I am a natural blonde. No, really. I have proof:
It got lighter in the summer and darkened in the winter. By the time I was eight it no longer changed with the seasons, no matter how much lemon juice my Nana squeezed on my head. Maybe that’s why I felt such infinity with fish as a child.
My favourite doll was a redheaded kilt-wearing thing of beauty from the ‘International Collection’. I wanted her hair. When I was ten, I called my own hair ‘the definition of non-descript’. The ‘blonder highlights’ my cousin put in when I was eleven just looked fake to me, and actually fried my hair.
I moved to Scotland and wanted red hair, wanted the hair my Grandma had in her graduation photo. I’ve since been told that it was painted over using ‘artistic licence’. But it was still my Holy Grail of Hair. Grandma and my old kilted doll.
So began my relationship with the box/gloves/various hairdressers I really miss.
I’ve always liked the red side of the colour wheel. Being red has always made me feel more confident. If I needed a pick-me-up, I would make an appointment to ‘brighten up’. Four hours later, I emerge from salon with hair that should come with a UV warning.
I’ve been every colour on the chart from chilli to plum and other food colourings, to ’54’ and ‘63’. Like I said, red shades to me equalled confidence and brightness, easy laughter with an air of mystery. It also meant £80 and four hours of salon-time every six weeks. Or two boxes of store-bought colour, gloves, and the help of friends who now know my hair is indeed as thick and stubborn as it looks.
I’ve always thought the time and money and stories and blackmail photos were a good investment.
But I’ve forgotten what my actual colour is. The one after the roots. Sarge asked me once, and I couldn’t tell him. And then I got curious.
And so, I’ve let my hair go. This may not be the time to do such a thing, with holiday photo opportunities around the corner. I’ve decided I don’t care, and I don’t want to chop my hair off and make the roots less ‘noticeable’. They’re my roots, I like them.
I think I should turn 30 knowing what colour my hair really is these days. I can be confident and full of laughs no matter what my hair colour is. However, considering I’ve just written a bunch of words about the state of my head for all to read, I should perhaps work on that air of mystery!