Getting Into Character: Becoming Hazel

Mermaid CarleneHello Fishy Friends,

Right about now, this mermaid should be calling it a night. But I can’t stop tugging on the ends of my hair to see that the once light blonde ends I usually sport are now a cinnamon color. Since I’m sleepless in the land of auburn tresses, I’ve decided to post pictures of why exactly I’m living life as a red head.

It’s all in the name of writing research, getting into character to be more precise. The heroine in my current Work In Progress, Hazel, is a red head (think Victoria the First, of Twilight). I realized quickly that the best way to get into her head, so to speak, would be to experience life as similarly to her as I could. I went as far as to color my hair in a manner that I felt she would use, and being a very bohemian, earthy kind of woman, that meant something natural.

It came in really handy that I’m a Lush addict and they happen to sell Henna which was right up my girl, Hazel’s, alley. I should say that I researched henna thoroughly before using it which means that I’m in it for the long haul.  (Or until I write a short-haired heroine and in the name of research…snip, snip, snip goes the hair!)

The result? Well, I love it. It’s rich, shiny, thicker, curlier and I feel a definite spiciness about my new mane. Not to mention a daring side who thinks it would be a great idea to share the pics of my “Getting Into Character: Becoming Hazel” process.


Yes, that says “Caca” but let’s just pretend it doesn’t…or that it sounds exquisite and fancy in a faked French accent 🙂 In all seriousness, this is the Lush brand of henna and it’s a chunk of henna mixed with cocoa butter and coffee and other wonderful smelling things pressed with a tea brick to make lovely little designs.


After we break off our desired amount of henna chunk, we run to the bathroom and paper it for protection against staining. I used my Lush catalogue. Very pretty.


Now we race back to the kitchen and begin cooking our henna in a bain marie which if anyone knows me…yeah, I had to look this up. In the end, it turns out all you need is a pot for boiling water and a big enough glass bowl to set on top of it to keep your henna warm.


Back to the bathroom with your gooey creation that resembles green poo and brownie mix (but smells wonderful)…Ahhh, now you know why they call it Caca. 🙂


As neat as you try to be while applying the Caca henna to your hair, as it begins to dry, tiny little Caca bits will begin to fall at your feet. This is when I feel you may as well squish them between your toes because it’s fun and standing on the sides of your feet to avoid them starts to hurt after a while. 🙂


So this was Light Blonde Carlene Mermaid…


And now we have Green Poo Carlene Mermaid…


And this was Glamorous Carlene Mermaid before she hit the sack to sleep with the henna on her head all night, ensuring vibrant color when she awoke…


Which is exactly what Carlene Mermaid got! Oh I’m sorry, not Carlene Mermaid…Hazel Mermaid, who will be with us for a while. 🙂

And now for the really fun part of researching my heroine Hazel…I get to pretend “hand kiss” her hero to make sure we’re doing that right too, but that’s an entirely different post for another time. Ahh, the things a romance writer will do in the name of being thorough.

Think I’m ready for bed now 😉








12 thoughts on “Getting Into Character: Becoming Hazel

  1. Welcome, Hazel-Mermaid! 🙂
    Oh, what we do in the name of research. At least this research paid off. You look amazing, Carlene! I can’t wait to see you in person.
    And I loved learning about the process. It was very interesting, and I loved the pics.
    You look good even with a shower cap on your head. 🙂 Kinda not fair…

  2. Hahahahaha, Hazel Mermaid thanks you for the flattery which has her cracking up laughing! The one thing I read about applying Lush henna was that it was a very messy process. It WAS! But you just have to make it fun. Glad you liked the pics Kim!

  3. Haha! Hazel! Welcome to the lagoon! This all looks sooooo familiar! I’ve done home coloring so often, I can feel the squishy and the set up and the running back and forth right with you! Congratulations on embracing your inner redhead. Powerful stuff, ain’t it? Fishy kisses!

    1. Hi Susan! If only I could bake apple pies as well as I cook up a pot of henna! 🙂 I might need a refresher course now that it’s fall. 🙂 xoxo

  4. Hi Hazel Mermaid! Glad to have you here in the lagoon. I LOVE your hair. Remind to tell you about how I tried to change my hair color once. Let’s just say the results were not nearly as cute as yours!

    1. Thank you Pintip! The fun thing about henna is that you can play with it. I thought this was a little too bright so I put a layer of darker henna over it and now it really is more cinnamon and less super bright. Hazel can’t wait to hear about your experiment!

  5. Love your editorial pics and colorful journey “Hazel” – and I know you’re truly ever fearless Carlene the hair color queen! Will we go this route if we write about a traumatized bald heroine? Hmmmmm, love you Norma Jean

    1. Hi there! I’m only fearless with a handful of things and hair is definitely one of them. I think maybe it’s because I’ve never really had great hair so it’s never been a huge deal to have fun with it, even if that meant cutting off accidental green ends 🙂 I’m not alone on that one, right???

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