The Accidental Blonde


Melissa Stagnaro

Most of the people I know seem to be incredibly cavalier about their hair color. They think nothing of sudden transitions which transform them from brunette to redhead to blonde and back again. Whether it is a full dye job or just some chunky highlights (or low-lights), changing the color of their crowning glory is something they do with little regard. In fact, they seem to enjoy changing up their hair color more often then most people swap out their bed linens.

I’ve always been the exception. An unfortunately high school incident, which left me with burgundy-tinted tresses for much of my freshman year and scarred for life, cured me of any desire to mess with my natural mousy-brown locks. Much to the chagrin of my friend Liz, I might add, who is absolutely addicted to her (increasingly blonde) highlights.

Fearing what would happen if I ever attempted to alter my hair color again, I resigned myself to being a brunette to the end of my days. Until that is, I started noticing a few too many silver strands in my otherwise dark locks.

My hair stylist, Penny, no doubt tired of my lamentations, suggested that a few subtle highlights were just what I needed to take my mind off my prematurely graying mane.

After months of dithering and self doubt, I conceded. And just before Christmas, I let the saintly Penny work her magic. She added just a few caramel colored highlights, but it worked. Any and all unsightly gray was effectively camouflaged and I felt all pretty and new.

Liz, of course, was thrilled. And she was practically cackling with delight a few months later, when I let Penny have her wicked way with my wayward locks once more, adding even more caramel to my coiffure.

Initially, I was a little worried that I’d gone too far, but I got used to it. I failed to anticipate Mother Nature, however, and the amount my tinted tresses would respond to sunny summer rays.

I didn’t realize just how much my hair had lightened up until last week, when I returned to Penny’s chair once more for a much-needed touch up. I left the salon decidedly more blonde than I’d gone in.

I don’t fault my lovely stylist because, in actuality, she left much of my hair as it was, just touching up the ‘rootage,’ so to speak. But to realize how light my hair had gotten was more than a bit startling to me. And I’m not the only one. My mother keeps staring at me. Liz, on the other hand, is no doubt doing some kind of happy dance.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m far from a platinum rating or anything. But it’s all a bit lighter than I was emotionally prepared. A few calming breaths, though, and I am more ready to go with the flow.

There’s no time like the present, I figure, to find out if blondes really do have more fun.