They say you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone, but the same can’t really be said for my blonde hair. Around age six or so, I had a head of golden blonde curls that would rival any California girl – the sort of sun-kissed tone that requires major upkeep if you try to fake it in the salon. Did I appreciate it? Of course not, no child should give two shits what their hair looks like. As you can see from this holiday snap, I was too busy eating ice creams and feeling my feelings. It started to fade into that dark blonde/light brown no man’s land as my age approached wearisome double figures, and there ended my stint as a natural blonde. C‘était fini. It was all over.
Obviously I didn’t care, though. But interestingly, for some reason, I held being a brunette as the beauty ideal even in my pre-teen years. I think I thought it was cool and mysterious, and that blonde girls were popular “bimbos”. I was a nerd through and through, so you can see why I was swept along by these stereotypes, as any ’90s baby was bound to be by the damaging media of the early 2000s – but that’s another topic in itself. Through secondary school I had fantasies of dying my hair dark, which thankfully didn’t happen back then thanks to some porkies my mother told me about hair dye. Parents love a white lie, don’t they!
Fast forward to my university years and, at last, the first hair dye touched my tresses in the form of subtle balayage. It was the trend of the moment, and that was enough to convince me – I guess you’d call me a ‘Bronde’ at that stage. I was pretty happy letting that do its ombre grow-out until, uh oh, I got dumped. Cue what I can only describe as the lowest funk of my life, and the need for a shake up. I went dark with my hair and I loved it. It made me feel all of the traits I’d given brunettes in my head and I spent a bomb getting it redone at the salon every eight weeks (who did I think I was!? I was on £18k!)
I kept that up for a few years, switching to home dye when covering my rent became a bigger priority, and then lockdown happened. With half a year of no dye, my natural colour is emerging once more in its light brown glory. And maybe it’s something about being home for so long, but for the first time ever I’ve had a craving to go back to the blonde hair I had as a child. Naturally, I’ve turned to Pinterest for some moodboard making, and this is the blonde hair inspiration I’ve gravitated towards. There are honey blonde highlights for a more gentle easing into blondehood, softer balayage looks for low maintenance and true golden blonde hairstyles to choose from – now I just need to decide how brave I’m feeling.
Imagery sourced from Pinterest