohol and are free from phenylenediamine (ppd). The dye claims to penetrate the hair cuticle without disturbing the hair's structure or integrity. 


Daniel Field products are only available on-line (HERE). The packaging is minimal, there's none of that gloopy conditioner included and a reusable plastic applicator bottle is supplied with your first order thus reducing waste. To use you simply put a small quantity of hand hot water into the bottle, add the colour power and shake it for a minute. You apply the mixture to hair that has been washed (and not conditioned) 24 hours earlier, pop on the polythene cap and leave your colour to develop for up to an hour. After the development time you shampoo your hair and condition as normal. Daniel Field recommends adding a freshly squeezed lemon to your usual conditioner for added shine.

I'm impressed. Although it's not cheap, it's a lot less smelly and messy than my normal dye (no more dye-stained ears, forehead or kitchen table) and it doesn't leave my hair full of static for a week afterwards plus it's vegan and 100% cruelty-free. I use Natural Darkest Brown but there's 37 colours to chose from. 

*This isn't sponsored - I paid for my hair dye myself!* 



As you can see the lads have no need for dye, theirs is all natural.

See you soon!

Linking to Patti & the Gang for Visible Monday


55 comments:

  1. I love the black dress. I had a similarly tiered skirt that I really loved, back in the day x

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    1. They're such a pleasure to wear, aren't they? xxx

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  2. I love that dress - reminds me of Mexican ones with the tiers.

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    1. It is a bot Mexican in style, no wonder I like it! x

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  3. To dye or not to dye, that has been the question for xx years. My hairdresser uses only Aveda products, so my hair is in good condition -- but the cost makes me wish I had the courage to go gray or DIY. Shall be watching to see how you review this product after a summer in the sun...

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    1. I only visit once in a blue moon and even a trim is pretty costly. I was terrified of dyeing it myself when i first started but I was lucky to have a hairdresser friend who talked me through it. I'll let you know how the colour fares over the Summer. I have nightmares about waking up as a blonde, I'm much happier (and more "me") with dark hair! xxx

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  4. What a pretty dress and the accesories make it even prettier!
    www.chezmireillefashiontravelmom.com

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    1. Thanks, Mireille! Nice to "meet" you. x

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  5. I think that black dress is my most favourite of all your dresses , I love it , I had a suit similar in 1978 it was yellow though and i loved it , I remember ordering it from empire stores lol x

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    1. Thank you so much - Jon loves it, too! Empire Stores - I still come across their label in charity shops. A yellow suit in the same style! I'd love to own that! xxx

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  6. I love the natural dye idea and the sun lightened colour on your length is very pretty (I get this but hate it on my hair as it goes a brassy ginger on the ends and have just spent a small fortune today having it put back to my natural dark brown - your colourant could be worth a go for me next time around. Black suits you. I really like that you don't wash things to death - I don't either but keep quiet about it as don't want to be judged (sad) - I remember a debate in our office about whether everyone really washed their bra after every wear and nobody would own up to wearing more than once - I kept quiet! ridiculous really, the girl who asked was ahead of our times! now we are so into the environment less laundering makes so much sense.

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    1. I bet the Daniel Field colour would suit you. Everyone reckons their telephone helpline is brilliant if you need advice as to choosing a colour (apparently they come up darker than the chart).
      Washing a bra after every wear! What on earth warrants the need for that? I only wash stuff when it needs it - it's not like we're dirty when we get dressed, is it? xxx

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  7. You look ab-fabulous in the black dress. That kind of light cotton is a dream in Florida summer. And I love your hair with a lighter ombre at the ends. You have great hair, my friend, no matter how you do it up. xox

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    1. Thanks so much, Patti! Yes, this gauzy cotton is just brilliant in a tropical climate - it doesn't crease too much, either. xxxx

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  8. What a find - and bargain! - that black Indian cotton dress was. I love the tiered skirt, which looks especially gorgeous with those Victorian style lace up boots and Helga's Tyrolean belt. Your sun lightened hair looks lovely too. Very sensible to only dye it completely once a year. I like the sound of the Daniel Field products, although I won't go back to home dying my own hair again any time soon. I haven't looked back since I started having it done by my hairdresser, who is also using natural products. Lovely to see the boys, as usual! xxx

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    1. Jon loves this dress, he reckons it's very goth - must be his old punk roots!
      You love your salon visits, you work hard and it's a lovely way to relax, I don't blame you for letting the hairdresser do the dyeing! xxx

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  9. My goodness, I've been out of touch for a bit and here I find Vix World all topsy turvey. Not only is she wearing all black, but her all black hair is going natural! Never one to stay stuck, but always trucking. wheee!

