Image: Rosie Waterland
Four years ago, after a break-up, I decided at 4 o’clock in the morning that it would be a fantastic idea to dye my naturally blonde hair red.
So, I wandered up to the 24-hour Coles and bought two boxes of red hair dye. By 6am I was a red-head.
Biggest mistake I ever made.
Not because I hated the red. I quite liked it for a while, actually:
But when I finally decided earlier this year that it was time for the red to go, the torturous process of going back to blonde began. And I don't use that word lightly. It was torturous.
Any stylist will tell you that red is the hardest colour to get out of hair. It has to be done slowly, and you have to do it carefully so you don't ruin your hair. But I was in rush. Once I decided I wanted to go back blonde, I didn't want to wait. So I was really, really naughty.
I went to bunch of different hairdressers and lied about how recently I'd had it coloured.
The first one was okay, she bleached it to get the red out, then coloured it brown:
She said I could slowly go blonde from there.
"Yes. Slowly. Definitely," I reassured her as I left the salon. I then immediately booked an appointment for a different salon two weeks later.
My hair was in pretty bad shape by this stage - it was breaking at the ends and had clearly been recently bleached and dyed - so the next hairdresser would only do some blonde foils. I think she knew I was lying about 'definitely not having dyed my hair in over a year'.
It actually looked quite nice at this stage:
That was when I should have stopped. I had partially blonde hair. It was dry, breaking, and in terrible shape, but it was kind of blonde. I should have just left it.
But I was a woman possessed.
So, I decided to sneak into one final salon. I wanted to go one shade lighter, and I thought if I went to a dodgy, cheap place they wouldn't look suspiciously at my obviously recently coloured hair, and would just do whatever I asked.