The other day, an earnest and lovely friend stared at me in wonder and said this most horrifying sentence:
"Sarah, I never knew you weren't a natural blonde!"
I don't know what's worse: someone asking a woman how much they weigh or simply pointing out that one is long overdue for a trip to the salon.
He didn't know what he said was a faux pas as I explained to him how intimate his statement was. You certainly don't look at someone and say, "Wow, you got fat!" Okay, some people do actually. In Japan. It happened to me.
Anyways, I told Matt that no, in fact my natural colour was not blonde. Then I promptly booked an appointment for highlights.
Truth is I haven't been my natural colour since 1993. My mum started me young. Back when they still did highlights with those horrible condom caps that practically made your scalp bleed!
At 18 I turned to the box when I sadly discovered blonde was, in fact, the most expensive accessory one can have.
When my hair turned a light grey and started to fall out, it was time to return to the natural. But the stylist went overboard and I became a lovely auburn. For about three months. Then I missed the attention of being a blonde (there, I said it). Back to the box. Ummm, have you ever tried going from dark to blonde before? You can't. The result was green, which softened to a bright yellow. I looked like Sailor Moon.
This was when I was living in England. My mum came to visit me, took one look at my head and took me to a proper salon. Back to blonde. Minus about six inches of damaged hair.
The upkeep proved to be too expensive, so I went back to the box and tried black. Same year as 'Zorro' and I wanted to look like Catherine Zeta Jones. Trouble being that I look nothing like Catherine Zeta Jones. Nor did I know to colour in my eyebrows. Therefore I looked like a sickly teenager who loved 'Dungeons and Dragons'.
On return to Canada, I went back to blonde and I have been here ever since. Okay, there was a teeny tiny parlay into brunette last winter when I put a hair gloss on to give myself some shine and the salon boy went crazy. But that's it. I have been blonde for half my life. More if you count my first year of being bald and my third as being a natural blonde.
It's who I am. If I get it into my head to dye my hair EVER again, I will simply buy a wig.
Strange how hair can define a personality. I'm not dumb, like the stereotype, but I am bubbly, fun and enthusiastic. Raven heads are more brooding - I'm not a brooder. Redheads are spicey and sexy. Not me either. Blonde curls is who I am, and as long as I can sit in a chair every 6-8 weeks with foils on my scalp, then forever blonde I will be.
The engineer prefers me blonde. Not that this really matters to me. But he has mentioned several times that he is into blondes when I suggest going dark. I feel his opinion is slowly changing though when he found out how much this head costs every month. Always economical that one.
It's tres difficile to keep these tresses healthy. Are you a blonde? Here are some tried and tested tips:
1. Don't wash OR water your hair everyday. Yes, on day 3 you will be a greasy wench but do as I do and stay inside wearing your PJ's.
2. Use purple shampoo and conditioner.
3. Trim trim trim. I have fine hair that has to be kept on the shorter side for it to look healthy. But I do have a few friends with long blonde hair.
3. New Chapter Pre-Natal vitamins. No, I am not having a baby. I got this tip from another famous blonde: Gwyneth Paltrow
4. This is the biggest secret of all that was passed on to me from a top-notch NYC stylist: CLAIROL NATURAL INSTINCTS HAIR GLOSS!!!!!
That's right ladies, you might be embarrassed being in the box aisle (I know I was) but trust me on this. Every month or so, $10 will get you shiny, healthy hair with a tube of the best conditioner I have ever used. And the tube lasts until your next gloss. It's like crack for blondes.
And yes, in case you wondered, blonde is more fun.