The Chop: "A hairdresser fried my hair, so I had to cut it all off"

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

They did.

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They basically just poured bleach all over my head. And it was a fucking disaster. My hair turned to jelly. It was breaking off all over the place. The blonde was yellow and uneven and awful. My boss Mia said it looked like Mice had been chewing on the ends of my hair. It was bad. I don't even have a photo because I was so ashamed.

So, I had no choice but to come clean. I booked into a proper, reputable salon (Edwards and Co.) and I was on strict instructions from Mia to do exactly what I was told.

The colourist was fantastic. I didn't even have to tell her about my web of colouring lies. She took one look at my hair and she knew. She said I just had to get as close to my natural colour as possible, so she asked to see some photos of me as a kid and tried to match that. It's the best colour my hair's been in years.


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Once the colour was done, Byron, the honest, glorious stylist that he is, said all my hair had to go. He said I had no choice. The ends were dead. They were deader than dead. No treatment on this earth was going to fix them. I needed to get my hair cut short. Really short.

I think he could tell by the panic in my eyes that I was freaking out. I've never had short hair, and I have a weird sense of femininity tied up in that. But he promised to make it look good. He also indicated (with the kind of authority that was hard to disagree with) that my ends were going to break off anyway, so I might as well let him cut it into a nice style.

I knew he was right. Six months of lying to four different hairdressers had ruined my hair, and it was my own fault. Having all my hair cut off was my punishment.

I closed my eyes tight and let him go for gold:

And look, it wasn't that bad. I was in shock at first, but Byron is a cutting genius and the style looks chic. And my ends no longer look like an exploded cigar.

This is the picture I took when I immediately left the salon (note the brave smile):


So that's the transformation. One 4am decision, four years of red hair and six months of lying to a bunch of different hairdressers. All of that gets you here:

Nobody ever let me near a box of red hair dye again.

Have you ever lied to a hairdresser to get your way? Tell. Us. Everything.