As a blonde I was a lazy dresser, I virtually lived in black knowing my bright hair was guaranteed to get me noticed but since going over to the dark side I rarely wear it.
Being a dark-haired girl in a town as ethnically diverse as mine means bright colours are an essential if I feel the need to stand out from the crowd.
Never one to get set in my ways, this weekend I've been back to black, road testing some recent car boot finds.
|River Island platforms, snaffled for an insane £1.50 yesterday morning|
So why did I dye my naturally blonde locks black?
After a hip replacement in 2006 the subsequently slow recovery process meant I was confined to the house for hours on end with only the mirror for company. My appearance had changed dramatically following the operation, the lines of pain etched on my face melted away, my eyes sparkled from the ability to sleep through the night for the first time in years, my spine straightened out and my legs were finally the same length, the orthopaedic shoe abandoned to the hospital waste bin. Even the eczema that had plagued me since childhood seemed to vanish overnight. I needed something dramatic to mark my rebirth.
|I've used some of the 1960s braid stash I bought on Thursday to make this headband.|
|1960s St Michael lace slip (50p, car boot sale), leopard print head scarf (50p, Salvation Army), Fabulous choker (won as part of Amie's giveaway), 1960s pearl & gilt bracelet (gift from Louise)|
I didn't want to chop off my hair and couldn't afford a sleeve tattoo but in a blinding flash of inspiration I realised that almost every woman I'd ever idolised was dark-haired so I sent Jon off for a couple of boxes of black hair dye instead and I've never looked back.
|Clockwise from top left: Sharmila Tagore, Grace Slick (with Janis Joplin), Amy Winehouse,Bianca Jagger, Siouxie Sioux, Chrissie Hyde, Meg (&Jack) White, "H Bomb" Helen, Raquel Welch, Mama Cass, Amy, Barbara Streisand, Cher|
As a blonde I could never put my finger on what I disliked about my appearance, I hated photographs of myself and simply couldn't relate to the reflection in the mirror, I knew I was a strong, intelligent and outgoing woman but the image reflected was always disappointingly wishy-washy and bland. The raven-haired woman who smolders back at me now exudes confidence, sass and pure rock and roll.
From the day I did it reactions were incredible. Men I'd known since childhood complimented me, my own father didn't recognise me, clothes I'd owned for years suddenly looked a million times better, when I went out with the girls I was hit on by cool guys young enough for me to have given birth to rather than the usual motley bunch of saddos. As a blonde in India I was used to be stared at, now I'm photographed, given gifts and asked what movies I've been in. Being a black headed bird rocks!
|1960s Italian-made wool trouser suit (£1), Original perspex and gilt chain belt (50p, both car boot sales), Melissa sandals (£3.50, Scope)|
Although I've lived as both a blonde and a brunette I'm not suggesting that us dark-tressed girls have more fun. Forget hair colour, it's having confidence in your appearance that makes for a happier life. If you're pleased with what you see in the mirror it's going to show and, as my Mum always told me, no-one ever loved anyone who didn't love themselves.
And with that I'm off for a slap-up Sunday dinner at Liz & Adrian's.
See you soon!
PS I dye my roots black every four weeks or so but only colour the entire length once a year, that's why it's lighter at the ends (and in decent condition).