Remember in the late 90’s when Katie Couric started to go blonde? She had that cute little bob, perfectly highlighted…I wanted that hairstyle. I should note I’m a dark brunette. I knew Katie was naturally one too. If she can pull it off so could I. Why not try it, right? “Mix it up a little! It’ll be fun!” was my train of thought.
My hairdresser at the time was named Peter. I loved him…Gave me awesome hairstyles and I trusted him to never steer me wrong. I’d come in and would lap up his “You’re simply gaaahgeous” compliments like cheap wine. And let’s not forget his cheek-to- cheek kisses either. He was good to his women clients…
So on this particular day I sat in Peter’s chair and said, “Peter sweetie, I’d like to try something different this time.”..He did his model strut towards my chair and immediately started tousling my hair. “What, dahling? Shorter? A razor cut? Growing it out perhaps? You can carry off anything pretty lady…”
As I spit out the hair that was now tossed in the way of my mouth, I said, “You know Katie Couric?....That dirty blond bobbed look of hers? I love it and want to try it. What do you think?” His eyes lit up with excitement, most likely because it meant a bigger tip, but I digress. He clapped his hands together not unlike a cheerleader, jumped up and down in place and said “Why haven’t I suggested that? Oh. My. Gawd. Of course we can do THAAAAT!” And that’s where my story REALLY begins…
You heard me mention I’m a natural brunette, right? Whatever Peter mixed resulted in a cheap “Sun In” kind of color. Remember that? The awesome hair product from the 80’s that gave you the same hair color as a Baboon, but somehow you thought you looked sun kissed? Yeah. That look was the end result of an afternoon in Peter’s chair.
As I stared at the burnt orange part in my hair I had doubts on my new hair color, but chalked it up to the lighting in the salon and left. Going home and checking my hair in my bathroom mirror, however, confirmed what I suspected. I wasn’t Katie Couric. I was the old church lady who sang badly in the pew next to me growing up. Old lady orange hair. Needless to say, I called the salon as frantically as I would have dialed 911 for a house fire…maybe even faster.
The following day, Peter flashed his megawatt smile as I sat in his chair. I think he knew I was screwed, but was going to try his best to sell me on the color. “We need to fix this. My hair is orange.” I said bluntly, essentially closing any debate he wanted to have. He spun me around in the chair as though he really needed a 360 degree look and said, “Let’s break it up. That’s what this color needs. You’ll love it with a few highlights thrown in!” Wanting desperately to believe him, I agreed.
After “tossing in some highlights” and blowing out my hair, Peter spun me around toward the mirror so I could see his repair work. I didn’t recognize the woman with the gaped mouth and slack jaw staring wildly back at me from the reflection. The end result was platinum blond. I’m not exaggerating. I’ve never been so stunned.
My dark eyebrows looked like two wooly worms that had taken refuge on my forehead. Playboy playmate blond…Some of you may like that kind of thing. Trust me, it wasn’t hot.
I spent three days as a platinum blond. And you know what? I did get a lot of stares. I wanted to believe it was newly found attention that I often heard accompanies blond locks. In reality, I’m pretty sure they wanted to know where I got my hair styled…so they could ensure they wouldn’t go to the same place. Oh, I also called into work during my time as a blond. True. I was that embarrassed.
I’m sure you dying to know what happened with Peter. I went back a third time and had him apply the darkest hair color he could find. Brown. No highlights, no lowlights. Mousy dark brown….We came full circle….kind of. In a bad way. I didn’t care. I was never so happy to call myself a brunette.
Needless to say, Peter and I broke up. I think he was just as happy as I was not to see me back in his chair. And I know that little pecker knew he screwed up and didn’t want his posh clientele seeing his handiwork.
So Katie Couric? Congrats on pulling off that look…Can I have the name of your stylist?