xoJane readers, I would do anything for you. You are my light, my inspiration, my crack-like source of sweet, soul-filling attention. I was empty before I knew you. You make me laugh, you make me think, you are fucking perfect in every way, you filthy, crazy whores.
Which is why I have entrusted my life and body to your elaborately nail-arted hands, and why I am seriously considering letting you choose my next tattoo. Until then, I give you dominion over my head! (And vagina, obviously. You name it, I'll put it in there. )
The truth is, I was not feeling myself as a blonde, despite the awesome job done by Zoe Wiepert of Bumble and Bumble. I just didn't feel like myself, and I also worried that by joining Jane, Cat and Madeline, I was creating a blonde imbalance at xoJane, the reprecussions of which I could only imagine as an eventual tear in the space-time continuum! (If you're time-traveling, and you meet yourself as a blonde, you must KILL HER!)
I promise after this to stop talking about Zoe Wiepert for awhile, because at this point she probably thinks I want to go all xo-lesbo with her, which I am ashamed to say is what I accuse the girls of when they wear flats to work. One more word, though: She is very Dolly Parton-esque in person, which means that you can mind-play your own real-life version of "Steel Magnolias." You can Steel Magnolias LARP!
I'm obsessed with you, Zoe!!!
Anyway, many of you requested that I take a detour through Red on my way back to Brown Town and I aim to please and please and please until the very lifeforce is squeezed out of me and I die, so I did it!
And truthfully, I have always considered myself to be a spiritual redhead, as I am perpetually everyone's sassy best friend from a romantic comedy. Great redheads in history include: Joan Harris, Ariel the mermaid, April from the Ninja Turtles and Peg mothereffin' Bundy, who is also my style icon. Even Charlie Brown was in love with a little redheaded girl, not that he was a catch.
Redheads, in popular myth, are spunky! Sassy! Fire-y! Sexy! It was pursuit of those qualities that led me to die my hair red for 13ish years before getting sober and doing dramatic hair change therapy for my breakup with alcohol.
Having red hair, like being a party girl, was such a huge part of my identity that I had weird cognitive dissonance for a year afterward every time anybody talked about redheads. Because I was a redhead! Except, I wasn't anymore. And you haven't known boring until you've heard someone try to explain the recent history of their hair color. (Or maybe you have; you're reading this article, after all.)
Over the years, I began to associate dark hair with a saner, happier me and thusly developed a kind of phobia about returning to red, as if the red hair was going to somehow grab hold of my rehabilitated brain and start compelling me to do evil things!
Here I am, red as the day is long, and so far no "Twighlight Zone"-esque sci-fi plot has taken over my life. I'm not even going to try to get all sociological about how people treat me differently as a redhead, except to say that I feel like myself again and much more confident. And thusly, dudes are hollering at me on the street again, which is not something I actually wanted back at all, except for wondering what its sudden absence said about me.
And that's really what I learned from my Neopolitan hair experiment -- that however you feel best is likely the best hair color for you. I could have been the best-looking blonde in the world, and I still would have been uncomfortable in my own skin. And that's never attractive.
Ultimately, brunette is probably the most flattering hair color for me. But I'm going to stick with red for awhile. It makes me feel happy, and until it learns to bring you a Coke Zero from the fridge, that's all you can really ask for from hair.
I'll share just one more Zoe tip for maintaining the red: She says most red shampoos don't have very nice tones, so opt for BB Colorminded (duh, but it works) or find a depositing shampooo with a copper tint like this one from Davines.
Where my redheads at? Holler in the comments. Also, I don't want to hear boo about my ends, or I'll FRY YOUR ENDS.