Getting a hair-fix

The power of hair colour…

Who would believe the power of a plastic bottle filled with chemicals, to transform not only how you look but also how you feel about and see yourself? There are so many personality traits that are associated with each hair colour. Are these not Stereotypes? Yes! But as much as we are aware that most blondes are not bimbos, that there are many brunettes out there living fun lives and girls with red locks are just as likely to be meek and quiet, as they are to be feisty, we are still naturally inclined to make a quick-fire judgment of a person in the first few seconds of meeting them, based on appearance.

Within the last three and a half years, I have been a natural brunette, made the move to blonde and switched back to an unnatural brunette again. Each colour change was the result of a decision I made reached for very different reasons.

Back when I decided to become blonde, my decision was based purely on building confidence or a distinct lack of it. In 2012, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. My lovely long hair that I’d patiently grown over many years, was chopped off to a bob in a moment of panic, as I prepared myself for the bald head I’d been told to expect. In the end, my planned-for hair loss never came about, as I didn’t have traditional chemotherapy. However, my (still ongoing) 5 years of treatment which works to prevent the cancer returning, had a significant impact on my health and in turn my confidence.

Just a few of the physical side effects included weight gain and pain and aches in bones and joints making it hard to exercise.  Every person reacts to treatment differently, but as a person that had always eaten anything I liked without putting on pounds, a sudden weight increase of over one and a half stone significantly impacted my sense of self.

Looking back now, I had a really exaggerated view of how terrible I looked. However, I made the decision to make a bit of a change to help snap myself out of the rut I was in. I’d been blonde for a short time in my late teens and as much as you’d not expect it from someone with dark brown hair, it didn’t look too bad! So I thought ‘hey let’s just give it a go, let’s bring a bit of cheer and glamour back’ and I loved it. Boy did it do the trick!

I felt a lot more glamorous than I had been feeling at that point and it definitely boosted my confidence. For me I felt that blonde hair had brought a little bit of life and warmth to my face. However, as much as I loved being blonde and could list the pros, the cons were also many.

Pre-blonde look (please excuse the Christmas accessories):

Days of goldilocks:

Pros:

– It’s a glamorous look

– It gives an impression of being well-maintained

– I found I needed to wear less makeup to bring colour and warmth to my face

Cons:

– It’s extremely expensive to do this well

– If you’re starting with dark hair, you’re going to get roots – fast

– You’re going to have to do it again and again in short succession to avoid bad roots

– This is going to dry your hair significantly

– Colouring your hair so often will make you poorer than you ought to be

– Sometimes you don’t want to look glamorous and sometimes it’s just too much going on at once. This may just be personal to me, but I felt quite ‘overdone’ if I wore anything a little bit glitzy and had put on makeup and heels.

So why have I gone back to brunette? Well to put it simply being blonde had served its purpose… for now. It had gotten me back out of the shell I’d crawled into for a little short while. So what colour for the future, who knows? For now I’m a happy brunette!

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