In January 2014, I bleached my hair for the first time so that I could dye it magenta. After a brief flirtation with magenta and then hot pink (and a 6-week lavender interlude in the fall of 2014), I became a fulltime blonde in April 2014.
On January 4, 2016, I bleached my roots and toned my hair like I’ve done countless times. This time was the straw that broke the camel’s back: my hair became in alternating sections gummy and brittle, breaking off in remarkable amounts. The toner burned my scalp and I turned beet red. (Later I was told that I’d probably developed an allergy to my beloved Wella T-18!)
I knew this day would come; I’ve been rather indiscriminate with the bleach and was under no illusions that I’d be able to keep up the platinum forever. I immediately made an appointment with my hairdresser, who squeezed me in for the next day. I told her I was prepared to take as much off as necessary. She said we’d really only need to cut side-swept bangs to camoflage the breakage around the hairline and take a few inches off the lengths. I told her to go shorter.
So shorter we went!
I really like my haircut; I’ve never been particularly attached to my hair, and though it was a bit of a shock to see it shorter than it’s been since I was thirteen, I was excited. I think once about three or four more inches grow back in I’ll like it even more, since I find just below chin length to be the most flattering on my face shape. But I’m glad I went for a big chop, because the more we took off last week, the less destroyed hair there is for me to deal with. I’m most devastated about the bangs; it took me eighteen months to grow them out from the blunt fringe I had for years, and I didn’t want to give up on my hard work. But they’ll grow back.
Shorter’s okay by me too because my hair is so thick that when it gets long sometimes it’s a bit unmanageable. I don’t think it’ll stop having a life of its own, but at least there’s less of it to wrangle! Also, don’t tell all the people who have told me repeatedly that blonde suits me, but I will not miss the process of doing my roots.
I’m not sure what the gameplan is now. Clearly, no more bleach will be in my future. I haven’t yet decided if I’ll dye the ends to match my roots or if I’ll just embrace a grungy, two-toned, very-long-roots look. Maybe I’ll even dye it another bright colour while I still have the blonde base. I think I’m going to try to let it be as much as possible for as long as possible, though – it’s been through a lot over the past two years, and certainly deserves a break!
All I know for sure is that I’m still adjusting to the extremely reduced amount of conditioner it takes for my whole head.
It doesn’t seem to dry any faster, though. It’s still absurdly thick, after all.