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Image / Style / Beauty

Tempted to dye your dark hair blonde? Avoid catastrophe with these less permanent alternatives


by Sarah Finnan
09th May 2021

Taylor LaShae / Instagram

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People with dark hair, I feel your pain. Dyeing our mops usually isn’t an option, at least not without causing serious damage… so, what can we do instead?

Every single summer, I decide that this is the year I’m going to drastically change up my gruaig. Often spurred on by images of fellow brunettes donning new ‘dos, I somehow convince myself that bleaching my hair à la Kendall Jenner or Selena Gomez is actually a good idea – a feat that is decidedly less feasible this year given that I’d be going it alone, without the supervision of a qualified hairdresser. 


Thankfully, I’m rarely brave enough to undergo my transformation plans and they remain as nothing more than tiles on my Pinterest board – taunting me every time I log on. That being said, too much “sameness” and I get bored, so though I’ll be holding off on the hair dye (for a little while longer at least), I may consider one of the below options next time the new hair, new me urge strikes again. Far less permanent, and far less likely to go awry…

Hair accessories

Let’s start slow, shall we? From hats to bandanas to luxe diamante encrusted headbands, headwear has gotten a serious upgrade in recent years and I have to say, I’m all for it. I bought some funky gold clips in Mango pre-Christmas time and they’ve been sitting in my drawer just waiting for an appropriate occasion to break them out ever since. The return of outdoor dining is (hopefully) imminent, but while our outfits may be hidden under layers of coats, scarves, shawls, and any other pieces of fabric we can drape around ourselves in an effort to keep the cold at bay, our heads are going to shine. Scrunchies, scarves, sparkly patterned hair claws – anything goes and hair accessories really pop against dark hair, so embrace your natural colour and don’t be shy. 

 

 

Fake fringe

For a gal considering bleaching her hair, you’d think that committing to a real fringe wouldn’t phase me, but you’d be wrong. I’ve toyed with the idea of getting a fringe on and off for several years now but unsurprisingly, I have yet to follow through. Partly because I know it will entail a lot of maintenance – something my lax beauty routine won’t take too kindly – and partly because I’m still slightly traumatised by a particularly bad teenage haircut. Don’t ask me why, but I chose to combine a full fringe with a just-under-the-jawline bob… the result putting me closer to Coconut Head from Ned’s Declassified School Survival Guide than the photo of Audrey Tautou I showed my then-hairdresser. 

Margot Robbie has recently made me consider biting the bullet and going for it once again, but I’m more cautious this time around. So, perhaps a faux fringe will scratch the itch enough for now. Otherwise, curtain bangs are a slightly more subtle way to ease up to a full fringe.

Get the chop

This one is a bit of a no-brainer… if you can’t dye your hair (or at least dye it enough for there to be a noticeable difference), then getting the chop is probably the only real way to mix things up a bit. I flip-flop between hairstyles depending on my mood – proclaiming that I want a blunt collarbone-length cut in one breath, complaining that my current hairdo isn’t long enough in the next. However, with hairdressers on the brink of reopening their doors for the first time in several months, the need to do something impulsive has never been more potent and I might just do something drastic this time, you know. 

Supper shaggy hair seems to be the trend of the moment. Very 70s, very cool, it adds fullness and direction to your hair and all with little to no effort needed on your part. What’s not to like? Think Miley Cyrus, Florence Given… even Monica Geller that time Phoebe cut her hair to look like Dudley Moore.

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