I am a huge Disney nerd. When I was a kid, I would watch The Little Mermaid over and over again, until all that was left in my head were the songs and dreams of becoming Ariel. It wasn’t just that mermaids are awesome (which they are). There was something about Ariel’s transformation that kept me captivated. I was fascinated by the idea that if you want to be something bad enough, you can make it happen, but also the juxtaposition that you just might have to sacrifice a little of yourself in the process.
I was born a blonde in a blonde household. My blonde-hair-blue-eyes combination has been a driving part of my identity, and I’ve consistently tried to put a stop to the “dumb blonde” stereotypes surrounding my ’90s-era adolescence. But secretly, I always wanted to be a redhead like Ariel. To me, a girl with red hair signified so many things: distinction, passion, curiosity. These were the characteristics I thought I embodied, but could never fully bring to the surface.
In college I tried, with little success, to achieve my aesthetic dreams using box dye and crappy rubber gloves — I was almost always disappointed. The color would wash out, turn pink, or just end up too dull. Never did I get the glowing red hair of that iconic mermaid. So I gave up, grew out my blonde hair, and buried that hidden desire to be someone different.
One thing that never left me was something a mentor told me: Dress like the person you want to be, not the person you think you are. She meant for the advice to be about showing up to every job interview with confidence in order to get the job you want. But I also learned that, as much as my inner self esteem is important, it sometimes takes some exterior work to help let it shine.
At the edge of turning 31, I felt it was time to embrace the inner fire that had been hiding behind my dirty blonde hair. I decided to go for the gorgeous auburn hue of my childhood dreams (again). No more box dyes for me. I put my look in the hands of the professionals at Sally Hershberger Salon.
Like Ariel, I wanted a change of scenery, a new perspective. Something as simple as a color switch up makes all the difference. There’s a reason they call it transformation — it’s like a whole new world.
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