On a chilly November day I illustrated the tumultuous decision my seemingly naive sixteen-year-old self faced: whether or not to annihilate my scalp to achieve white-blonde perfection. Now, six months later, I seem to be almost unrecognizable to the unknowing acquaintance. In short: I finally transformed myself into the idolized white-blonde beauty I have long dreamt of evolving into! This explanation, in fact, is long overdue, seeing as I murdered my hair mid-March, so bear with me as I transcribe to you the journey of losing my hair virginity.
Convincing myself to head to the brighter side of life, so to speak, was probably a more painful burden to bare than actually bleaching my hair. I am proficient in the passive-aggressive skill of indecisiveness and big decisions are truly not my forte; time and time again, however, I find myself ignoring all equations of logic and simply following my instincts, intuition, and gut. Nonetheless I pondered this decision for weeks and weeks after writing that first article, battling resistant pros and cons, until I finally mustered enough courage to finally go through with it in March. In this four month period of personal debate, I actually dyed my hair darker... go ahead, laugh! Obviously it makes total sense to darken my already dark brown locks whilst contemplating attempting practically white hair! Sometimes you have to take a step backwards before you sprint six miles forwards.
Regardless I booked my appointment with my ever-loyal hairstylist Phoebe and fought off the nerve-ridden thoughts that were creeping into my mind. When I first stumbled upon the concept of bleaching my hair, I was concerned that I was yearning for such a drastic physical change because I was missing my dad and was stressed over school. When I booked the appointment and finally committed to the action, I only felt nervous about whether or not I would look ugly. Juxtaposiing those rather opposite concerns showed me that going white-blonde wasn't about running away from grief and/or stress, but instead about accepting change; I've had a rollercoaster of a year, with many more downs than ups, and my hair is something I could control and change just how I would like it. So that was that: I was going white-blonde to please myself because I wanted to. Simple. As. That.
My boyfriend at the time wasn't fully on board, and my mother was extremely against the idea. Being the two most rightfully opinionated people in my life, I patiently listened as they blabbed on about how my natural hair was the most gorgeous. But since boys are dumb and I was funding the transformation by my lonesome (and when you are a teenager your mom is ALWAYS wrong), what did I have to lose? Let me tell you: ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. I was going to become a white-blonde if it killed me (or, well, all my hair).
Here we have reached the part of my archetypal quest where I will skip all the mumbo-jumbo of research I performed (hours upon hours of scouring magazines, blogs, websites galore) and inspiration pictures I saved to my phone (ten gazillion photos of my ultimate obsession, model Sasha Luss) and just jump right ahead to the climax. When the highly anticipated and dreaded Hair Day arrived, I sauntered into the salon thinking I was prepared for what was coming my way. Has anyone ever told you that bleach fucking kills? Yeah, well no one told me! My pain tolerance is extremely low and, sitting helplessly in the salon chair with blue bleach plastered across my entire scalp, I felt like I was dying. For a total of almost four hours, my hair was bleached twice, toned twice, and was left the color of the inside of a banana peel (a comparison I particularly like, as I love bananas). My previous dark dye job was to blame for this unfortunate predicament; Phoebe couldn't get all of that residually dark dye out of my hair, and even chopping an additional inch or so didn't solve the issue. It wasn't white-blonde; it was definitely more blonde than I had wanted, but Phoebe wisely refrained from bleaching it any more as to avoid balding. I was to embrace the yellowy-blonde hair for just two weeks, and after Spring Break I would come back to Phoebe to finish the transformation.
During the two weeks of waiting, everyone seemed to fall deeply in love or hate with my hair. A surprising number of individuals adored it, and an expected mass of people seemed to want to puke upon seeing me enter the room. I mean hello, it's just hair! Truthfully I hated my hair during this waiting process, and my mother did too. But soon the two week period was up and I was back in Phoebe's salon chair, anxiously surviving a third bleaching session and the application of a new purple toner that would work to strip all the yellowy, brassy color out of my hair. Here Phoebe and I hit road-bump numero dos: the toner left my hair yellow-free, but lavender. And not the sexy lavender most girls secretly ache for; this was splotchy purple that was not the cutest. Back to the sink we went, and used a sulfur-smelling emollient to strip the purple from my hair. AT LAST! The white-blonde miracle was achieved, and in that moment, I had never been happier.
Since that fateful fixing day, I have almost fully learned how to operate with this new head of hair. No one recognizes me, which is perfect for me because I am obsessed with shock factor and partial anonymity. My boyfriend dumped me because he hated my hair... JUST KIDDING! But he did not like my hair at all, and when we did part ways for totally different reasons I realized I now attract an entirely different group of males/females/frogs. My now hair as this incredible texture that enables me to do absolutely anything, from Miley buns to sexy bedhead, with literal effort. The fashion world is obsessed with the concept of everything "effortless," and now I am the epitome of just that. I am forcing myself back into makeup, a layer of time I have abandoned for almost three months now, because the extra-white pigment of my follicles brings out the natural redness of my cheeks. My roots are now growing in, which makes the starkness of my black eyebrows less severe. Overall, I find myself to be a white-blonde beauty, and I love how I look. No matter how many boys tell me I "was so beautiful as a brunette" and how many girls shamelessly stare (in judgement? awe? embarrassment? who knows!) at me as I float down the hallways, I will continue to be so content with my hair, myself, and my life.
Since I can only wash my hair twice a week (but I shower every day, never fear!), sometimes my hair is more grey than white, more ashy than bright, more messy than chic. Call me Lemon Head, Grandma, or Molly Blake Mintz: This new white-blonde hair will be taking center stage for many more thoughtful months to come.
Molly Mintz, wearing a T by Alexander Wang shirt and Zara leather skort, photographed by Maddie Hicks.