Bangs, fringe, breakage — whatever you call it, it'll fit in some butterfly clips.
How many times have we heard about the post-breakup haircut? The emotion-driven makeover? Ladies be trippin’ and colorin’ their hair, y’all!
Personally, I have never experienced that phenomenon. No, I am not an emotionless automaton. I just like to fuel my crazy makeovers with pure impulsive decision-making and poorly utilized decision-making skills.
“But Beth,” you say, “you work 12-hour days in close proximity to people in crisis! Real emotional crisis! Surely work stress led you to this exchange with your stylist on Facebook”:
Oh, you wonderful, silly girl. No, I am a creature of curiosity, and hair boredom is a powerful, powerful drug.
Naturally, when my stylist said, “Let’s make it blonder with a few highlights,” my mouth was forming the word “YES!” before she finished her sentence. Yes! Blonde! Stage one of hair-impulse grief: pure adrenaline!
When I arrived home and thoroughly inspected my highlights, though, I was launched into the second stage of hair-impulse grief: despair. What have I done? It looks kind of stripe-y. Oh, no, I look like a Hot Topic kid!
Then I cried and sent my stylist a pathetic email about dying it brown. Stage three of hair-impulse grief: bargaining. Please, fix it! I’ll do anything!
But then an angel appeared to me in the form of Sharon Stone. I am totally not exaggerating!
As I sat at home that Friday night, drowning my sorrow in Sauvignon Blanc and cable TV, I flipped to Basic Instinct (and that might be the most embarrassing thing I’ve ever written). While it isn’t as brilliant as Esterhas’s later, campy-cult hit Showgirls, I was swept away into a world of ridiculous overacting and Michael Douglas in a v-neck sweater. Sharon Stone was cool and tough, and even though her hair was a flat, dated, ‘90s platinum blond, girlfriend worked it.
I chuckled to myself and thought, “Eh, why the heck not?” So instead of going back to brunette, we went. All. The. Way. Baby.
This is not my first time being blonde.
Despite dying my hair with everything from Clairol Glints to Manic Panic to Kool Aid in high school, it remained fairly blonde through college.
I won’t get too deep into my shameful twenties, but I will share that I was newly blonde (following a bad run-in with a black box color) on the night that I tried to talk to Nick Valensi at a secret Yeah Yeah Yeahs show and he called me an asshole. (I don’t have a picture of this stage! I know, I want to see it, too!)
Anyway, being blonde is not a totally new experience for me, but it’s been a hot minute. I noticed right away that my routine needed some tweaking because, seriously, deep down, I don’t want to look like Sharon Stone in 1992. I need to look GOOD. The fourth stage of hair-impulse grief: make it work.
SHAMPOO & CONDITIONER
My stylist remarks that my hair is “tough” and that it doesn’t want to let go of being brunette without a fight. Really, what she means is that my hair wants to be orange. We are able to get it into a cooler range, but she reminds me that keeping my blonde bright and not brassy will take some work. I’m already on it, right, because I understand color theory, remember?
In order to remove yellow and brassy tones from my hair, I have to use a vivid purple shampoo. Complements neutralize! (And compliments are flattery. Two different words.)
I spent some time in Sally Beauty Supply and found One 'n Only Shiny Silver Ultra Conditioning Shampoo. I chose it because the fragrance was much nicer than other shampoos in the store, and after using it once, I can tell that it leaves my hair relatively soft. I’ve read reviews of other brands that claim that these shampoos can leave hair dry and brittle, so I am very pleased with my results.
I am also using L’Oreal EverPure Sulfate-Free Color Care System Moisture Conditioner and only shampooing twice per week. My usually-wiry hair is calm and manageable.
When you make a drastic change to your hair color, be aware of how it works with your skin tone. My stylist gave me a multi-tonal, golden, beachy blonde. My skin tone is a slightly warm neutral; however, something about this lighter hair really brings out the redness in my cheeks.
I use NP Set Calming Pre-Foundation Primer before I apply my tinted moisturizer or foundation. I have never been into primers, mostly because I can’t be bothered with makeup most days, but this stuff is life-changing. It actually FEELS calming and fresh, and my skin feels smooth but shine-free. A little goes a long way, and there’s little shimmers, y’all.
I’ve also bumped up my mascara and eyeliner usage. I apply eyeliner in-between my lashes to give a false eyelash-look. I keep meaning to try eyebrow powders for more dramatic, longer-lasting looks, but Maybelline Master Shape Brow Pencil is great because its waxy formula works like a groomer, and it’s easy to stash in a bag for touch-ups. I’m not going to bleach my brows because I like a dark brow with a blonde hairdo, but I did buy the pencil in a shade lighter (Soft Brown).
I switched to a warmer coral blush, and I am using bronzer to contour from my temples to my cheekbones to enhance the warmth of my skin and play into that whole beachy aesthetic.
OK, before you tell me that I look better as a brunette: I know. And before you tell me that I really didn’t get Sharon Stone hair: I know. Just the same, I’m enjoying the new look, and I’m so glad that I didn’t run back to my brunette security blanket.
I figure I’ll play with this for a while and move on to my next impulse makeover. Will it entail me finally embracing my gray forelock? Will I finally perfect my Nomi Malone lip liner? Stay tuned!
What drastic changes have you made and how did you adjust? Was it inspired by a trashy movie?