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Being a Blonde

My mother always said she'd be a blonde grandmother. She had no intention of letting herself go gray. She died at 52, perfectly blonde, and kept her promise.

When I first started coloring my hair, really coloring it, I was probably about 21. Before that, I'd gotten highlights sometimes and used Sun In in the summer. As I started my 20's, though, I discovered that what I really wanted was to be very blond. My hair had been quite blonde when I was young, but had faded over the years to what my mother called "dishwater blonde". Dishwater blonde is effectively colorless. Not brown. Not blonde. Just blah.

For many years, my mother helped me color my hair. I'd go over to the house and she would apply two boxes of Clairol. After she passed, I applied the color myself for many years. What seemed to always happen was that I would be feeling kind of down, I'd color my hair, emerge from the shower freshly blonde, and immediately feel so much better. I could tell that my mood was directly tied to how my hair was looking. I tried to go red a few years ago but just didn't quite feel like myself. When that color faded, I went straight back to the blonde.

In my 30's, I began to rely on my hairdresser to color my hair. I wasn't able to get the color right from a box anymore...and, now I cut it so short that there's no old growth to get super blond anymore. I need bleach and toning. Two process color is best done by an expert. So, I let T, my friend and hairdresser, deal with it.

I don't know if I would agree that blondes have more fun, but I would say that I feel happier, better, and more like myself when I'm blonde. I'm sure some of that comes from my mother. I'm sure some of it comes from cultural norms and cues. Some of it, though, comes solely from me. I find blonde jokes boring. Marilyn Monroe wasn't the ditz she pretended to be. Angela Merkel is a blonde. So is Hillary Clinton. There is power in blonde hair.

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