Blonde Ambition: Getting the Color Right

May 20, 2010 at 3:32 pm , by

My natural hair color hovers somewhere in that ho-hum range between blonde and brunette, so I’ve submitted my strands to a lot of experimentation over the years. I’ve gone darker; I’ve gone lighter; I even went red during an angsty high school phase (I’ll admit it, I totally copied that icon of 90s teen angst, My So-Called Life‘s Angela Chase). But for the last several years, I’ve been much tamer with my mane, just getting blonde highlights to brighten up my hair. So I don’t know what came over me, but a couple of weeks ago I decided that I wanted to be a real blonde. Like, platinum, Marilyn Monroe, Gwen Stefani blonde. I impulsively booked an appointment with my colorist. And here’s where it started to go terribly wrong. I didn’t bring any pictures to the appointment. I just figured my stylist would intuitively know which shade would work best with my skin tone. I was also totally unprepared for how long the process took (3 hours!) and that burning sensation on my scalp (my lovely stylist, a Brooklynite by way of Texas, joked about the Southern no pain, no gain beauty philosophy: “If it ain’t burnin’, it ain’t workin’.”). By the time she finished, it was after 10 p.m., I was exhausted, and I wasn’t loving my look. Read more