The blonde in the bleachers
She flips her hair for you...Joni Mitchell
I once read an article in the NY Times that could have been written about me and obviously applied to a lot of people. If you dye your hair blonde after a while you do not realize how blonde you are and start chasing a blonde you see in pictures or on others that in reality you may already have or surpassed. The other day I broke down, or shall I say am broke now from it, and went back to the place that did my favorite ever blonde highlights at John Barrett Salon in Bergdorf Goodman. I have chased a certain shade of wheat, butter but not beer without a hint of caramel blonde many a time. I like being a blonde and go ahead let the jokes come down.
I love BG, because I always try and imagine what it was like to live there during the time it was still a Fifth Ave mansion along with all the other magnificent mansions, most of which sadly no longer survive. It is such an elegant place and they have perfected the art of customer service, even with the people like me who rarely have the means to really shop there. As I made my appointment, and thank you John Barrett for putting the prices on the website because it makes decision making easier to go or not, and it led me to thinking of the amount of time and money I have spent on my hair over the years. There were the years when I was younger when I would not allow my hair to be cut, Marcia Brady symptom or Princess but I know a lot of girls and women suffer from this. It was really long until I decided that off it had to go, am sure some magazine or movie inspired that nonsense. There was the time when I thought a perm on my already curly locks would give me those Raphaelite corkscrew curls, ummmm nope what I got was a somewhat albino afro (oh it was as attractive as that sounds). There was the time we discovered Sun In, which really should be termed for the vast population Orange Out. I sprayed a bottle on my hair, my parents who did not even allow nail polish until I was 16, none the wiser as we sat for our customary 8 hours at Jones Beach. It was only when I got home and washed my hair, and expected those Breck girl locks, that my shock and subsequent need to wrap my hair in a towel to try and hide it from same parents (honestly the world did not need to see my now orange and white streaked locks as I was not in a punk band nor making commercials for Orangesicle Pops - only two places I can think of that it would have worked to look like that). I remember the moment that a lock escaped, down my back and my father pulled me by it and asked me not so gently to remove the towel. It was worse than I expected, he laughed and laughed while tears welled in my own eyes. My mother yelled I am pretty sure and there began my affair with doing and undoing the hair I had (yes I had that fixed).
There were the 80s with teasing, spraying, black streaks in one side of my blonde hair and other things that made my hair an architectural gravity defining object (crimping, really?!). There was a period where Astor Place Hair-cutters and I were practically an item, me going there so often that my platinum hair (lasted 2 months, since it looked like I had roots the minute they washed out the dye..though will admit with red lips it was one of my favorite looks) caused me scalp burns (yes people it is harsh chemicals they used and cheap too hence their ability to charge $40 for a haircut and color). Then there was the blonde, red, black, streaked, blonde and so on periods all which led me to realize that I am meant to be blonde. There have been short cuts, side cuts, asymmetrical cuts (not a good look on curly hair), and pulling, heating years of blow drying those curls into that vision of straight perfection that is hard to achieve. I long ago stopped tracking how much money and time have really gone into this because I will admit it I love it. I love changing it and getting that moment when I love the color, the cut or both. I do the Keratin treatments so that my hair is less frizzy and achieves that elusive shine that us curly hair girls have always wanted to have, you know the one that comes when you are able to swish your hair from side to side Pantene commercial style. For a long time I thought I needed to apologize (I have never tried the "this is natural approach" as hell I paid money for it so why hide it) and hide the fact that I love high end salons and all the stuff I do for my hair (though as I was paying for my now lovely Bergdorf Blonde highlights the other day I found it amusing how many women before me were paying in portions - credit card, cash, mixture of cards with a wink to the receptionist about not letting husbands see actual totals). I get those women, men rarely understand what we pay for these things or any others that we love because they don't have to. I went back once to "natural" and that lasted about a week until I could get back to the salon to "fix" it. I am not a hippie, granola girl and at almost 45 I am ok with no longer apologizing or feeling badly for spending money I work for on this. So here is to the blondes, brunettes, redheads who enhance or come out of the magic of colorists (be they Revlon or Fekkai) or embrace their natural attributes. It does not make any of us less intelligent or frilly or anything else if we do it within our means and makes us feel better. It does not make us subjects of the male dominated world (face it women notice your highlights men usually notice your boobs). It does not make us anything we already are not, it is ok for us to look good as whatever we define that.
L'Oreal was right ...we are worth it!!!!!
“All my ladies if you feel it. Go and do it, do it, whip your hair. Don’t matter if it’s long, short. Do it, do it, whip your hair”...Willow Smith