Nostalgia, change and... going back to blonde

April 4, 2014

kate wirth_new spring hair color_ brunette to blonde_before during after

I don't know what has brought it on, but I've been hit with a major case of nostalgia lately. I have experienced a downright painful longing to see my mother (it's been a year and a half), a persistent want to visit the US (it's been nearly three years) and most recently, an explicable desire to go back to being a blonde (that has been over four years). So after months of feeling bored and frustrated with my hair color and a fruitless at-home attempt to get to my desired shade, I decided it was time to enlist professional help and take a more pronounced step back towards the blonde I used to be.

Admittedly, I have enjoyed having darker hair for the last several years. I originally made the change to satiate my life-long desire to have red hair. My auburn locks that I grew long over a few years, at one point dying the ends a rich cobalt to fulfill my need for change, were glossier than any hair I'd ever had. Blond has the unfortunate side effect of dullness, especially when the color isn't natural. So I reveled in the shininess and only in the last year started to tire of the red, to which I then dabbled in various shades of brown, very warm dark blond and even a self-made foray into the world of ombré. When even indulging in my Garance-inspired haircut - my first-ever short hair - didn't quell my need for change, I knew I had to go a step further.

There is a reason blond hair is often associated with wealth - it's damned expensive. Since it's not something you can really do yourself and have it look good, budget-friendly options are few and far between. Lucky for me, I now live in Berlin, where this blond dye job was a fraction of the $200 a month I used to spend at the height of my blondness in California. After I clarified with my stylist that this endeavor wouldn't have us eating ramen for the next month, I felt ready to take the plunge. She carefully painted on the bleach for a more natural, faded effect and after sitting for only about 20 minutes - plus another 10 or so at the sink for toning - my desired effect was achieved: a soft, medium-dark warm blond. The old me was back.

kate wirth_new blond spring hair color_warby parker huxley glasses_smile

I'm not sure I've reached my desired level of blond for the long haul, but the immediate change is a refreshing one. The color softens my rather harsh haircut and I no longer feel like I need get more tattoos (which will probably happen anyway) or pack heat (never gonna happen) to live up to the edginess of my hair. It also makes me feel, four and a half years later and 5,000 miles from where I started, a bit like the person I used to be. I admit I've spent a bit of time feeling a little lost here in Germany, be it from career shifts, stumbling daily though a new language or just a plain old early mid-life crisis, but in some strange way, being blond again almost makes that person I hope to be here that much clearer in my mind. It marks a return to the person I always was, at least as far as my mirror is concerned, and that is reassuring. My husband, who married a bobbed, nearly platinum wife, and my mom, who waxes poetic about the little tow-headed girl she raised, are also pleased with my return to my roots. So to speak.

kate wirth_blond hair through the years_childhood collage

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