In 1995 I dyed my bright blonde locks dark auburn red. The color lasted almost a week. Contrary to R. Frost, red is nature’s hardest hue to hold.
After a really bad haircut in the sixth grade, my mom would not allow me to do anything to my hair other than perm it – because that is healthy, until she got her perfect, graduation photo.
The following week I cut my long, wavy hair into a short, blunt bob with bangs. Yes, I looked just as awful as you are picturing. My mom actually laughed at me. But I needed to be free from my hair which up to that point was a bit of an albatross.
You see, underneath all the blonde ringlets was a very serious, determined, angry girl just dying to get out and be heard. Sure this girl was also a little flighty and klutzy, no more than any other girl her age. But still, other girls in her class weren’t nicknamed “Cornflake.” Just her.
I would like to say that since taking the bottle of Revlon hair dye to my scalp I haven’t looked back. But I have. I have had moments of weakness. Sitting on my couch, all alone on a weekend, watching a bad romantic comedy and counting how many conquests I have had as a blonde and how many I have had as a brunette and then justifying my actions based not on a need to get laid but my not wanting to appear vain.
Clearly, it makes me higher maintenance, and thus vainer, to go to the salon every six weeks for a touch-up then it would be for me to just let my natural hair shine.
A few weeks later though, I will go to a bar and someone will call me dumb and I will remember why it was that I hated being a blonde in the first place and will run back to my hairdresser demanding to go dark once again (and endure the sidelong glances from all the bottled blondes offended at my choice).
I also have to suffer the guffaws of those that have never been blonde. Marie, with her short almost black hair, has only known me as a brunette and actually laughed when I told her the reason I dye my hair: people don’t take me seriously as a blonde.
She couldn’t imagine anyone not taking me seriously.
But all of this readers, all six of you, has not been for naught. For just last night, as I opened this month’s Women’s Health I finally had my proof, my validation that while blondes may have more fun, it’s because people actually expect less from them.
There, in a text box in the middle of an article on how to dye your hair yourself was my vindication – on average brunettes make $8,400 a year more than blondes.
I also think this little factoid gives us some insight as to why Bosley is so hip-hip on me going back to my natural color.