I could just entitle this post Mid-life Crisis, attach a photo and leave it at that.
However, just in case there’s someone out there who’s wondering how much work goes into maintaining a headful of platinum bleached hair, I shall continue…
Why did I decide to go from dark brown hair (previously owned in original state for almost 40 years, discounting a few months here and there of henna and home-dye efforts, mainly around the teenage and young enough to just get away with looking like a walking zombie)…to outrageously bright platinum silver blonde?
I blame it partly on a mini mid-life crisis and also the fact that it was one of the few “So, what about if I…” spur of the moment questions that didn’t make my husband scream in horror. They are getting fewer and fewer by the way.
I’ve never liked or enjoyed my hair. Dark brown with a tinge of red in the summertime. Not thick and luscious; more Yoko Ono on a bad hair day when long; enough static to power half the state…the list goes on. Add to this list, the more ridiculous an ide, the more likely it is to fall into the Go Big or Go Home pot.
Like much of my life and psyche, there’s no middle ground.
Inspired by photos of other women who’d gone silver/grey/platinum, I booked myself a consultation at a great salon in the city. The chap who did my colour change is good at colour – word of mouth around town etc. As my husband said “If it looks terrible, you can always colour it over.” Nobody could’ve been more shocked than me at this acceptance of what his wife was about to undertake. Maaaaaybe, he was trying out a toddler-psychology-thing on me.
If you don’t react negatively, she won’t do it. The thrill will be gone.
Well, thankfully I don’t have the brain of toddler (¡) and I took his response as support. Of my mid-life crisis.
- Expect to be in the hair salon for hours. HOURS. Not being accustomed to having my hair professionally coloured, I had no clue that it would take 8 hours in total, split into 2 4-hour visits, a day apart.
- Expect to have people stand next to your chair and openly stare at you. Stylists and other clients. Stylists is fine (it’s a bit like work experience or when you’re in a psych ward and the resident brings in all the 1st year med students). When it’s another customer, it’s weird and remarkably uncomfortable.
- There’s a lot of back and forth chitchat between the stylists. About your hair. You are momentarily invisible at times. “You think her hair will handle another round or *makes slitting throat gesture*?”. Hold on mateyboy, I can SEE and HEAR YOU. I exaggerate, of course, but at points I did get a wee bit anxious at not being “in” on their discussions of what was happening to my hair.
- There will be a moment of What In God’s Name Have I Done, but it passes quite quickly. If the salon offers wine, just take it.
- Post hair colour change, the upkeep is humungous. There have been times that I’ve actually contemplated shaving all my hair off. I’m as vain as they come, but holy hell, is there a lot of maintenance. Oil, they said. To combat all the bleach. I have it all. Argan, Moroccan, almond, I’ve even used frigging olive oil (Santa Maria Novella do a lovely culinary olive oil, I do have standards).
- The roots appears after a shockingly short 7 days. Less Striking and more Skunk.
- I cannot wear the same colours anymore. Tiresomely, black makes me look evil. Not in the withering stare way (which I’m fine with) but in a mean, ugly old witch kind of way. Neutrals wash me out. Horrifyingly, red complements me. RED? ME? Changing the colours of my wardrobe is proving to be more life-changing than the colour of my hair.
All the negatives to one side, I am enjoying my new hair. My toddler asked why I painted it silver…I told him “Oh, for a change.” He replied “I LOVE IT!” Okay, so he responded in exactly the same way to the new table. My husband likes it – big relief. Not so sure he appreciates my walking around in our son’s vivid green frog shower cap “hydrating my hair”…
Do blondes have more fun? I’ve no idea. I know that people who say Sod It and dye their hair an outrageous colour do though.