Wednesday, September 8, 2010

What Blonds Only Dream Of

I've been blond many times. Not a subtle, sun-kissed, baby blond, but bleached out roots-showing-in-five-days platinum hair that, if it were any whiter, would have had a blue hue, and/or might end up in the sink. It was a love it or hate it look, eliciting comments that ranged from "oh my God, that's so fucking fabulous" to "what the hell have you done to your hair?"

It required a ridiculous amount of time consuming and sometimes painful maintenance. Damaged doesn't even come close to describing the condition my hair was in. When it was wet, it felt like overcooked pasta; dry it felt like straw. Thank the hair gods for good product.

I sometimes miss that bleached out mess, and any time I see a woman with short platinum hair, I develop a bit of hair envy. I would do it again 1) if I could afford it. I was able to bleach out my hair every summer only because I was working in a salon and all I had to pay for was the bleach and the developer; and 2) if I could find someone in Durham who has a clue how to work with bleach. I have yet to find someone who can get it past the Clown Yellow stage.

Here's the thing though. In my heart, I'm a redhead. That's not just because I got my dad's Irish skin - the kind of skin that never tans. (If I even wanted to tan, which I don't, the best I could do is try to neutralize the blue) It suits my personality. Red has a lot of different tones in it, and it can change in a hot minute, depending on how you're looking at it. It can be quiet or brassy. It can.... eh, screw it. I'm already running out of comparisons. I'm not going to carry out this metaphor to the point where it's tortured. Suffice it to say I love red hair and it loves me back.

Every few years, beauty magazines proclaim red hair is back. It's not quite as stupid as Vogue proclaiming, "coats will be HUGE this winter", because... WTF? Coats are huge every winter, what with it being cold and all. But there's something blatantly calculated about the beauty industry trying to tell me the color of my hair is out of style. Hair colors do not go out of style*.

Anyway, all this blathering was brought on’s little tribute to red hair. Check out Cyndi Lauper, and follow the link to the slide show.

And remember. Redheads do what blonds only dream of.

*Well, there was that eggplant shade I had off and off for a few years in the 80s. Y'all know that one. Mine was called Dark Iridescent Auburn Brown: L'oreal 4.26, from one of their professional lines. Auburn brown? That shit was purple. I think I was the first girl in Harrisburg with that color. I also think there might be a few women in Harrisburg still wearing it, along with their Farrah cuts and their stone-washed jeans.