There are few relationships in life as intimate and important as the relationship between a woman and her hair as even from a young age we learn to manifest all that we cannot have through our follicular expressions. Those who have it curly want it straight, those who have it short want it long. There is literally no winning. And who even cares about grass being greener when Michelle in 6th class has the most perfectly wavy hair and you all secretly hate her for it!
When queuing for the gene pool I was adorned with straight mousy brown hair that never grew beyond my shoulders, it was limp and fine, and obstinate in its refusal to listen to me or follow basic orders. I also endured varying degrees of regrettable experiments (Justine from Elastica has a lot to answer for) but one of the most memorable was when, before special occasions, my Mum would spend hours painstakingly wrapping three tiny strands of hair into skinny, damp plaits to “crimp” my fro overnight. Inevitably the next morning I would excitedly tease out the braids to be greeted by a tousle of frizz for which I would be secretly mortified for the day.
At the root of it, we are all the same; our hair a languishing hangover from an earlier incarnation of human form. A hard protein called keratin protrudes from our skin and is anchored in place with a hair follicle. But over-rationalise this biological phenomenon at your peril! Hair is a vital social mechanism and is used daily as a tactic in revolutionary expression, a militant representation of ethnic identity or even a form of dehumanising punishment. We pull, pluck, spray, transplant, extend, shave, and bleach in a series of socially-constructed lies shared cooperatively. We are all in on the bullshit and, really, we don’t mind.
To me, one of the most interesting relationships we have with our hair is the undeniable and almost uncontrollable urge to use our chopped coifs as a reflection of our lifestyle changes. It’s instinctive, isn’t it?! Something big happens, a relationship ends or a new era in your life begins, a new home, a new job; ANYTHING! And you will see it reflected on a woman’s head. Before she even thinks about getting back onto Tinder, she will be laid and sprayed and she will have washed that man right out of her hair a la Mitzy Gaynor.
I have been blonde for 4 years and, girl, it has not been an easy battle. I started with highlights, graduated to skin-crawling scalp bleaches, took a secondment to pinks and rose gold but inevitably moved back to highlights when my hair snapped to the root. Hollah to my sisters who have had that earth-shattering chewing gum stretch in their bleached hair. I masked and treated. I conditioned and oiled. I invested thousands…yes…thousands of euro into my hair over the years and have never looked back. Until today.
Ya see, I too was gripped by the uncontrollable urge to purge. To put my past behind me and embrace my new future with a fabulous new set of locks. There’s a massive practical element to this as well, I can’t lie. It takes a lot of money to keep a brunette looking blonde, and moving into the slightly unpredictable space of freelancing, I had to be rational! Blondes may have more fun, but right now she isn’t earning on the same level so it’s time to batten down for some brown cow stunning.
The process was a lot less painful than a full set of highlights and a hell of a lot more comfortable than a scalp bleach (what was I ever thinking?!) An orange pigment was applied first to kill the blonde and essentially give the brown dye something to grab a hold of and a fabulous mix of brown colours was then applied.
I indulged a little moment of sorrow for the “me” that I had put so much energy into, but sure look. No point looking back now. Now is a time for looking up ahead at all that lies before me and thanks to The Salon by Simon Fergus, I am looking bleedin’ fabulous in the process.
Tamara is the self-proclaimed Unqualified Blogger. She is a freelance Copywriter and Marketing Communications / Brand Strategist and Creative Generalist. She is available for speech writing, tattoo conventions and karaoke parties or would love to work with you on your latest marketing or creative challenges. Stay in touch on Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter or Contact her directly.