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#13: Make a Dramatic Change to My Appearance

June 12, 2011

Date of completion: November 2010

I apologize for getting these out of order. And also for subbing this one in. It was kind of on my mental to-do list if not my written one, and I decided that I do not have the time or capacity right now to try to learn a foreign language, so I had to pull a substitution. My blog, my rules.

Besides, dramatic makeovers are always fun, right?

Basically: I’ve been a blonde my whole life. From when I was a wee youngin’ to the time I went to college. Granted, as I got older, I was largely aided by various chemicals and discount store hair dyes. My freshman year of college, it got so out of control blonde that it was scarily close to being platinum. At one point, I had considered inching back toward my natural color (which at that point, I assumed was either kind of an ashy dark dirty blonde or a very light brunette color)… and then there was an Incident in which various chemicals from one color to the new didn’t play nice and it turned a very distinct shade of lavender. Sadly, no pictures exist.

Gradually, I kept trying to color it darker and my hair, being as stubborn as I am, kept lightening itself up. Finally color began to stick and I did a short bout as a brunette before going back to a blonder color. I noticed something, though, around the time I went brown… it had settled into an almost auburn color, instead. And when I went blonde, it went strawberry-blonde. I didn’t even notice until the first time someone called me a redhead and it caught me completely off-guard.

Then I began to ponder to myself: what if I dyed my hair red? Like, actual redhead red?

First of all, I knew I had the skin tone for it. I’m very fair-skinned and sometimes it actually helps to have a darker color so I don’t look so washed out. Second, both my grandmother and my mother have a red hue to their hair… now, I know we all alter our color, but even so, it wouldn’t look genetically out of place or anything. My grandmother has had red hair the entire time I’ve known her… it wasn’t until I was probably a pre-teen that I realized it was fake.

Thirdly: the idea was exciting. It was a bold, bold move. It would attract a lot of attention, for starters. It wouldn’t be a subtle change. Also, redheads are kind of stereotyped as being sassy and feisty and fierce – would I be able to live up to that image? Was I worthy of becoming a member of that elite group?

Ten years ago, even five years ago, I would have said no, and I would have recoiled in terror at the thought of making such a dramatic leap.

Last November, though… I went for it.

I have never gotten so many compliments on my hair color in my life. Even now, as I’m going on almost seven months with this color, people still stop, tilt there head a little bit, and announce how much they love it. Even our Director of Sales one day stopped mid-train-of-thought and commented on it.

At first, I was a little shy of it… but I’ve gotten used to it, to looking in the mirror and seeing something darker than I used to. It’s not RED-red… it’s more of an auburn, especially right after I retouch it. But I like it.

I contemplated going back blonde again but a friend of mine tried to go from red to blonde recently and it took five hours (!) to strip the color out of her hair. No thanks. Plus there’s the fear of it going orange. It would have to be a professional project, and that’s expensive.

I was also looking through some old photos and I was surprised to find that I didn’t love the blonde as much as I used to. It didn’t look right.

So, I guess for the time being, I shall stick with where I am.

Behold, a before and after photo:

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One comment

  1. For the record, i’m more of a fan of the Nicole Kidman red than the dark red. But i envy your ability to change it up every once in a while. No harm in that!



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