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    1. That's it, Pao - don't stay away from blogland for too long, you don't know what might happen when your back's turned! xxx

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  10. What a score on that dress - it is just lovely, with all those lace details. You look amazing in it, Vix!

    I did not know that blonde was your "real" colour! I actually noticed the brownier ends and thought that's where you were headed. As you know, I've been growing out my natural colour which my head has decided is now grey (my original colour is medium brown, very dull), and then toning it with lavender. Such fun to play with! And why not change it up? It's just hair!

    Aw, look at those boyz! They are adorable.

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    1. Thanks, Sheila! Ebay's brilliant over bank holiday weekends, everyone's eating or doing family stuff and I grab all the bargains!
      Yes, I'm a natural blonde - can you believe it? I can definitely say that blondes DON'T have more fun! xx

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  11. There is something a bit Victorian about that dress, I really like it, and you look great in black đź–¤

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    1. Thank you! I liked the Victorian vibe and the lacey bits stop it looking too prim and proper! xxx

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  12. Oh my gosh - patchouli oil! Even today the slightest hint of that scent takes me right back to those days!

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  13. What a fabulous dress, I love it with your Victorian style boots and Tyrolean belt, very ' Picnic at Hanging Rock'. It suits you so well. I love a good Victorian governess look myself. Good advice too about not over-washing textiles. It is silly how we just wash the life out of our clothes these days and then wonder why they look drab.

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    1. Thanks so much, Alysia! I loved the style of the dresses in Picnic at Hanging Rock so that's a huge compliment.
      I don't get this current obsession with over washing clothes (or bleaching everything in sight). xxx

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  14. Totally love this dress, the 80's classic style and the black cotton gauze are favourite qualities for me!!. You're gorgeous in this dress and love the fab accessorizing, the victorian vibe, the cute waistcoat! everything rocks!
    Thanks for sharing your experience with this product, it's very interesting to know about natural dye!
    besos

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    1. Thank you!! I love that era of 1980s dressing, too and the fabrics were always such good quality. I think the 1980s was the last decade when clothes were manufactured properly, no fast fashion! xxx

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  15. I hope you've managed to get Gilbert sorted out.
    I love the dress and the waistcoat is gorgeous.
    Your hair looks lovely and avoiding ppd can only be a good thing. A lot of hair dyes have things in them you wouldn't dye fabric with, so it's good that the industry is catching up and the fact that it's environmentally sounder is great. It suits you. xxx

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    1. Hi Sally - no yet, it's not an easy job sadly - but the matter's in hand!
      You're dead right about fabric dyes vs clothes dyes. I thought I should reconsider my dye habit after reading up about it. xxx

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  16. That dress is wonderful - I'd deffo have worn it back in my goth days. And what a bargain price too!

    The hair dye sounds excellent. The stuff I use is eeeeeevil. I usually spend a day or so with orange ears after doing mine.

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    1. Thanks, Mim! I didn't have to think twice when I saw that dress listed with a Buy It Now or Best Offer price - buy it or lose it!
      Tell me about the ears...and the shoulders...face and walls! xxx

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  17. As you know the only time I wear black is when I don my 15 year old M&S outfit for pilates twice a week. Its back in fashion though as it has stripes down the side.
    I do like you in that dress though Vix, it really suits you.
    I'm lucky with my hair as it only gets tinted twice/three times a year by lovely friend Angela who has looked after my mop for the past 30 years.
    My one indulgence is that she blow dries it every 7-10 days and I dont touch it inbetween. She comes to our house so we get to have a good gossip and a giggle and when the wandering welder is around she will do his as well. I've no idea what she puts on my head, all i know is it doesnt stink so I suppose it must be good stuff
    Hope Gilbert and Jon have recovered from their weekend ordeal now xxxx

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    1. Get you with your athleisure gear - you'll be wearing them with stilettos and hanging out with Victoria Beckham next...not!
      Your hair always looks fabulous and how lovely that your lady comes to the house and you have a good old gossip, too! xxx

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  18. I love a bit of black now and again! I like how you've livened it up with the fab belt, jewellery and waistcoat. Pops of colour make black look better I always think.

