Dear Diary

June 13, 2012

Milestones, memories, and makeovers.


“YOU HAVE SO MUCH HAIR,” my friend lamented, violently raking bleach through my locks. I sat there grinning, watching episodes of RuPaul’s Drag Race and trying to ignore the bleach fumes that were burning my nasal passages and eyes. I was happy and expectant.

When my friend had called me earlier, saying that she was bored and that we should finally do my hair, I instantly agreed. “Make me look like a fake bitch,” I said. I wanted to be platinum blond—Britney and Sharon Needles blond. I told myself that I didn’t care how good it came out. I just wanted to look like an entirely different person.

We drove over to Sally Beauty Supply and I found myself in HEAVEN. Also a devotee of Claire’s, I now want to own everything in Sally’s: the hair extensions, the nail polish, and every single shade of the itty-bitty $1 lipstick tubes by the cash register. We picked out my desired shade of blond (platinum) and a couple of packets of bleach. Our total came to about $35. “Wow. That’s so much cheaper than when I went blonde,” the cashier said. We laughed knowingly. Getting it done professionally is soooo overrated! We knew everything about hair, and I was going to be a different person by the next day.

Fast-forward a few hours. We were only halfway through my hair and completely out of the chemical paste we were using to strip it of all life. One ride to Walgreens, a trip to Chick-fil-A, and 1,000 listens to Danny Brown’s “Monopoly” later, we were back at it—this time with fried chicken and tall Styrofoam cups of Hi-C.

By the time we had bleached my hair twice, it was well past midnight. At that point my hair had achieved a fiery orange, so we decided that tomorrow we would continue to bleach it until it was blond. “We’ll just buy more and show it who’s boss,” I said confidently as we went to bed.

On our fourth bleach the next day, I wanted to cry. My friend was doing my roots, and it felt like my entire head was consumed in flames. It felt like if I were to move my head at all, my entire head of hair would just slide off and onto the floor. A few minutes in, I said something close to “OWMOTHERFUCKERSHITFUCKSHITSHITNOOOO” and ran into the shower. No amount of cursing or rinsing could alleviate the burning and the bleeding of my scalp. When I got out of the shower, we finished watching Heathers, ate some macaroni and cheese, and decided that it was time for me to go home. “Just finish bleaching it later, and wear lots of makeup” was my friend’s advice.

When I got to my house, I pulled my baseball cap over my eyes and ran for the door. I didn’t want our neighbors to see. Words my friend and I had used to describe how I looked included: friendly crack whore, meth incarnate, Guy Fieri, and Kreashawn. IN MY HEART I knew it was wrong, but it wasn’t until my mother saw me that I decided to quit bleach forever.

Mom sighed and suggested that I call every salon in town—we only had two days before we would be leaving on vacation. No one would take me until my mom got her hairdresser to agree to do it the next day.

The salon receptionist knew who I was the second I walked in. Over the next three hours there were lots of “Oh honeys” from the hairdressers and lots of laughs and “What did you do to look like that” from elderly women getting their hair done.

By the end of my ordeal, my hair was a weird, ashy yellow color and a few inches shorter. Parts of my hair that turned green from the bleach still showed through, but I looked like a normal person again. I didn’t like it, but I can live with it for a few months.

I wish there were some PSA that said “don’t do bleach, kids” or that I knew someone who could have been a voice of reason. Still, I don’t really regret my bleaching adventure that much. I did for a second, but then my brother told me something that changed my mind. “Some people just aren’t meant to dye their hair. You’re one of them. Do you think Lena Dunham would do this?” I said yes, she would. He rolled his eyes. I walked away, covered my hair with a scarf, and felt OK about it all. ♦


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  • meels June 13th, 2012 7:37 PM

    woohoo, this is literally my favourite thing in rookie, i sit till about 1am waiting for here in london every week.

    Dylan-i totally feel like that sometimes, my parents divorced about 8 years ago and i do still think what if and all that. it’s a funny thing

    Naomi-that is probably the thing i think about most in my odd little brain, i’m always thinking about what my future self would think and how i would judge my 8 year old self in my 16 year old mind. age is definitely a weird thing

  • sherbert June 13th, 2012 7:43 PM

    dylan’s post- i’m one to cry about my parents divorce either, but just today i got sad about it anyway, and your piece really sounded with me. sometimes i think its the hardest to believe our childhood memories are so golden when we get older and we really see our parents. that they’re not as funny or smart or as perfect as we remember

  • sherbert June 13th, 2012 7:45 PM

    dylan- also i think your post had just enough sentimentality, nothing too syrupy

  • WitchesRave June 13th, 2012 8:03 PM

    Katherine – It was totally worth having your scalp feel like the underworld for a few hours because it meant we got this great diary entry, YAY!

  • pinnedtothepage June 13th, 2012 8:14 PM

    really enjoyed that last paragraph/those last lines, naomi!

  • Dylan June 13th, 2012 8:28 PM

    Minna, your collage makes my heart sing

  • rroseselavy June 13th, 2012 8:48 PM

    Naomi- Your entry is really wonderful. Just a few days ago I was having the same feelings, reading parts of my journal from just a year ago, even 2 months ago, and it scares me, actually. It scares me how quickly I change, like I have nothing to hold on to. Just fleeting from moment to moment. It frightens me, because I know I have to make decisions soon. I wish I could hold everything at once, too.

