Blonde Vs. Brunette: Which One Is Better?
I dyed my hair blonde for close to a decade despite being a natural brunette. Having recently gone back to my natural hair colour, do I have any regrets?
Now that I can finally look back and face the truth, my experience with playing blonde has been a tumultuous one. I was taken by lightness and length. But chasing it was wrecking your hair – and my bank balance.
I’d been artificially blonde for about 10 years and I’d toyed around with all kinds of dyeing techniques.
In the days before balayage I dyed my entire head bright, light blonde. My mum said I looked bald, I thought I looked like Daenerys Targaryen
Getting Blonde Right
My happy days as a blonde always involved balayage with natural roots. Call it ecaille, bronde, freelighting or whatever else – any form of colouring that let a little of my real hair through while brightening up my lengths was a hit. The problem is, I always craved more lightness.
I also loved hair extensions, frequenting Tatiana Karelina in Kensington, London, every three months for years. Her Russian hair is incredible and the micro ring bonds are almost invisible. You can see how happy I was with my ‘artificial’ Rapunzel hair in this video:
The Damage Was Done
Despite loving being a blonde, I was in denial about the true state of my hair most of the time. If I was really honest with myself, I knew that bleach dries and damages hair, badly. No matter how many times I said ‘oh but I ONLY do balayage!’, and piled on the hair masks, my hair felt bristly.
I only went to fancy salons yet all my before pictures depicted crinkled straw despite copious treatments and Olaplex. After a hair makeover, my blonde hair would be back to straw in a couple of weeks.
Every time I went to the salon, it wasn’t with ‘badly done hair that desperately needed a good hairdresser to sort it out’, but the reality of what bleach did to the keratin structure of my strands.
A few months ago I finally went brunette: my natural colour but a little deeper and richer. I think it was a manifestation of wanting to be more authentic, natural and confident in my own skin; something deeply encouraged in me by my new loving partner. I’m also off the Botox, off the fillers, and off the extensions.
For my hair transformation, I chose an excellent salon in Melbourne, Heading Out. A colourist called Zoe applied a similar luscious chocolate colour as hers onto me. I started using Schwarzkopf BC Bonacure Colour Freeze Sulphate-Free products to retain colour. I’ve now moved on to Fanola After Colour products, which are super nourishing.
These are the differences in my hair:
-It looks incredibly shiny
-It feels stronger
-The split ends are less obvious
-It’s really easy to maintain
-It suits me better
These are the differences in how I feel:
-I feel more relaxed in my own skin
-I feel like I always look like me
-I don’t worry about roots or tone
-I love looking like my mum when she was younger
I stayed blonde so long because I truly did enjoy it, despite the damage. But now I’m taking proper care of my hair and I’m feeling a calming ‘returning to the self’ by embracing my natural colour.
There’s nothing wrong with dyeing your hair, it’s part of the fun of being a woman and alive. But I’ll be sticking to my brunette roots for the foreseeable future – there’s nothing like the contentedness of knowing, being and loving who you truly are.