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I Went from Brunette to Blonde in 24 Hours: Here’s What I Learned

TikTok’s newest hair trend is returning to your natural hair color. I took a risk and bleached my hair to blonde. It was a horrible mistake that led to hours of crying. Within a day, I dyed my hair back.

Credit: Shutterstock/Sofia Zhuravetc
Credit: Shutterstock/Sofia Zhuravetc

TikTok’s newest hair trend is returning to your natural hair color. I took a huge risk and bleached my brunette hair to blonde. It was a horrible mistake that led to many hours of crying. Within a day, I dyed my hair from blonde, and then back to brown. Bleaching my hair was expensive, but the lesson I learned was priceless.

Having brown hair my entire life, I was always curious about what it would be like to be blonde. Blondes seemed to have a confident energy and allure that is unattainable for girls with darker hair. The Barbie movie coming out in 2023 stirred an inner longing I have been experiencing since I was a child. I longed to be blonde.

Always the brunette, never the blonde

Having a blonde best friend, I felt forced into a brunette identity. I never saw my hair color as a personality trait. To my blonde best friend, her hair color was part of who she was as a person. When we compared ourselves to television show characters, she had to be Serena Van der Woodson or Alison Delaurentis (all of the blonde characters).

I hated that deep down, I related more with the brunette characters portrayed by the media. Being uptight, intelligent, anxious, and incapable of feeling comfortable or confident in my skin, their stereotypes resonated more. Instead, I wanted to be the carefree and effortlessly glamorous blonde. 

One television show scene that struck a chord with me was from an episode of an old Disney channel show, I Didn’t Do It. In one episode, “Logan’s Run,” two brunette characters accuse the blonde character of living in a ‘blonde bubble.’ It was the first time I had come across this term, but it embedded itself in my mind. 

The ‘blonde bubble’

It made sense. My entire life, I have been treated differently because of my hair color. No wonder all of the boys had crushes on my best friend. Now, it was as clear as day why I felt people were kinder and more drawn to the blondes in my life rather than myself. They were living in the ‘blonde bubble’ reserved for the Blake Livelys and Margot Robbie’s of the world. 

As I struggled through high school with a lack of inner confidence and loads of insecurities, I always held these beliefs in the back of my mind. Over time, my theories were more correct over and over again.

There was the rise of Sydney Sweeney instead of Alexa Demi following the premiere of Euphoria. In 2023, the biggest TikTok star was Alix Earle, a blonde bombshell whose carefree and effortlessly glamorous content garnered her millions of views. Were blondes having more fun?

Dying my hair blonde

At the beginning of 2024, I began a Pinterest board called “Going Blonde 2024”. Simultaneously, a new trend was unfolding on TikTok. The trend was going back to your natural hair color. I first caught a whiff of the trend when I saw Valentina Attard’s video on my For You page with the caption, “Going back to your natural hair color>>>.” The video featured a transition of Valentina with bleached hair followed by her with a short, stylish black bob. As of now, the video has 4.6 million views. 

@valentinaattard

And obvi bring back the bob from kinder

♬ back to black – 🙂

After a consultation at my local salon and paying a deposit, I had only a few days until my appointment. During those days, I looked through my Pinterest board and manifested the perfect head of blonde hair. Like anyone about to make a huge change, I had some reservations, but I chalked them up to nerves. 

The appointment day arrived, and I was excited. I felt that this was the beginning of a new me. What could be a better way of reinventing myself in the new year than a whole new look? My stylist was lovely, talking me through what we were going to do–a full head of highlights.

Almost an hour later, my head was heavy with foils, as though the bleach was an alien agent attempting to access my brain. I wanted that bleach-altered mindset. I couldn’t stop smiling. 

Then, the foils came off. My hair was washed, toned, washed, and dried. I stared in horror at the salon mirror. 

Realizing dying my hair was a mistake

Everyone has had an experience where they hated their hair as the stylist was finishing. I pushed my tongue to the roof of my mouth to keep from sobbing. Yet, there was no turning back.

Then, the stylist asked, “What do you think? Do you like it?” And though I was thinking, no, I hate it, I said, “I don’t know, it’s very different.” 

Tapping my card, I walked home a blonde. As soon as I was in the privacy of my house, I stared in the mirror and forced myself to smile. It lasted all of three seconds before I began to bawl, crying heavily over the hours that followed. 

@nataliekaiansleyy

Been an audrey all my life so lets give marilyn a go #blonde

♬ dźwięk oryginalny – Old Hollywood 🖤
@nataliekaiansleyy

I cannot stop crying— how am i meant to go out in public like this #blondehair

♬ we’re not alike – Tate McRae

Everyone in my life told me that I needed to give myself time to get used to it. However, I was confident in my hatred of my new hair. Unfortunately, this wasn’t a terrible outfit I could simply take off; it was permanent. Permanent and expensive. 

Going back to brunette

Needless to say, I cried myself to sleep. My mother suggested I call the salon the next day. I spent the night crying and rehearsing how I was going to ask the stylist to take me back to brunette after she spent so many hours making me blonde. 

Thankfully, when I called the next morning, the salon owner was amazing. She asked me to come back to the salon right away so they could dye my hair brown. I’ve never been more relieved. 

As she painted my hair with dye, I felt the weight lifted off my shoulders. If I didn’t consult my bank account, it would be like the blonde had never happened. 

Gen Z is appearance-obsessed

Now that I’m back to brunette and have gotten the blonde out of my system, I have a few revelations I will be taking with me into 2024. 

I thought that changing my hair color would give me confidence and attractive energy. All my life, I’d perceived that a blonde’s confidence was akin to her hair. However, I have never felt less attractive than when I was blonde. I’ve discovered that attractive energy doesn’t come with making a superficial change. 

Gen Z is probably the most appearance-obsessed out of all the generations. We constantly walk around with accessible mirrors. Whenever we want, we can check our makeup or hair on our cellphone cameras. If you don’t like what you see, you can use a filter or change yourself to look like a filter in real life. These changes are possible through various procedures, including Botox, filler, nose jobs, etc. Ironically, as appearance-obsessed as we are, we are also simultaneously the most insecure. 

Attractive energy comes from within, not from blonde hair

Through my experience, I found that attractive energy does not come from making significant changes. Sometimes, significant changes to your appearance can help you feel confident, resulting in attractive energy; however, they aren’t necessary. Attractive energy is open energy. When we go out into the world, and we make eye contact and smile, we have open energy. That embracive energy is what attracts people.

So, my advice is this, before you make a significant change to your appearance, whether it be dying your hair or getting lip filler, make sure you’ve first tried to have attractive energy in your natural form. In a world where we are constantly being pushed towards an impossible beauty standard, we realize that attractive energy and confidence are inward, not outward. 

Written By

I'm a recent graduate of the University of Buckingham in England, receiving my Bachelor of Arts in Digital News and Media. Outside of content writing, I am passionate about social media and digital marketing. When I'm not working, I'm aspiring to publish my fantasy novel.

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