I remember the first time I dyed my hair. I was 16, it was the day I had finished my GCSEs, the first day of summer and boy, did I create a monster.
My best friend at the time and I thought now would be the perfect time to embrace the infamous dip dye trend. I went for pink. She went for purple. It was infamous for a reason.
We both had naturally very dark hair, my friend’s verging on jet black. Now obviously adding any colour to dark hair isn’t going to work without bleaching it first. Our solution? Cheap, shitty, drug store bleach. Of course. That’s exactly how you should treat your hair…
It stank. It stung our eyes and it seriously destroyed those 2-4 inches of our hair.
I’d be lying if I said I didn’t think I wasn’t the coolest 16 year old at the time. Of course I did. But by the time August came around the cheap pink dye had turned a delightful (read: horrific) shade of peachy, orange with unwanted, unintended hints of green.
Off to the hairdressers. Time for chop.
After a summer of bedraggled curls with a texture I can only compare to straw and colour that looked like a Halloween costume gone wrong, did I learn anything about looking after my hair? Nope. Big. Fat. Nope.
Six months later I was back at the hairdressers. This time I had graduated from dip dye and was buying into the ombre trend all while desperately trying to convince anyone who would listen that this was a great idea. It was not.
This continued up until I was about 19 or 20. So really only within the last year or so. I went for ombre then balayage then highlights – all of which are pretty much variations of each other. Every single time I went back, I asked for more. I was stuck in a cycle of constantly getting bored of my hair. At this point it was clear I wouldn’t be happy until I was totally blonde.
It was February 2016 when I finally took the plunge. I walked in just about still brunette and walked out a full on blonde. My poor hairdresser dedicated the majority of her day to transforming my mass amount of hair (that was quickly thinning) into Barbie’s twin.
The drive home was an interesting one as I kept catching my reflection in the mirror and not recognising myself. The weeks that followed were equally as interesting as I bumped into people and dealt with mixed reactions.
My mum hated it.
Some of my friends liked it.
Others, not so much.
Backhanded compliments became the norm from those who didn’t know what to say about my new look.
I was just so excited by such a big change that i wasn’t able to register whether or not I actually liked this new hair.
I had to adjust my makeup and wardrobe. Looks that once really complimented my dark features suddenly washed out the new blonde me. Every time I looked in the mirror, it felt like something was missing. I tried for weeks to get used to the new look, telling myself that any day now it wouldn’t feel like such a ‘new look’, it would just feel like me. Finally, I admitted defeat.
Four months later I was back in the hot seat. Four months. That’s all I lasted. I was ready to go back to my roots (pun intended) and was practically begging to be accepted back into my beloved brunette club.
Confession: I changed hairdressers for my big brunette comeback. (Shout out to Bill Harris Hairdressing.) I just didn’t have the heart to go back to the same place where they had slaved over making my blonde dreams a reality.
Once the appointment was made, the day honestly couldn’t come any quicker. The second it was over with I couldn’t have been more relieved to see my old, slightly glossier, brunette self staring back at me.
I knew I was in for a long road of hair recovery with regular appointments to touch up the colour and a lot of bad hair days while my poor curls recovered but it was worth every moment but it’s been worth every second.
Now 18 months later my hair finally feels healthy again. I’ve found that the products that work best for me and I’ve honestly never appreciated my natural curls and colour more.
Lesson learned. Never will I ever go blonde again. And PLEASE quote me on that.