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Welcome.

My name is Margot Austin and I am the editor and founder of The Design Edit, a collection of the best design stories I encounter in my life as a stylist and design communications specialist. Meet top talents, get inspired by beautiful spaces, get a first look at innovative new products and maybe even try one of my dead-easy DIY projects. 

Grey Hair, Don't Care. Oh, Wait, Yes I Do

Grey Hair, Don't Care. Oh, Wait, Yes I Do

DesignEdit_LiEdelkoort

I almost did it. I embraced my grey. But then I didn't. My hair was looking a lot like Li Edelkoort's — quite grey/silver all around the hairline framing my face. I have similar glasses, blue eyes and am fond of a red lip, so when I saw this photo one day after looking in the mirror, I thought well, maybe it's time. After all, Li Edelkoort is one of the coolest, smartest women on the planet. But I decided I wasn't quite ready. One sign was that I couldn't deal with even a selfie showing how my grey was really looking — even though I walked around in life that way for a couple of weeks. Also, it was right around that time that I got booked to appear on The Marilyn Denis Show. Vanity got the better of me and I bought a box.  

thedesignedit_DitaVonteese

I'm a box girl. I colour my own hair. You know I love to DIY for home, why not for beauty too? For many women it's a dirty little secret. Everyone knows it's bad for your hair and messy and cheap. But you know who else is a box girl? This girl above. Dita Von Teese also happens to be a natural blonde, if you can believe. This piece in CosmopolitanUK is a fun read about her box-loving tendencies and other beauty tips. If anyone can give a beauty tip, it's Dita. That beauty game is strong. Here's Dita on the box habit:

"I feel powerful when I buy a box of hair dye for seven dollars and have a whole new outlook on life. I don't have to make an appointment; I'm not being charged $300. I hate sitting in beauty salons and I feel good about myself when I know I can do it myself."
designedit_revloncolorsilk40

Amen to that, Dita. I once read a review that Revlon ColorSilk was the best at home hair colour. I tried it for the first time a year ago and now it's my go-to (though it can be a bit hard to find. I had to hit 3 Rexalls today to find it since it isn't carried at Shopper's Drug Mart). Medium Ash Brown 40 is my colour — a good match for my natural colour and the right tone for my blue eyes and pale complexion with pinkish undertones. Even before my hair was dry, I was thrilled with the update — at the cost of about an hour and less than $10. Here are my 5 top tips for Dye in a Box success.

1. Darken, don't lighten. Lightening hair is a much more involved process than covering grey or adding colour on top of the exisitng colour. I think it's best to save that for the salon.

2. Prep for the mess. Take up any bath mats. Put away towels or anything else that could get splashed and stained. Kill the time while your colours sets by thoroughly cleaning. Dita colours her hair while naked (natch) but then again, she does a lot of stuff while naked. I'd suggest an oversized old T-shirt or robe. And keep an old towel handy for around your shoulders or for quick towel drying the first couple of shampoos after you colour.

3. Upgrade the gloves. The gloves that come with at-home colour are usually large and floppy and awkward. Give them the pass in the favour of some latex gloves that you can pick up at the dollar store or hardware store in the paint section. Choose a size that's right for your hand.

4. Get behind the ears. This is the area most often missed by DIY colourists. Make sure hair in that area and other hard-to-reach spots, like the hairline at the nape of the neck, get a thorough coat of colour.

5. Skip the special effects. Ombré (are people still doing that? If so, they should stop), bayalage and going silver/pastel/grey for those who aren't naturally grey are all colour techniques best left to the pros. Your bathroom results will surely be substandard.

I'm happy with my results. Still, I'm not ruling out going grey sometime in the not too distant future. Here's a great story I read about it recently in The Guardian. It really is an issue tangled in societal pressures, self-image, sexuality, career and authenticity. Ugh. For now, I'm staying a Medium Ash Brown. But when my greyification happens I'll be taking inspo from these ladies:

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My DIY Bullsh*t Test

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DIY Graphic Tape Door