Battle of the Blonde

Today, I decided to conquer one of the greatest challenges of my experience thus far. It required preparation and planning back in September to decide how I was going to handle this major hurdle. I thought that my plan had worked, and that I would be okay, but alas…no.

My roots have started to grow back in.

In my hair prime (featuring Sara, who returned home from a semester in Europe with natural highlights. Ugh.)

In my hair prime (featuring cousin Sara, who returned home from a semester in Europe with natural highlights. Teach me your ways. Ps. Miss you.)

It’s very troubling for me to admit that, yes, I do highlight my hair. The white blondeness of my babyhood faded sometime during high school, and to stay above the gray area that is ‘dirty blonde,’ I do regular maintenance on my locks. When I got my last fix in December, I prayed that it would last me long enough to when I visited Spain or Italy and spent days in the sun. Didn’t quite work out that way.

I first noticed that there was a problem in Spain a few weeks ago. Or rather, someone else pointed it out to me. My Japanese friend, another study-abroader in Edinburgh, was learning the English words for hair colors.

“You are…blonde?” She asked, tilting her head.

“Yep! Blonde.”

She looked at me very seriously. “Naturally? From birth?”

Oh no. I swallowed hard. There was a chance my friend had never had any experience with highlights, and she certainly wouldn’t understand the troubles of being a 20-something blonde.

“Yes, I am!”

Satoko’s eyes flitted up to my roots. Oh Jesus. “Really.” It wasn’t a question. She stared at my roots.

In Granada, Spain, willing the sun to lighten me up.

In Granada, Spain, willing the sun to lighten me up.

I realized after flipping through several pictures that yes, indeed, my roots were showing. I can hear the criticisms and pleas: “You are studying abroad!” “Enjoy the hair liberation!” “Don’t waste your money!”

But I couldn’t help myself. With the next two months chock full of trips, aka hundreds of pictures that I will have to show everyone I have ever had any contact with, I would like for my hair to not divulge its secrets. Especially since it is extremely embarrassing for a blonde-from-birth girl to admit that she needs to do something to keep it looking, well, blonde-from-birth.

House of pondering and a box £4.99 Nice N’ Easy later, this blonde is back in business. I felt the Study Abroad Universe punish me once, though; I got the mix in my eye and scared the living daylights out of my flatmates. Thankfully, Mom and Dad, not much harm done. (Although I may need another box of contacts soon). Even if, for some reason, temporary blindness sets in…at least I’ll be blonde.

Bless our little heads.

Bless our little heads.