There is no relationship more turbulent than the one we have with our hair.
One minute we’re the best of friends, making each other look good at parties, working together to hide the inexplicable shine on our forehead, and the next it’s like we don’t understand each other at all. Our ends are split, our parting’s all over the place, and goodness only knows what’s going on with our fringe.
And sometimes we reach the end of our tether. And for me that came a couple of months ago. I’d been dyeing my hair blond for the best part of 16 years and it was time for a change. So I went to see my hairdresser, closed my eyes and hoped for the best.
And within the hour I was a brunette (fun fact: dyeing your hair brown takes a hell of a lot less time than blond highlights. Regardless of what you think of the colour, you can’t argue with that kind of time saving). And so started a fun few weeks of living with a whole new look. So if you’re thinking of giving it a go, here are a few things you can expect to happen:
1. You will become frightened of your own reflection
Nothing makes a person more obsessed with their own appearance than a change of hair cut or colour. You can spot them – they’re the ones sat chatting to a friend in a cafe whilst looking over their shoulder at their reflection in the window, or pretending to be paying really close attention to stirring their drink but actually staring at their face in the back of the spoon.
But don’t be too harsh on them, this isn’t all vanity you’re looking at – it’s fear. When you walk out of a salon with a head full of hair that’s a completely different colour or length from what you’re used to, it’s hard to feel anything other than startled for at least a week. I’d gasp when I caught a look at myself in a bus window, shudder at the sight of tin foil, and almost pass out when I woke up in the morning and looked in the mirror (although, to be fair, that is nothing new).
2. People will ask you why you did it and you’ll have no idea how to answer them
And that’s because you’d have thought your reasons were obvious – you wanted to, you thought it would suit you and because, you know, you only live once and you can always dye it back (if we all get behind it, #YOLOAYCADIB will definitely catch on). And the problem is that, regardless of what is actually meant by this question, it always feels like either:
– I don’t like it and can’t understand why you would do this to yourself; or
– I can only assume that you’ve had some kind of breakdown
So you can either try and convince them that it looks awesome, or pretend to cry and hope they’ll buy you some sweets to make you feel better. I don’t need to tell you which way I went *chews strawberry foam mushrooms*
3. Your dearest friends and family will not recognise you until you’re standing directly in front of their faces saying “HELLO, IT’S ME!”
For the first few weeks after I dyed my hair, I’m pretty sure that my husband woke up every day and wondered who the hell was lying next to him. I’ve heard it’s good to keep your other half on their toes, but making them think that a crazy stranger has broken in and got into bed with them is possibly taking it a little too far. But, on the plus side, if you’re trying to avoid somebody or enjoy scaring the bejesus out of people you know and love; this could definitely be the approach for you. I also recommend adding some dark glasses and a plastic nose for extra horror.
4. And some people don’t notice at all…
It’s incredible. You go from blond to brown, add a heavy fringe and a chunk of red lipstick and yet some people – people you’ve known for years and years and years – won’t notice at all. In some ways it’s quite nice – it’s pretty nerve wracking the first time you step out with a new look so it’s kind of nice to be treated like nothing has changed. But on the other hand, it makes you wonder what it would take to get a reaction – a full face lift? A second head? If only I had the money, I would find out in the name of research.
5. Sometimes you’ll wonder what the hell you were thinking
The problem with hair is that you never really know when you’ve nailed it. One day it looks good and you love it so much you want to swish it in the eye of all your haters, and the next you want to chop it all off and start again. This is just what it’s like to have hair, no matter what colour it is. So it’s better just to give it a good wash and a blow dry and remember that you actually do like it, you’re just overtired and paying too much attention to birthday cards that say “Blonds have more fun!”
Or otherwise, remember #YOLOAYCADIB