'I Went Blonde And Here's What Happened Next'
6 months ago, 1 Jan 18:30
New experiences open up a world of possibilities. An introductory beauty adventure? Especially so. As children, it helps develop our taste. But as adults, changing an aspect of our physical selves often symbolizes something bigger about the women we are...and are on our way to becoming. In our January/February 2018 issue, we asked six writers to explain how these moments transformed them in ways that go far beyond lipstick tubes and hair dyes. Here's one woman's story: I'm all about celebrating the face, body, and hair that make you you. It's what I've always taught my 9-year-old daughter. You're uniquely beautiful, exactly the way you are. Fine, but I was born with the wrong hair color. It's a meh dark brown. Not rich enough to be a luxurious mahogany, and not deep enough to be a heart-stopping obsidian. There's no drama to it. Since fourth grade, I've felt that my authentic self is a sparkly caramel blonde. The shade that Dorothy Parker once sarcastically called "assisted gold." Blonde black women can carry a faint hint of controversy. Although some WOC have naturally golden locks, most of us are brunette—and it's been argued that rocking sunny strands (through dye, wigs, or weaves) is chasing whiteness. Sorry, no. I've been an inner blonde for decades, and it had nothing to do with Marilyn or Madonna. It was about Tina Turner's frosted mane on the Private Dancer album cover. Grainy clips of a platinum-haired Etta James crooning "At Last." Naomi Campbell's golden extensions on Vogue Italia's July/August 1990 cover. Tyra, Halle, Ciara. Goddesses, all. There's an established trajectory of black-girl blonde fierceness—and I wanted to be part of the club. (Dull 'do? Try this organic volumizing hairspray, available at the Women's Health Boutique.) For a long time, dyeing my hair wasn't an option. I chemically relaxed my hair for most of my life, and double processes can cause major damage. But when I went natural four years ago, it was finally safe to take the plunge. I marched to midtown Manhattan's Hair Rules (a salon dedicated to pampering all textures) with my brand-new curls and had them dyed a warm honey hue with sunny highlights. Honestly, I've never felt more me (and when I say "me," I mean T-Boz in the "Creep" video). Learn 4 super-cute ways to rock a bun: With my big, blonde spirals framing my face, I felt as glowing as the sun. I was so confident, so... extra. My jeans got tighter. My lipstick got brighter. I laughed more. Newly single, I started flirting with the divorced dads at after-school pickup. I was on fire! My Blondissima Period was a great time, until my hair started breaking off. Even though my hair's natural, it's also super dry, and peroxide weakened it. I've since settled into a coppery-cinnamon hue, which is healthier for my hair—and still far from natural. But every so often I'll think of Tina stomping through the "What's Love Got to Do with It" video, a blur of fishnet legs ...
Category: magazine women