For the past six months or so, I have been hiding something. This secret has made me paranoid and self-conscious, greatly affecting my day-to-day life.
And now, dear readers, I share it with you all.
Beneath seven months of various hats and up-dos, I have concealed... Hideous regrowth.
Okay, so my issue is rather high on the Vapid Scale. But when the way you look and present yourself is a major factor in your career, molehills like this can become rather mountainous.
Let's rewind a little. It was late 2008 and I had just spent three months residing and modelling in London. My agency there, Storm, had had my hair darkened slightly to suit the English market, but on my arrival home in Sydney, Chadwick sent me to have my hair caramelised and lightened a little. In December, I was set to begin work on my first feature film, LBF. The script, based on a cult Australian novel entitled Living Between Fucks, called for my character, Tanya, to have bright pink hair. I was assured that this could be achieved with a realistic wig. When the date for me to begin shooting drew nearer and no realistic hot pink wig had been located, it became evident that my only option was a a tube of Fudge Paintbox hair dye in Pretty Flamingo.
The bullet was bitten.
Shooting continued sporadically until late 2009, meaning that every time I was close to fading the pink out, I was forced to replenish it. Don't get me wrong: I quite liked having pink hair. Plus, I definitely stood out as it was well before the current trend of coloured hair had taken hold; hot pink locks are now a dime a dozen! But it did severely limit the other jobs I could take on, so when my LBF scenes wrapped, a hairdresser doused my 'do in dark chocolate dye, which was replenished about every six weeks.
In early 2010, my ex-hairdresser mother quipped that it had been pretty silly of all of these hairdressers to use permanent dyes, as they are technically for those requiring grey coverage. This had not previously occurred to me. But I realised that at some point, I would need to return to my own hair colour, and that this might prove difficult. A hairdresser lifted a little of the colour out with a bleach bath, and I began using Schwarzkopf Live hair colours, which are supposed to wash out in a few weeks. Before any event or shoot, I had to smear my hair with colour and set aside the entire day to stay home, giving it an adequate amount of time to set in. After one or two washes, the colour faded significantly and I would have to re-apply. High-maintenance, much? You bet.
Around October 2010, a hairdresser friend proposed that he would slightly lighten my hair balayage-style, leaving it somewhere close to my natural colour. Yet on my damaged hair, the colour gradually became a brassy blonde with a red tinge. Silver toners helped a little, but my significant regrowth was becoming evident and soon I could no longer wear my hair down. Thus began six months of no dyes or toners, just buns, beanies and trims, desperation shining in my eyes as I became closer to a life with my true colour, one snipped inch at a time.
Now, on the eve after my salvation, we enjoy a trip down memory lane.
This is me in the middle of 2008, with newly caramelised and lightly blondified hair:
Here I am in late 2008, the pink elephant in every room:
Ring: V&A Museum gift shop, London
Smothered in layers of dark hair dye in early 2010:
|Dress: Natasha Gan|
Cuff: CC Skye
This is me in late May of this year, trying to grow out my nice natural colour, which contrasts heinously with the dyed ginger/blonde rest of my hair:
Finally, this is me post hair treatment at Stevie English Hair Salon in Glebe yesterday:
Watch: Tag Heuer
Now, to visit the salon every six weeks until my own colour is back in business.