Friday, 13 July 2012

Hello Blondie

Back to Blonde

I am blonde again. This is NOT a self-deprecating statement about my mental acumen, I am literally blonde, with a headful of freshly highlighted hair. This might give you a clue that I am not in fact a natural blonde (that prestigious status only lasted for the first three years of my life). However since the tender age of 11 when I discovered the dubious but addictive bleaching effects of “Sun-In”, I have for most of my adult life been varying shades of honey, platinum, gold and mouse (my natural colour). There have been two notable deviations from this: eight years ago when I went red (I loved it, everyone else hated it) and in January when I became a brunette.

My muse Zooey Deschanel
The brunette thing was inspired by a huge girl crush on the gorgeous, kooky Zooey Deschanel (I was addicted to the US series “New Girl”). So when the hairdresser told me that my hair was breaking off and needed a break from the bleach, I took up her offer to “make me look like Cheryl Cole” - a bold assertion given the raw materials she was working with (a 39 year old mother of three with wobbly bits). Hairdressers (actually women in general), live for this type of makeover thing - (what else can explain Gok Wan's meteoric rise to fame?) and in the salon people kept popping over to the chair to see how it was looking. Anyway she did me proud and with a post-colour endorphin rush I unleashed my new chocolate brown locks on the world…This is how it went:

Husband: Jesus, how long will that last?….
8 year old: (in tears) What have you done to your hair?
3 year old: (genuinely bemused) Where has your yellow hair gone Mummy?

I suddenly had flashbacks to the time when I was 14 and had my hair restyled from a “Princess Di” flick to a “Pat and Mick” mullet and a boy in my class actually cried.  I had that kind of magnetic power over boys when I was 14 (sadly now much-diminished).

Although I loved my new “Zooey” hair and even received the odd compliment from my loyal friends and, rather unexpectedly, from my generally non-gushing Mother, I could not help shrug the feeling that people weren’t that fussed on it. I didn’t really care that much and despite these initial setbacks I was revelling in my new look and embarked on a hair-colour love affair which lasted 6 months. Here are the good things about being brunette:

I can pretend I look like Zooey Deschenal.
I have classier root re-growth. No tell-tale black roots.
I don’t look as “washed-out”.
I can pretend I have mysterious Celtic ancestry (blue eyes, dark hair).

Here are some of the bad things:
I don’t look like Zooey Deshenal no matter how much I pretend.
My root re-growth had grey bits in it (you don’t see the grey when blonde).
I still looked a bit washed-out.
The Celtic ancestry thing is much overrated and if I wear black I look a “bit gothy”.

Embracing "The Dark Side"
So this week I was booked in with the hairdresser and I decided to leave the “dark side” and go back to my non-natural blonde roots.  I arrived clutching some pictures of good-hair goddesses Jennifer Aniston and JLo and tried not to feel offended when one of the hairdressers said, (chuckling wickedly) “Sorry love, we don’t do plastic surgery in this salon!” There was a palpable air of excitement as my hairdresser mixed up the bleach, probably due to the fact she is now being able to charge me £30 more for highlights rather than a block colour.

So £80 and 4 hours later I am blonde again and I am having to re-adjust to a world where I can wear black clothes and red lipstick without looking like the lead singer out of Swing Out Sister. All reactions so far have been positive. My husband said it was like “having a new wife”. My brother-in-law said I looked “hot” (cue horror in equal measures from both me and my sister).  My Dad said it was lovely (he never passed comment when I was brunette – he is a born diplomat).  My 3 year old said, “Why is your hair yellow again Mummy?”  I even got a beep of the horn (not a euphemism) from a van of builders today, but then again I might just have been in their way when crossing the road.

So what important life lesson can I learn from this foray into the world of brunette, aside from the fact that a more peachy toned lipstick is a more flattering look for brown hair?  Not much; I still maintain that there is a lot to be said for having a “Zooey” but I have to accept the harsh fact that, at least in the eyes of my husband, gentlemen do prefer blondes.

Sorry not much MS stuff here apart from my totally unscientifically proven theory that high dose oral steroids can affect the condition of your hair.


  1. not to disagree with everyone else, but you do look a *bit* Zooey Deschanel in the brunette picture above. Don't do yourself down!
    Also, think yourself lucky: I have greying mousey brown hair that is mostly falling out anyway, sallow skin and (I'm told) ice blue eyes that go grey when I'm tired. I look worn out all the time and I don't think my hair colour has anything to do with it! Oddly, when I grew a beard, it didn't come out as grey and it apparently makes me look less "sunken" (as my wife charmingly put it). You make do with what you have, eh? No one honks me, but I apparently charm every checkout lady of a certain age. It's not quite being able to fly or leap over tall buildings, but as superpowers go, I suppose it could be worse.

    To do the full Zooey, you really need to take up the ukulele.....

  2. also, never apologise for blogging about something other than MS. There's far more to your life than MS.....

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  4. I remember the mullet...who cried??? x

    1. It was Douglas J.... I don't want to reveal his full identity in the highly unlikely case that he is an avid reader of blogs on hair and comes across this - he was very sweet and obviously a bit sensitive.