I Went Blonde For The First Time!

Tired of being a brunette--and inspired by Miley, Agyness, Robyn, etc.--I decided to make a major change to my pixie cut. Now I finally understand why conditioner exists.

I just took a huge risk with my hair, you guys. The kind that gives you a heart attack when you see yourself in the bathroom mirror after you get up to pee in the middle of the night because you’re half asleep and you forgot that that’s what you look like now.

When I considered Marci’s question about my most regrettable hairstyle, I couldn’t really think of one. I’ve almost never taken risks with my hair. For years, I had long brown hair that I kept in a ponytail. Then, after my freshman year of college, I did the single gutsiest thing I’ve ever done with my look: I cut all my hair off into a pixie.

Luckily, I loved it. I loved it so much that I’ve kept it for four years without a single change.

But now... Well, it’s been FOUR YEARS without a SINGLE CHANGE. I don’t know about you, but I get antsy. Even when I’ve found a look that works for me, I eventually start thinking about how much greener the other side is. You know, the side with all the blondes.

Yep, I dyed my pixie blonde. We could blame Miley Cyrus or, even more recently, Anne Hathaway, but the truth is I had the idea years before they stole it from me. Besides, my true inspiration for the look is Agyness Deyn. (Others include: Mia Farrow, Twiggy, Edie Sedgewick, Jean Seberg, Michelle Williams, Robyn).

I coveted Agyness’ piecey, peroxide blonde hair the most, so I took a photo of her to the nicest salon near me (the Ken & Company salon in Stroudsburg, for those in the Poconos area) and splurged. I knew this was not the time to be thrifty, nor was it the time for DIY. Some people can bleach their own hair, but that would be wildly above my abilities; so to the fancy salon I went.

Two hours and two coats of bleach later, I left the salon feeling like a British supermodel with an alternative-spelling name (call me Keghliey from now on). I know, but that’s nothing; when I first got my pixie cut, I was convinced I was Rihanna for an afternoon. My self-delusion knows no bounds. Even when my hair was neon orange before the toner was applied, I exclaimed, “Wow, I kind of look like one of those hot X-Men chicks!”

Luckily, everyone convinced me to continue the process until I ended up with the almost-white blonde hair that I wanted.

I’m still pretty new at this, having never bleached my hair before, but I am aware that it’s going to be more upkeep than I’m used to. Before, I washed my hair two to three times a week (it looks better when it’s dirty, OK?); I would just buy whichever shampoo is cheapest at the grocery store. Conditioner? Why would I need that?

Yeah, I need conditioner now. I was actually really alarmed at first because of how fried my hair felt, so I high-tailed it to the nearest store to stock up on the necessities.

My similarly bleached blonde friend recommended I pick up the “ugly purple and gray” bottle of Silver Plus Ageless Shampoo by Jhirmack. It claims to increase softness “while neutralizing brassy, yellow tones,” which is exactly what I want. It didn’t see a conditioner to go with it, so I ponied up for the slightly more expensive John Frieda Everlasting Blonde Color Preserving Conditioner. Then I splurged and bought John Frieda Go Blonder Lightening Spray as well, because I’m a sucker for dramatic comparison pictures on a box.

I don’t know yet if the lightening spray works as well as it claims, since I’ve only used it once so far and it supposedly requires repetition (and heat--lots and lots of heat).

Same goes for the shampoo. I obediently left that on for exactly two minutes, then rinsed and repeated because the bottle said I could if I desired. Do I desire to be as blonde and ageless as possible? Why yes, shampoo bottle, I do.

The conditioner is the only product that gave me immediate results. After rinsing out the shampoo for the second time, I was panicking because my hair still felt like wet elephant hide, but the conditioner made everything soft and silky again. I knew there had to be a reason that stuff existed.

The three other products I’m using on my hair are Suave Dry Shampoo, any brand of baby powder, and extra virgin coconut oil. The first two are for unwashed hair days and--I’ll admit it--a lame attempt at making my hair look whiter. The coconut oil is to help with softness. I just rub some in at night before I go to bed and so far it seems to help.

So the good news is that I’m adapting to my new reflection and haircare routine; the bad news is that I’m still trying to adjust my makeup to go with my hair. I feel more pressure to cancel out my very pink undertones with a ton of foundation, and now my beloved red lipstick combined with my dark brows feels like too much contrast against the blonde. I’m still experimenting and trying to figure it out, so any advice is welcome.

Let’s wrap this up with a few questions. I expect your answers in numerical format in the comments: Who’s your favorite short-haired blonde? Do you think I look more like Agyness Deyn or Andy Warhol? Should I do an Andy Warhol beauty tutorial? I probably should, right? And most importantly, do I look better as a brunette or a blonde? I’ve asked everyone I know this question and then totally ignored their answer; you’ve been warned.