I’ve been a blonde since birth. When I was a kid and teen, it was the Blonde Joke Era. Remember that? Blonde jokes were everywhere, and there was some weird, preconceived notion that blonde-headed females (not males) were a bit dumb. Here’s one: How can you tell that a blonde has been using the computer? There’s white out all over the screen. Yeah. Hilarious. Anyway, I’ve also been tall for forever. So even in a low self esteem moment, at least I was a “tall blonde”, right? Something about that description flowed well and made me feel like I was something a little special.
My hair darkened gradually over the years, like most blondes. When I reached my mid-20s, I decided to go try out some highlights. And thus began the vicious cycle of blonde maintenance. For 10 years I got blonde highlights 5-6 times per year. Unfortunately, I’m not the type that feels like going to the salon for highlights is a form of pampering or a treat. I’ve had some lovely hair gals over the years, but even so, I just didn’t want to go through 3 hours and $200 to get my hair done every 2 months until the end of time. I estimate that I’ve spent about 180 hours and $12,000 at salons over the last 10 years or so. Holy crap.
A couple of weeks ago I told my husband (who loves the whole tall, blonde thing A LOT) that I was thinking about changing my hair color. He admitted that although he loved my long, blonde hair, he was totally down for me making a change. I realize it’s not 1952, and I don’t need his permission. But I care about his thoughts and feelings enough to run it by him. I’d appreciate him doing the same. I’m not so sure if I would oblige his request if he had truly asked me to stay blonde. But it sure was polite of me to consult him first, anyway, right? 😉 Even with his encouragement, I still worried how being a brunette would make me feel. I also worried about how it would make others feel about me. Isn’t it interesting how we self identify so much with something like hair color? I mean, I was actually concerned that I would be less likeable as a brunette. I’ve only ever been a blonde, so maybe I would look weird as a brunette. The nerves were a little stressful, but my gut still told me to go for it.
A few days later, I was at Target and started checking out the home hair coloring kits. With some common sense and my good ol’ smart phone, I researched it a bit, then decided to try making this color change myself at home. Oh, the horror, right? How many home hair coloring disaster stories have you heard? How many times have you read, “leave it to the professionals”? But I decided to get all rebellious and crazy and just do this damn thing at home. I used Clairol Natural Instincts Medium Brown. It’s not permanent. They claim that it washes out in about 4-6 weeks. So I figured going this route would be smarter than doing something permanent right out of the gate. I followed the directions exactly, and you know what? It turned out great. Over time I’m hoping that my natural color will just fade into the Clairol color so that eventually I can have extremely minimal color maintenance or, gasp, none at all.
Another issue with my bottle blonde hair was the dry texture, lack of shine and frizziness. I’m hoping that taking this break from blonde, whether temporary or permanent, will help my hair repair itself and be healthier, in general. Although I’ve used some salon products that are great, I’ve also used some drug store products that are great. I like the Dove Oil Care Shampoo and Conditioner for my frizzy hair. And I’m always on the hunt for more hair moisturizing and shine-promoting products. Know any good ones?
If you’ve been thinking about making a change – to your hair color, hair length, wardrobe, makeup, overall style or whatever – go for it. Something I’ve learned about going from 36 years of blonde to suddenly brunette is that change IS good. I feel cool, calm and content with my new, darker hair. It just feels right. And, for the record, I don’t feel any smarter… as if that was even possible. 😉