    Your hair is looking lovely and I like the sound of this natural product. I hated that 'oh my roots need doing' business and I'.m so glad I don't have to do it anymore.

    xxx

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    1. The roots thing doesn't take long but they always seem to need doing when I've got other plans!
      Yes, I'd never go back to having an all-black wardrobe like the 1980s but a little bit is fine! xxx

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  19. You wear black well too! It's sorta of a Stevie Nicks vibe, but I like your Indian twist on it much better. I want to find a nice black wig to see how it would look -- my fella would kill me if I died my hair. With half Greek/Turkish heritage, I am thinking my face might just be able to pull it off. Have you ever seriously worn a wig?

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    1. I bet you'd look great with black hair. I've got a bit of a collection of wigs, our Asian beauty shop does some amazing ones at really good prices. Go on, try one! xxx

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  20. i just realized that you were hit so badly by the storm!!
    (being abstinent to the net for a few days....) oh my - i´m shocked - and i´m very glad that you & jon are OK and gilbert fixable - being out in a storm is very dangerous.

    you look wonderful in the black midi dress! what a great find! love how you wear just a bit of bright colors with it. it seems we both are back to black lately after ages of staying away of.....
    your hair looks gorgeous - hooray for natural dyes!
    xxxxx

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    1. What a disaster, eh? Maybe they should rethink the date of the event and move it to May when the weather's a little less unpredictable!
      I'm really pleased with the dress, so easy to wear, light and comfy! xxx

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  21. I would consider a natural dye-good to know that one's good. I haven't dyed my hair in 15 years as I was curious to see what would happen, but I am slowly inching in that direction.

    The dress is beautiful. I like how it can go goth or hippie depending on your mood and accessories.

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    1. Your hair always looks fabulous. This dye is great, reading the reviews may people use it as a month deep conditioning treatment as it's so kind on the hair. xxx

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  22. Such a pretty dress that has a link to your own past too. I love both ways of styling - you look smashing! Your hair looks great, and natural product will only make them prettier and stronger! <3

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    1. Thanks so much, Natalia! I put in on, stood in front of the mirror and felt I was looking at one of the cool girls from my youth! xxx

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  23. Makes me think of, "Black, black, black is the colour of my truelove's hair.."
    Good on you for the hair dye! I love the black dress too!x

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    1. I don't know that song - I need to Google it. xxx

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  24. This is a beautiful dress. I have phases when I avoid black and phases when I embrace it. I used to think it doesn't suit my complexion but then I realized it's more a matter of shade and black like most colours has different shades. I like both ways you wore that dress. The vest is a beauty and the belt is lovely as well. Great tips about Indian textiles, natural dyes are best washed by hand.

    I would have never guessed you natural hair colour is lighter, I guess it is because I've always saw you with black hair. I dye my hair only once or twice a year to black, a colour similar to my natural hair colour (my natural hair is a very dark brown but not quite black). If I hadn't any greys I wouldn't dye my hair at all. I never really thought about the plastic packaging hair dyes come in so I just realized that's terribly wasteful and there is no reason why one shouldn't reuse the plastic one. Good for this brand that does use a reusable bottle and more natural and less harmful ingredients. I typically always dye my hair at home so I guess I created a lot of plastic waste that way and never really thought about it.

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    1. Thanks, Ivana. You're lucky to have such beautiful dark hair - naturally! I always used to feel guilty about the waste my hair dye was generating - the developer bottle has to be rinsed before putting in the recycling bin which of course means pouring the water used to clean it down the drain, which can't be good for the water table can it?
      xxx

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  25. The smell of patchouli oil always takes me back to my days at art college :)
    It's a lovely dress, and black suits you. I used to wear nothing but black, the thought of another colour filled me with horror. It amuses me to think of it now.
    Your hair looks really nice with the lifted ends, and the new dye sounds wonderful, and much more eco friendly.
    xx

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    1. I still wear it - Lush's Karma! Love the stuff!
      I remember a friend opening my wardrobe in the 1980s and remarking that everything I owned was black. I avoided it for years but quite enjoy the drama of all-black occasionally! x

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  26. That black dress is killing me, so good! The natural hair-dye sounds wonderful and so much less of a palaver than the chemical ones - if only he had pink I might well have gone back to dying my hair!

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  27. I used a two-step henna, then indigo, process, which can give you whichever depth of red/brown/black you want. And completely natural. Might be worth checking out. Only thing is, it does have to grow out once you've gone down that route! After using it for 7 years I had to grow out all my hair before bleaching it, as I wanted it lighter. Now I want to darker again. Shall check out the Daniel Field.

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  28. Okay...it has PTD in it, so I wouldn't be able to use it!

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Thank you for leaving a comment. If you have a blog I'll pop over and return the favour.

Lots of love, Vix