Wednesday, January 18, 2006

The Curtains Match The Carpet

I've always been a blonde, even when I wasn't.

You see, I am the oldest of three girls, and we all had different colors of hair when we were little.

I practically lived at the pool as a kid, and so between all that chlorine and my time on the soccer field (I played for seven years) my hair had a way of getting really blonde. Like, towhead blonde.

My middle sister is the brunette. Dark, thick hair that matches her darker complexion, big brown eyes and that wicked streak she has that led to so many fights (as well as scars on my arms). It's funny. We have the same parents and I'm guessing very similar genetic make-up, and yet we couldn't look more different.

The baby is the redhead. She's ten years younger than I, and has always had the fiery spirit you'd expect from someone with those red streaks in their mane. Playful and yet quick to be argumentative, I kind of think of her as a little lap dog. Her hair has gotten darker over time, but it still has a burnt crimson glow.

Hundreds of thousands of heartbeats have passed since my towhead, slinking-in-the-deep-end years, and yet still I cannot let go of blonde. It's my persona. It's my family identity. It's my fantasy.

Last summer I went platinum for the first time. An old roommate of mine had urged me light years ago to go Marilyn, and yet for some reason (read: Christina Aguilera) I was hesitant. I had seen examples that had gone terribly wrong, and well, seeing as I don't exactly have a personal stylist on stand-by, I wasn't really willing to take any chances.

I eased into it, month by month going a little lighter, until around July I found myself looking like a representative for the Aryan race. Boy, did it need upkeep. Soon enough my monthly cut and highlight addiction wasn't enough. I found myself calling up to see if they could fit me in for a touchup around day nineteen, "Just to do the roots, hon."

Until this fall I said Enough is enough.

I was afraid to go dark. I'm not a dark girl. My personality (once you get over the prickly apprehension and shy insecurities) is not dark. I'm actually a bright, sparkly girl inside who quite fits the blonde persona. Unfortunately, the blonde persona doesn't really fit in with the dark, drab mood of autumn. So I started adding lowlights. Bit by bit until my hair was maybe a flaxen blonde.

Tuesday I went in for my monthly fix and decided to press the envelope. I still have a few of the platinum highlights skewed about, but I decided to add the darkest lowlight I've ever had thus far. I'm guessing my hair is the closest to natural it's ever been.

And I don't know how I feel about that.

It doesn't look sexy in my book. It looks reliable, serious, bookish or even tame, perhaps. I don't know that I would use the more comfortable adjectives of flirty, vibrant, racy or teasing to describe my new 'do. I have gravitated to an edge of the pool I've never swam in, and I don't know how comfortable I feel doing breaststroke.

Oh well. What with yesterday's 60 degree weather, I know one thing: springtime isn't that far away, and neither is my whole head of blonde hair.

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