In my last year and a half here at The College of Wooster, I have begun to notice a trend. Everywhere I looked, edgy brunettes were slowly making their way to the much riskier side of the hair color spectrum: bleach-blonde. Now, I am going to start by saying that I ended up bleach-blonde on accident. I wanted to dye my hair purple, and asked my friend to help me lighten my hair, which did not go immediately as planned. When I tried to cover the patchy orange with a mix of purple dyes, it only got worse and it became clear that desperate times were going to call for desperate measures. So, I marched into Sally Beauty for the third time that week, bleached my hair a second time and used as much
Wella toner as I could fit onto my head (if it’s good enough for Sophie Turner, it’s good enough for me). The result was a pale grey-blonde, and it kind of slapped, if I do say so myself. I did dye my hair purple eventually, but it seemed that blonde was my hair’s final form, and who am I to argue with destiny.
The issue I’m seeing on campus is, that although we attend America’s Premier College for Mentored Undergraduate Research, our peers are failing to utilize those research skills when it comes to hair care and color. Though it could be said that blondes have more fun, stiff, lifeless, uneven and/or orange hair is less than enjoyable. For the wearer, yes, but also for my eyeballs. You don’t want to stand out because your hair is a trainwreck nobody can look away from, you want to stand out because your new ‘do looks shiny and cool, and because you clearly are an interesting person who takes risks with their life, evidenced by the risks you’ve taken with your head. I can’t guarantee that the latter is fully achievable, especially since I have gotten no more stylish or fascinating since I started chemically burning my scalp repeatedly, but at the very least the former could be avoidable.
So in conclusion, I am including below a “Do’s and Don’ts” of going blonde (from painful experience). DO try to figure out what tone of blonde will look best with your skin tone. Cool blonde doesn’t look good on everyone, but — especially if you have very dark hair originally — the natural color your hair will go to after only being lightened is likely to be very yellow, or orange, and that doesn’t look good on anyone. DON’T try it without an experienced friend or hair colorist. Bleaching your hair is the “cutting your own bangs” of this decade: it seems like a great idea alone in your bathroom, but maybe not in the harsh light of Lowry. DO be willing to spend money. Even if you aren’t dropping stacks on a professional, please (and I mean please) Google the best lightener for what you’re trying to do, and be willing to invest in getting the correct developers for your lightener and toner (unlike with cereal, the matching name brand does actually make a difference). DON’T mistake blonde hair for a personality trait; you have to get at least one literary tattoo before you can rise above the pink- and blue-haired dream girls of the world. Lastly, DO be prepared for it to sting. Beauty may not necessarily be pain, but broadcasting that you listened to Halsey in high school definitely is.