7 Things I’ve Learned After One Year As A Blonde

Flickr / Wicker Paradise
Flickr / Wicker Paradise

Almost a year ago exactly, inspired by Deborah Harry and Sky Ferreria, I walked into a salon and asked the stylist to bleach me platinum.

Back then, there was so much I didn’t know about being a blonde. I’d imagined it’d be a passing phase like most of my hairstyles (from the time I cut it below my ears wanted to strike a 1920’s bob to the time I liked to have my jet black hair wet at all times), but a year later, being blonde feels the closest I’ve ever felt to being… me.

I’ve learned a lot about how to be a blonde and how people treat a girl with platinum hair over this year, most notably:

1. Once you go blonde, you can basically throw out every shampoo, conditioner and product you used before.

After you bleach your hair, everything you once knew about it is basically over. For the first 23 years of my life, the fight was constantly to get my naturally oily hair to look clean. If I didn’t wash it every morning, you could tell by the slick way it sat against my head. Once I got bleached, though, it’s a constant battle to keep my hair moisturized. If I wash it every day, it will become straw. I replaced every single bottle of shampoo I had with one that either toned the yellows out of my hair or added moisture to my endless dry strands. The only product that worked the same after bleaching my hair was my hairspray, and I wish I were exaggerating.

2. Oh also – the colors of clothes and makeup that look good on you have now changed.

One of my favorite discoveries after coming home from the salon was finding out how good my hair looked atop a little black dress. One of my least favorite discoveries was learning that my collection of eye shadows now looked off next to my blonde bangs, and the pinky lipsticks I used to love now made me look like a baby.

3. It’s safe to assume platinum girls are hard as rocks.

Mainly because the process of bleaching one’s hair is painful as hell. Bleach isn’t slang for anything – it’s freaking BLEACH (okay, in carefully mixed proportions) being applied directly to one’s scalp. And then you have to sit there with your head itchy and in flames until all the color is lifted and if you complain about how much it hurts to your stylist, she’ll either make a sympathetic face and tell you to suck it up or wash the bleach off and leave you with yellow hair you don’t want. TL; DR, Bleach hurts, and if a girl has platinum hair, it means she can take the pain. Beware.

4. The verdict is still out on whether or not blondes have more fun, but people are nicer to blondes.

It’s hard to quantify something like “how many people on average are nice to me each day,” but I can say, as a blonde, I get way more free lattes from baristas, drinks from bartenders, doors held open for me, people stepping aside to let me get on the bus first, people willing to go out of their way to help me, smiles from strangers and on and on, than I ever did as a brunette. Is this true for everyone? I have no idea. I just know for sure people are nicer to a blonde me.

5. The catcalls you receive will change.

As a brunette, I heard “hey lady,” “hey sexy,” “hey mama,” “hey legs,” and more on the regular. Since becoming blonde, the number one catcall I get is “Hey blondie!” If it’s not that, the nicknames shouted in my catcalls have “hey baby,” “sweetheart,” “cutie,” “angel,” “princess” – so oddly, names that you’d give to a little girl. I believe I’ve been getting more catcalls (hard to keep track, you know), and I’m growing older everyday, yet, out on the street, I’ve regressed to pet names.

6. Even if you’re beauty routine doesn’t change, you’re seen as vapid.

As a writer, I’m used to mean comments. It was weird, though, that after going blonde, commenters were more often to attack my opinions or arguments or disregard them because I am too vain. Which was strange to me, since as a blonde, I’m as vain as I ever was as a brunette. Even strangers will make comments to me about how I won’t be young and beautiful forever, unprovoked.

7. No matter what color hair a girl is born with, some of us were simply meant to be blonde.

Despite all the negative things I’ve mentioned above, I can’t imagine going back to being a brunette. When I close my eyes and picture who I am, that girl is blonde. It’s the most comfortable I’ve ever felt in my own skin, finally having a hairstyle that matches the rest of my personality. It hurts, people think I’m vain, and yet, rocking platinum blonde makes me feel fierce and confident like nothing else ever has. Will I ever go back to being brunette? Not anytime soon. TC mark

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