  • Abby June 13th, 2012 8:58 PM

    Oh, Katherine… I am so sorry ha. I don’t like my hair color that much, but I won’t dye it because it scares the poop out of me.

  • puffytoad June 13th, 2012 9:00 PM

    I’ve thought some of the same stuff that Naomi was thinking. Recently I’ve started to play around with telling myself that I really am a totally different person than I used to be. I don’t see the relation between the two (or more) versions of me because we could basically be completely different beings… Like really, what does fretting about what I’m going to do for a career and being a crazy liberal have to do with my dorky apolitical/republican self? Anyway, all the cells in your body by the time seven years passes, so… You could totally be killed and replaced by a clone of yourself with all your memories and it would be exactly the same thing!!!! OMG that is so scary okbye.

    • puffytoad June 13th, 2012 9:01 PM

      *formerly apolitical and such okay

  • lilylaughs June 13th, 2012 10:04 PM

    ok ruby this is really creepy. i also go to a all girls summer camp with a brother camp, play ukulele at camp, and this will be my fourth year :) we are not doing avpm but still… and also i get what you mean about school because i don’t like my school. its not like i don’t have friends or it’s a dangerous school or the education sucks, so i feel obnoxious for saying i don’t like it.

  • Kathryn June 13th, 2012 10:42 PM

    I think I get what Naomi is talking about. Sometimes I feel almost like I’m living in a flashback of my future self. I’m always thinking about what I will think of myself now when I’m older.

  • SweetThangVintage June 14th, 2012 12:01 AM

    AVPM <3

  • Pashupati June 14th, 2012 1:14 AM

    Katherine – I’m so sorry it happened, but I still find that funny, and I’ve decided to never ever bleach my hair. Thanks to you lot of persons will avoid doing the same mistake! I didn’t even knew it was possible for it to go so bad. God I’m sorry it must have hurt so much.

  • Tara June 14th, 2012 2:16 AM

    so in love with minna’s collage. the ‘greetings from california’ reminds me of the postcards she bought on our visit together and the collage diary is over all wonderful.

    katherine-so sorry about your hair but I second the remark about it making a good story
    naomi-I really relate to your ideas about looking back at the past and an old ‘you’. it’s crazy isn’t it?? also I get being both old and young at age eighteen. sometimes our brains work in similar ways dear naomi

  • KatGirl June 14th, 2012 2:27 AM

    Ruby: Girl’s camps are awesome!!! I’m going to a camp this year where they have green pancakes. I hope you have a really good time :)

  • saltwater June 14th, 2012 5:25 AM

    naomi, i can relate to everything you’ve written here. especially since i’m starting university in september, i’ve been getting so nostalgic for the present and it’s a weird sensation.
    dylan, your entry is so sweet this week and the van morrison mention struck a chord because brown-eyed-girl makes me nostalgic for having my young parents all to myself.
    katherines entry has convinced me not to dye my hair blonde this summer because i was totally tempted to, and ruby’s entry is the second thing in two days to make me wish i were going to a summer camp this year (the first thing was seeing moonrise kingdom).

  • GlitterKitty June 14th, 2012 11:18 AM

    This may be a bit out there but I think these were the best set of diaries yet.

  • Mom June 14th, 2012 8:33 PM

    I know what you mean–even with all the heartache of the last few years, I miss that family feeling and I love the memories of those moments. I cherish you Dylan.

  • Dylan June 14th, 2012 10:56 PM


  • Lizmaster3000 June 14th, 2012 11:30 PM

    Katherine I LOVE you. you look fabulous even in meth-addict-orange hair. with some cat-eye, of course. lol and HEATHERS. I still have it on amazon. what was that one thing they said? like a catch-phrase type thing? i’m going to watch it again to see. it was so hip. i also amend my statement to you *are* fabulous and look… uniquely beautiful… with orange hair. love ya, fart face.

  • Miss Erin June 15th, 2012 2:24 AM

    Dylan, I relate to your entry so much. Thanks for putting it into words. Virtual hugs~~~

  • ebbab June 15th, 2012 12:50 PM

    I’m very happy I noticed Dylan’s text, I relly feel the same sometimes.

  • Lucille June 16th, 2012 11:12 AM

    Ruby, hope you’ll have much fun!

  • Sorcha June 20th, 2012 12:07 AM

    Katherine honey, just put a cool color on it now

  • guiltfreedonut June 28th, 2012 12:44 AM

    Dylan, I don’t think that “growing up” means your ditching your childhood, and I don’t think that the memories have stopped because you have grown up.

    When I was 12 my parents got divorced and we moved across the country away from my childhood home and memories. Anytime that someone mentioned my hometown I felt a surge of sadness and longing. Four years later and I still miss it more than anything. But I’ve learned that I’m able to appreciate having it even more.

    If I had that picture perfect-ness all along I don’t know if I would be able to look back at my younger years with such fond memories.

    It’s up to you to create new ones. You’re never to old!

    • guiltfreedonut June 28th, 2012 12:44 AM

      too* old, sorry. ugh.