Best-Of Advice

On changing your hair

You’re blond, right? I don’t know why I think that, maybe you put a photo or something once, but it’s relevant… OK, so here it is. Do you think there is an age where a woman should stop dyeing her hair blonde? Or she should slowly do a darker hue? I’m in my mid 30s and have been a (well done) bottle blonde since my late teens. My mother is in her 60s and still going blonde, and I think it looks tacky and graceless. When should I change mine? Should I go brown or just a darker blond?

Sorry for the stupid question, but this is the internet.

I will neither confirm nor deny my status as a blonde, but I will tell you that this is not a stupid question. It may seem superficial, but there’s a lot going on here, so strap the fuck in, because we’re gonna go pretty deep.

First, a word about my grandmother. She was a wily old lady who loved to gossip, and perhaps my favorite of her many quirks was to comment loudly whenever someone she knew changed their hair.

“A woman’s hair is her crown,” she would say. “If she’s doing something different with her hair, that means she’s doing something different with her life.” My grandmother was right, of course. It could be big or small, internal or external, but a change in your hair always reflects a change in your life.

That brings me to you and your mother, two bottle blondes from two generations, both dealing with two of life’s major transitional phases. There’s a reason marketing demographics break down into ages 18-34 and 35-55, and it’s no coincidence that you’ve been blonde from your late teens up to now when you’re in your mid-30s.

You are passing from young adulthood to middle adulthood. It is a significant transition into a completely different stage of psychosocial development, and of course, it’s the reason you’re asking this question about your hair color.

Your mother is also passing from middle adulthood to late adulthood. It’s just as significant a transition, one she might not be prepared for yet. Her resistance to that change is reflected in her refusal to be anything but blonde, which is why you think her choice to keep the same color is tacky and graceless.

For each of you, your blonde hair represents a part of your identity. You seem ready to acknowledge the changes in your life. Your mom, not so much. That’s fine. You should both do whatever the fuck you want to do with your hair, but since I can tell how these things are gonna play out, let me go ahead and predict your future.

After reading this, you are going to go significantly darker with your hair. You won’t go all the way brown, but you won’t be blonde anymore either. Your friends will say it makes you look younger. Your mom will say it makes you look older. (For the record, you’ll look pretty much the same.)

After a few months of minor adjustments where you go a bit darker, you’ll settle into the new color. Eventually, you’ll catch yourself looking at pictures when you were blonde and you’ll wonder what in the hell you were thinking.

At some point, your mom will turn up with brunette hair. She will credit you as her inspiration for going non-blonde. This will be true, but not for the reason you think. She will refer to her new look as her “natural” color, which is kind of ridiculous, but you’ll let her get away with it, because that’s what daughters do.


4 thoughts on “On changing your hair

  1. She has the wisdom of a natural brunette (or other) who has spent many years as a blonde. Can’t be sure what color Coke’s hair is now but I remember her post about convertible harassment and it made me think blonde also.

    • Rimi says:

      Fuck! I remember that post! A while ago now innit – on the personal blog? Jesus, even though I still think the internet is the toilet of our generation, I love stumbling across stuff like Coquette’s blog.

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