On a recent flight to the west coast, I fell in love with Strawberry Blond, a hair color I hadn’t come across in a long while, a very long while. Yet, here it was, adorning the head and face of the stewardess and making me do a double take. She was probably in her late thirties and the look she was going for was something along the lines of the wholesome American “girl next door” that was popular in the 60’s. Her makeup was subdued and meticulously applied, giving just enough emphasis on her best features to suggest innocence paired with the maturity of a woman in her prime. Her hairstyle, like her makeup, while looking very natural in its simplicity, was in fact carefully arranged: a few soft curls, a few strands held back by a small barrette, framing her face perfectly. But what really pulled the whole look together was the hair color: Strawberry Blond illuminated with lowlights of a very fair, almost bleach blond. The perfect blending of the two colors brightened the face while giving it a soft and very feminine glow. It was striking, sexy and even classy, all at once. My imagination was quickly transported to another age and sphere I personally never experienced, but which her whole look exuded. I could see her in a cheer leader’s outfit smiling with infatuation and admiration at the quarterback crossing the field. The appeal was irresistible.
But it was a very early and very full flight and I never had the chance to get past the brief fantasy, as I quickly fell asleep, a blessing on these long flights. When we landed, I glanced one last time at the Strawberry Blond that had made my hair colorist’s heart skip a beat, and I stored the image in my mind’s already large collection of perfect hair color for future musings and inspiration.
That’s the power of color, that lasting first impression that is conveyed to all we meet. The color of our hair is among the first things that anyone identifies with us. When we describe others, it is among the list of characteristics we mention about that person, besides gender, height and body type. Hair color can help define our age, express our persona, even our health to the outside world. Nothing is more appealing than healthy, vibrant hair, regardless of who we are. And thankfully, hair color is one of the easiest and quickest things we can change about our appearance. The only challenge is getting right.
That’s where an experienced and masterful hair colorist comes in to play, one who not only recognizes and works to bring out our best features, but one who can actually visualize us beyond what nature and DNA has dealt us. Very few of us are born with the perfect hair color and even fewer are able to hold on to it through a lifetime. Lifestyles, diet, disease, stress and the passage of time combine to rob us of that initial beauty our hair was endowed with. But a talented colorist and hair dresser can restore the look of health, youth and most importantly positively bring out our unique physical and personal appeal, in the same fashion the person who realized Strawberry Blond did. How much better did Strawberry Blond feel about presenting herself before a full plane of passengers with that perfect hair complement to the look she was trying to achieve? That I will never know for sure, but my experience tells me probably boatloads.
This is the essence and passion of my role as a hair colorist. I partner myself with my clients to discover their inner and outer energies, then reach into my palate of premium hair colors and products to develop a combination of hair style and color that will give expression to their unique beauty. It’s what I do and what I love. The power of color.