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Women

Black is back
Suddenly the blonde look became an embarrassment

By Leila Shirazi
September 29, 2003
The Iranian

I have to admit I'm scared. I'm terrified. I'm shakin' and quakin' in my boots.

Today's the day that I'm going in for the big HC... Hair Cut. It's probably not a big deal for most people. Go to the salon, sit in a chair, and voila! With a few snips of the scissors, you're fresh as a rose and ready to go out in to the world. For me, though, it's different. I'm not just cutting off a few inches of hair. I'm cutting off what remains of my journey into the evil world of hair dye. By tomorrow, the last traces of parched, blonde hair will be forever erased from my head. Probably a good thing, but I am scared.

It all started innocently enough. I swear! I had simply invested in a little do-it-yourself kit to run a few lighter streaks through my hair. You know, maybe give it some reddish highlights, make a statement. The results were nice but not nearly as bold as I had anticipated. So the next time I went to the store, I bought a little more dye and pulled a little more hair into the web of hair lightening.

Somehow, between those first few innocent episodes of experimentation and this moment, I ended up a full-fledged platinum blonde. A true peroxide addict with a once-a-month or more habit. I obediently sat for hours covering up all last traces of dark hair... processing my locks so intensely that they somehow ended up looking more like something to start a fire with than something to run your hands through or style.

Eventually, I had had enough! This summer, I went cold-turkey and completely cut myself off from all things bleach-related. I ignored the night-sweats, the terror at watching my "roots" grow in as proud and black as ever next to the white, frizz of a wig I had created. I went for the two-toned wrapped look and cloth headbands became my lifeline as I tried to mask the Oreo-cookie effect of my recovery process. I was horrified, but I knew it was a step I had to take. It was the only way.

Who was I fooling all those years, anyway? Dark eyelashes, dark eyebrows. and then BOOOOM! Blonde hair to rival Marilyn Monroe. It was only after letting my "real" follicles grow in that I realized how rich, shiny, and beautiful my natural dark hair could be. Suddenly, the blonde itself became an embarrassment. Something I couldn't wait to get rid of. Something I chastised myself for ever pursuing in the first place.

Yet now, as my appointment draws nearer, and I look in the mirror one last time... I am clinging to the last images of myself as a blonde. It's kind of my trademark; I am the blonde girl. But then again, I'm not. And I really never was. I have always been the dark-haired girl in a blonde's disguise. And finally, I am stepping back into myself. Back in to my own world. And I'll have to admit, it's a little scary.

The last traces of blonde are coming off today, replaced by the shiny dark universe they repressed for so long.

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