Saturday, June 29, 2013

Hair Color: The Agony and the Ecstasy

One of my icons, Rita Hayworth, who wore her hair very dark, red, and blonde.
 So as some of you who are my Facebook friends have the misfortune to know, I have been obsessed with my hair in the last couple of months.  When my hair doesn't feel right, I'm in a state of permanent crisis, resembling a wet cat -- profoundly miserable until my hair is fixed, and hilarious to everyone except myself.  
This is me.
I've been using henna to intensity for red hair for about the past year, and the shade got progressively darker and more intense -- something which I absolutely loved, actually, but which occasionally earned comments from industry that it was too "punky" and would prevent me from getting roles. So I started re-thinking my red, and re-thinking my hair color in general.  Henna is notoriously hard to get out of hair, like a bad boyfriend it just clings and clings.  And I also have wanted to avoid conventional dyes, which recent research links to all sorts of rare and scary cancers.  So I visited Shades, a salon on Doheny in Beverly Hills which specializes in natural color.  It took a couple of visits to keep a lot of the henna out and lighten my shade to a more natural strawberry red, although it's still a bit untidy-looking.  And truthfully, I have always been attracted to "alternative" color.  Why color your hair if it's not really fun?  So a more dull shade is taking some getting used to.  
Here I am with my new strawberry hair color.  Red goes crazy on camera, it's like Spring Break for color.  In person my hair is duller and much less red.
And I've thought of going blonde again or going dark.  There's been such a massive trend towards brunettes in Hollywood, both in casting and in terms of what colors actresses dye their hair.  The only frightening thing about going dark is that it requires more of a commitment, since you cannot instantly bounce back with a lighter shade.  
My daydream of going dark: could I be like Kristen Stewart, who's career didn't ignite until she went for dark hair?
My nightmare of going dark: or could I be like Scarlett Johansson, who only truly shines in buttery blonde?  And then how could I get back to light hair without frying it?
All of this makes me fondly recall my teenage era when I had short hair and I could change hair color basically on a whim.  Of course, I was also young and foolish and didn't care that I wasn't turning my hair into straw.  Ah, those were the days!
Emma Stone in every shade: blonde, red, and brunette.  I'd love to have a magic wand to try all these colors for a few days with no damage to my hair.  I'd magically get headshots in every color.  Emma, can I borrow your wand please?
I had photos taken of myself in some truly atrocious wigs, to see what I looked like now with different colors.
Me in scary wigs: yes, it's come to this.  The cute brunette wig appears courtesy of Kim Airs, who uses it in her stage act where she becomes a man.  Thank you Kimmy!
And I've been browsing through all the Google search photos of actresses who've paved the way by trying absolutely every hair color, which is fascinating in itself.  Sometimes it isn't until an actress stumbles upon the right hair color that she becomes successful, and I think as women we apply that to ourselves as well -- the perfect hair color will magically make our skin color glow, make everyone love us, make the world shine.  All the gates that were closed to us because we had despicably uncool hair will now be opened, and the good things will come. This is the promise and the mystery of changing your hair, escaping your role in life and creating another one.  It's a little silly and hyperbolic and somehow very, very irresistible.
So I've compiled some photos of my favorite hair colors changes....I'm living vicariously through these women until I find my own magic shade.  Keep your fingers crossed for me everybody!