I was born with dark hair. DARK hair, I should say as it is naturally borderline black.
Throughout my teenage years, I longed to be blonde, but was repeatedly told that my hair was too dark, and the bleaching process would only damage my hair and probably make it all fall out. Not what I wanted to hear.
I spent most of my life desperately going from brown/red to brown/purple and even to blue/black, but it never satisfied my desire to one day become a blonde. It didn’t help that all my boyfriends seemed to be die hard brunette fans and all of them turned their noses up and scoffed when I mentioned hitting the peroxide, which again, put me off actually doing it.
About 3 years ago, I left my ex boyfriend and changed every aspect of my life all in one go. I left Coventry, where I had been living for almost seven years at that point, and came home to King’s Lynn. I lost all of my friends in the break up as most of them had been his to begin with, had to find a new job and found myself on the precipice of becoming a new version of me. A single, independent woman that had to start again from scratch and a part of that process was to leave behind everything that made me feel like the ‘old’ me and the life I had just walked away from.
Now was the time for me to be as brave with my hair as I had been with the rest of my life and one afternoon, me and my sister ( and my nephew from the comfort of his playpen) donned the highlighting cap and began to bleach.
I can hear hairdressers all over the World groaning and slightly dying inside at the mention of turning my almost black, elbow length hair blonde using a HIGHLIGHTING cap, but we thought we would start with a few and gradually build them up……NOPE! Three hours later and almost my whole head had been pulled through the cap and was baking the living hell out of my follicles.
FINALLY! After nearly 25 years of boring, dull, predictable brunette, I was a vibrant, shimmering blonde! Looking in the mirror, I barely recognised the girl looking back at me. I wasn’t the same person I had been that morning. I wasn’t the same girl that had left her boyfriend with no guarantees of anything that was, in truth, petrified of what she had done.
I was blonde, and daring and confident and……..not just the same person with different hair. I felt sexy, and younger, like I could do anything I wanted.
I’d like to take a moment to say that yes, I know all I did was change my hair colour, but unlike a hair cut, this change the way my entire face looked. My hazel eyes that usually looked more brown, suddenly sprang to life with the green hues that had always been there but had gone unnoticed. My skin, although a little red, looked better and I know had a whole new colour range of clothing to experiment with.
Apart from the oh-to-often root touch ups (if I left it for more than 6 weeks, my roots looked like someone had drawn a thick black line on my head with a Sharpie), and the long routine of wash, condition, tone (with expensive, purple pigment shampoo and conditioner) there was nothing that I didn’t like about being a blonde and I stayed that way throughout an entire glorious summer.
Winter set in and I had a wobble, as my usually thick, long hair had started to thin out because of the bleaching and I contemplated going back to brunette. I had just started seeing Mark, and was feeling a lot more like myself again, rather than this ‘new’ person that I had had to invent to get me through all the changes I had made in my life. But the second I took the towel off my head and looked int he mirror, there she was…the old me. Frumpy, brown haired Vikki and I burst into tears.
It didn’t feel like me anymore and I begged my hairdresser friend a week later to take me back to blonde.
A year went by, and my hair got shorter and shorter due to the damage of the bleach making it break off and my friend started to drop hints about maybe giving it a rest for a while and going back to brunette. The thought of it made me feel sad, but the more and more damaged my hair got, the more I realised if I wanted hair AT ALL, then I would have to follow his advice, and I went back to brown.
Suprisingly, this time, I didn’t feel like crying. Enough time had obviously passed for me to have shaken that feeling off that I was battling against myself or had something to prove to myself. I had a boyfriend that loved me for me, not for what I looked like or what I did for him and his support and our growing relationship had fixed me, put me back together again so that it didn’t matter what hair colour I had or what size clothes I wore, I was enough, I was loved and it should never be underestimated how much the support of a partner can mean.
I have stayed brunette since that day, but I do look at pictures of me as a blonde and feel like I have lost a bit of my ‘funkiness’, my style just seemed to have something more when I had blonde hair, and I still feel frumpy and boring some days, although I reckon those are the types of days where I could look like a Victoria Secret model and still feel like a librarian.
I have NO doubt in my mind that I will be blonde again one day, but the main thing is I have learnt that hair colour isn’t just about a shade for girls…there is a reason that after break ups we are notorious for drastic hair colour changes. Hair colour for girls seems to be about identity, confidence and in cases like mine, a kind of therapy to get you through times of heartbreak.
Have you changed your hair colour drastically after a break up? Why and did you ultimately keep it? Are you a man that did the same thing after a girl broke your heart or is hair just hair?
I’d love to know your stories as my hair colour played such a big part in my life