When I was born, my parents said that I looked like a little duckling. I had yellow tufts of fluffy hair covering my head. It was the beginning of my life as a true blonde.
In elementary school, everyone knew who my father was, as he cheered in the stands at soccer games or suffered silently through five-hour dance recitals. My dad is 6 ft tall, always smiling, and has actual golden locks. Not the rough or dark gold color I associate with antiques. His hair is a bright clear gold that reminds me of 20 karat yellow gold jewelry, like the bracelets he got me from Greece when I was a little kid.
If you saw my dad, you knew we were related. It was the gold hair.
In middle school, friends of mine were all getting high-lights or using semi-permanent color when they spent the night at a friend’s house. I remember considering it once, only to have my best friend’s older sister warn me, “People pay thousands of dollars to get hair like your’s. Don’t mess with it.” Since this sister was also a hair stylist, I took the advice to heart.
And seriously, not to brag, but not only is my hair naturally blonde, I also have a boatload of it. It’s thick and wavy and it seems to grow at double the speed of normal hair. Okay, I’m definitely bragging. My hair is my favorite feature.
That’s why it was all the more ridiculous to be suckered into dying it.
As so many beauty horror stories start, I was working at a salon. My hair was long, almost half-way down my back. It was normally left curly or thrown up into a bun. I managed the salon’s schedules, inventories and commissions.
After a couple months of working there, the owner suggested to me that I get a more “edgy” cut. They wanted something that was a little more attention grabbing for the person who spent so much time talking to customers. Like a fool, I agreed to sit down with our top stylist and let her work her magic on my never-before-dyed hair.
I’m not going to act like the whole thing was horrendous or life-changing. This wasn’t America’s Next Top Model and no one shaved my head. There would have been no point in bleaching my eyebrows, they’re already completely blonde. But the resulting asymmetric cut with “low-lights” was probably the most drastic look I’ve ever attempted. And I didn’t pull it off well.
Turns out, my virgin hair responded really quickly to hair dye. Those caramel brown low-lights became dark brown streaks. And because my hair is blonde, it held on to the color for a very long time. I had to wait for all of the hair to grow out and be chopped off before I get rid of the striped mess.
To my credit, I didn’t get teary-eyed or even angry with the stylist. I’m sure my face gave away some of my feelings, but I remained pretty professional and grateful. Thankfully, this job was pretty short-lived and I never had to deal with a touch-up request of trim suggestion.
I know it’s not the worst thing that could ever happen, but it’s definitely a regret that I wish I could take back. Of course, the picture with your least favorite haircut is this one that your mother has proudly framed in her living room. No matter how I plead or try to replace the thing, she just has to remind me that I tried to mess with a good thing.
The good thing about beauty regrets is that most of them are temporary. Hair grows back, and thankfully mine grows back blonde.