On being Blonde

Monday, 9 September 2013

When I was small I was very fair-haired. The bridge keeper where my parents moored their boat at that time used to call me 'Blondie'. Mum keeps a lock of my hair from that time in my Baby Book, and it really is the lightest colour you can imagine.

Then something happened: I grew up and those lovely locks darkened to a light brown, shot through with the odd touch of gold.

And that's pretty much the way things stayed ~ apart from a few dodgy experiments with sun-in in the 80s (no I won't be posting photos!) and a bit of henna-ing at university, lightish brown hair was my lot.

Then I started to notice the odd grey creeping in underneath... For ages I resisted the temptation of highlights, knowing that once you start it's a slippery and expensive slope. I tried some home colouring with ok results, but I could never quite get the mixture of colours I'd always been used to and I didn't like the blockiness of the result too much.

So a couple of years ago I took the plunge and had some professional highlights put in. Super subtle the first time, for fear of an unwanted big change. And I liked them. Then I realised that I had stepped onto the never ending wheel of root touch ups...

But I decided to stick with it and see where this colour journey would take me. I went a bit lighter for summer and liked it. I talked to my colourist about the roots thing and he worked out a combination of 3 tones which work with my natural hair colour to complement my skin tone and minimise the effect of grow out. Now I manage just two or three trips a year to the salon and my purse is a lot happier for it.

So now I'm back to where I started with a head of fair hair. Does it make a difference? I think it does. I no longer worry about those creeping grey hairs as they blend in and can't be noticed anymore. It seems that a lighter hair colour lifts skin tone as we age ~ dark and block colours can be very unforgiving. I think that two of the most youth preserving things are keeping a natural looking hair colour and having good teeth. I'm not saying I think this is the right choice for everyone, but it works for me. The funny thing is that I never really thought of myself as being blonde again until I was in a shop one day and an assistant asked her colleague to please serve the 'tall blonde lady'. I guess that's me now!

And as for the question of 'do blondes have more fun'? I honestly couldn't tell you, but this one certainly feels polished and confident entering into the next decade of her life and that, in my book, is definitely worth it.

What are you thoughts on colouring your hair as you get older? Have you changed your mind along the way as I did?


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