Beyonce, I am not. Before I was ever bequeathed a liscense to color hair professionally, I was quite the dorm room aspiring colorist. After years under the watchful eye of my “you will not do anything crazy to your hair” mother, I got to college and lost my mind. My new happy place became the beauty supply store. Oh the possibilities! My 18 year old self would basically be my nightmare client now. Besides, blonde (err..more like orange), my hair had stints as black, brown, auburn and green, a result of not knowing that I couldn’t just put brown dye on top of bleached out hair. It’s a miracle I left college with any hair at all..
So I found it funny when I had an “aha” moment as a professional colorist with my many blonde clients. You see, when I moved to LA, the blondes there were just, different. They took the term blonde ambition to the next level. Whereas the blondes in NYC strived to be discreet, elegant and age appropriate; the blondes in LA would march in with pictures of themselves as babies in hand, wanting to turn back the clock to achieve the “toe head” locks of their youth. Some took it beyond by bringing in pictures of their kids, or to my horror, the actual kid. I can’t tell you the number of times I had a little person ordered to “sit still for Mommy so that Kadi can see exactly the color she needs to do”. I thought, holy shit, I’m in Never Never Land with an endless parade of Wendys! But then, things changed when my close friend gave birth to the most angelic, cherubic blonde babies, who have become my unofficial niece and nephew, and it finally clicked.
In all of my personal experimentation, my ultimate goal was to try and emulate the hair color I had as a baby. It was the perfect shade of golden auburn, and suited my complexion so well. And in the end, what I try to encourage in my clients, and anyone thinking of taking the plunge into coloring their hair, is to stay close to what we were all given at birth, because very few of us are lucky enough to be color chameleons a la Linda Evangelista.
This weekend my nephew turned 4, and I spent most of the weekend sticking a camera in his hair, eager to recreate his perfect combination of wheat and golden blonde highlights on my clients. I’ll never have blonde ambition again for myself, but I can certainly appreciate naturally gorgeous hair color. So, yes, I stand humbly corrected. If you’re thinking of coloring your hair soon, whatever the shade, bring on the baby pictures, or better yet, bring the kid.
A special thank you to Eugenia Kuzmina.