Tuesday, February 20, 2007

the pitfalls of dying one's hair DARK

Highlights are a real pain in the ass.

It took no more than two visits to Jason in the very early stages of my blonding experiment for me to realize this. They are expensive, they are a bitch to maintain, and if you go as light as I was for a time, your roots seem to show up almost instantly just two weeks after coloration. If you are a finicky Virgo like me, and you like things to be neat and orderly and seek to maintain a certain aesthetic at all times, such transgressions are bound to drive you nuts. The only way to truly keep up with your roots is to return to the salon once a month (six weeks at the most) to endure yet another three hour foil treatment that will leave your wallet at least $150 lighter.

But I loved my blonde hair in spite of all this...LOVED it, almost unconditionally. Do you want to know how I know this to be true? Because every second of every minute that I spent in Jason's chair at the salon felt worth it to me. Sure, on the one hand I had to be there because I was working on a book about my experiences, and truly, I had no choice but to keep up with my roots if I were to walk through my life as an honest to goodness blonde. But in addition to all that, I really believed, deep in my heart, that I looked more lovely as a blonde. Of course, after a year of this color-happy madness, I was getting a little tired of the whole process. And, in those final, traumatic moments before I went brown, as I prepared to grieve the loss of my lovely goldilocks as one might grieve the loss of a favorite childhood teddy bear, the only thought that could console me was this:

At least I'll finally save myself some money on highlights.

I was smoking the color crack for a few months there are the end of my blonde year. It had gotten to the point where I'd sit in Jason's chair on a monthly basis and beg: "can we go lighter this time? Please? Please? Just a little bit lighter? Just a little bit closer to platinum?" I just wanted to keep pushing the envelope, but somewhere, deep down inside I knew: my hair was starting to look really tired. On bad days, which were becoming more and more frequent it looked frizzy and fried. To be honest, it was probably suffering at the hands of my blondeness obsession.

So, as I faced my day of brunette reckoning and tried to make peace with it all, I'd imagine myself like this: strutting out of the salon, long, freshly dyed brown hair streaming behind me, looking soft, shiny, and healthier than ever. The sun hat had so loved my blonde locks would continue to glint on my hair, only now it would make the brown locks shimmer, accentuating hints of auburn and rich chestnut with it's rays...

And you know what? At first, that's exactly what happened. My hair looked healthy and gorgeous and full and healthy again. Somehow it appeared that the brown hair dye had managed to make my sick hair well again. "Good riddance to fried blonde frizz," I'd think, as I brushed my shiny hair in the mirror. It looked longer to me, fuller, and bigger than ever before. And I loved it.

And all of this brunette magic lasted for exactly four days. Then I made a terrible mistake: I washed it.

Did you know that dark hair dye fades when you wash your hair? Within three washes, my hair looked dull and sad, and those ends I'd friend from so many bleaching processes faded to a mousy, brooding brown. Then, just a few weeks later, these sad, light brown roots (a.k.a. my natural hair) started to reveal itself. I found myself right back in Jason's chair about a month after my initial double process.

"I tried to warn you," Jason said. "It's going to fade because that's just what happens. Your hair is ridiculously porous from all the bleaching you've already put it through. Plus, I'm using SEMI-permanent because you've demanded that I turn it back to blonde in just six months. This is what happens, honey. Unless you want to chop your hair off and wait for it to grow out, it's semi-permanent or nothing."

*Sigh* So there you go. There is truly no rest for the color happy.


Anonymous said...

When is your book coming out? I hope it will be different from all of the other blondes are superior that is why I changed my hair color books, that come out every year. Have you learned anything from your experience yet? One thing I do want to mention is that I hope you know all of this is only a false sense of confidence. A friend of mine who is a blonde felt she was not as attractive because she had small breasts. About 9 months ago she had a breast augmentation, and she said the same things you were saying about your blonde hair, how that people find her more attractive and are nicer to her, men open doors for her and give her compliments she even credits her new breasts with her promotion. Many people thought she would have already been getting those compliments because she was blonde. I let her know that it was all in her head. People were not giving her more attention she was just paying more attention and noticing it more. Her breast and your blonde hair gave you'll a false sense of confidence. One of the things it took me a while to learn is that confidence does not come solely from outward appearances it comes who loving yourself, respecting yourself, and standing up for what you believe in no matter what people think of you. A woman with confidence can be going completely bald through chemotherapy can still have an indescribable air of beauty about her. I don't want to sound like I am giving a speech but this is very true, unfortunately, you like many women cannot comprehend something like this because at your age beauty is right at the top of your list. Hopefully, one day when you are older and wiser you will understand what I am talking about. God Bless You!!

east side girl said...

Hey, girl,

Thailand was awesome and I can't wait to tell you about it! Don't have your new email address or I would have written. I'll try to call this week. Love and miss you!

Anonymous said...

Hey undercover blonde...I just found this page on the internet as I was searching articles on going blonde to auburn.
I agree with what the other lady said about confidence and stuff, I know I have felt more confident on ocassion being blonde...but now my hair is beginning to suffer and im also getting sick of some of the attention i get being blonde...not all of it is good attention.
and what is it about brunettes hating on blondes for no reason (not all brunettes obviously)and there seems to be this attitude that blonde is "too obvious"
Well sod that...ive loved every minute of being blonde, and hopefully a red head too....

Noemie said...

well its just ridiculous to think that a girl will get more attention from men, be it good or bad, because she is blonde. blonde hair is not going to make a person pretty, no hair color will. it may look better just like a certain color of clothing may look better on you. but if you're pretty, you're pretty and you will get attention because of that not because of your hair color. so dye your hair the color that you like best on you (or keep your natural one), wear what you think makes you shine, all of that will make you feel confident and people will see that and be attracted to it. because when it comes down to it all colors are pretty in their own way, so work what you have and flaunt it.