tender flesh beauty

beauty in the real world.

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes

Except blonde asians, because weird.

I’ve always toyed with the idea of going blonde, but like my blonde Barbies, I would quickly put the idea back on the shelf. Going blonde involved bleach and regular maintenance. I wasn’t a fan of both, but then I started seeing all these glamorously grungy styles. Brunettes were bleaching their hair and letting their dark roots show. Hair was dirtied, tousled, and swooshed in ways that I hadn’t seen since Kurt and Courtney. Since I couldn’t do grunge fashion justice when it originally came out (thanks parents!), I thought this was my chance.

Here is Anne Hathaway as a glamorous punk for the 2013 Met Ball. I love her style, but I’m still undecided if I like, erm, her.

Leigh Leighzark of the Misshapes. A famous brunette who let her true blonde self come out for a few months. I love her because she’s a deejay the same way Jessica Alba is an actress.

Daria Werbowy in all the Céline ads. She’s not really blonde here, but her hair is perfectly matted and greasy. Yes.

My love, Michelle Williams for Louis Vuitton. It’s 1994 all over again!

Lastly, Emily Weiss of IntoTheGloss.com. We actually had the same peg, which was Karlie Kloss as a Kurt Cobain in an Interview Magazine shoot. How adorbs is she?

Hot blonde asians.

Soo Joo.

Charlotte Carey.

Let’s be clear. No guy really likes a blonde asian. No Filipino guy anyway. No foreign guy who is dating a Filipina likes it either. For them it’s unnatural and ratchet. They like Filipinas because of our natural golden skin, dark hair, and ability to find foreigners interesting enough to date. And what about my fellow Filipinas? Well, some of them thought I just wanted to be white. Yes, because blonde hair will conceal my genetics.

Let’s be clear guys. Asians who go blonde aren’t trying to look natural. Who are we fooling? We want blonde hair because we’re bored. We like blonde hair precisely because it looks fake. No amount of toning, highlights, and lowlights will let us pass as Scandinavians or the Wakefield Twins. And that’s perfectly fine with us.

It wasn’t easy. On the day I decided plunge into the world of double processing, I made the mistake of washing my hair the night before. The salon washed my hair again, right before applying the bleach. The bleaching itself didn’t hurt, but when they started applying the blonde dye— that’s when I started to literally feel the burn. I soldiered through, after being assured by a blonde asian seat mate that it was normal. But man, it hurt so bad— so bad that I wanted to stop midway, but that meant orange colored hair. I may have a skewed sense of beauty, but orange hair is not something even Rihanna can save.

After an hour of delirious pain, it was finally washed out and styled.

I was the proud owner of Malibu Barbie blonde hair. I loved it. Sadly, my scalp was is really bad shape. Not only was it really sensitive to touch, but there were hardened clumps of hair at the roots that I tried washing off the next day. After taking a closer look, I realized that my scalp had open wounds, causing liquid to ooze out and create the painful clumps. I initially tried to loosen the clumps (I imagined this was how extensions felt), but they were too painful. I had no choice but to leave it alone. After 4 days the wounds healed and my hair was clear again. This was was followed by a week of disgusting dandruff-like flakes. Large clumps of brown or reddish skin were falling and my scalp was itchy like hell. I figured this was the dead skin falling away and again left it alone. Mind you, I was washing my hair only twice a week to facilitate the healing process. After those two weeks, my hair was fully healed. And what did I do?

Well, I headed straight to another salon for some toning. What can I say? This time, I came prepared with unwashed hair. 3 days of non-washing to be clear. I also made it clear that I intended to grow out an ombré hairstyle. Thankfully, the salon staff listened well and made sure to check my hair and scalp. They added a low volume of peroxide and a very ashy blonde to tone down my bright blonde hair and blend in the dark roots. The result was a beautiful mix of ash white and gold blonde hair.

*Excuse my need for lipstick and bronzer in that photo. It was pretty early in the morning.

And now? Well, I plan on staying away from salons for at least a month. In the mean time, I hold out for as long as I can in between shampoos, relying on dry shampoos to take out grease and slept-in smell. And each time I do shampoo, I make sure to use a sulfate-free one and condition, condition, condition. And heat-styling? Only when I really need to. Thank God for good hair cuts.

Beauty wise, it’s near impossible to head out without putting on a semblance of a face. The need for color and definition is now greater than ever. Brows, lashes, lips, and cheeks. Always. The upside is that I can now wear paler-than-thou colors. Not bad at all.

Like Ms. Weiss described so aptly, I am now the proud owner of severely “dry and damaged hair”. Rock on. :-)