Hairstylist Christine Symonds on the perils of going platinum.
“When I was in beauty school at the [Vidal] Sassoon Academy in Santa Monica, I begged my color teachers to take my long, dark hair to a shade of icy white blonde. They refused, saying,
‘You can’t go from one extreme to another without doing it gradually.’
I couldn’t wait, so after school one day, my friend and I decided to bleach my hair. I hardly knew how to do highlights, let alone a bleach and tone job; the only coloring practice I had was on a mannequin head. We started slopping on the bleach, and left it on for quite a while as my scalp BURNED.
The first time we rinsed it off, my hair was neon orange, like a hazard cone. You could probably see it from space.
We thought going through the process all over again would fix the color; this time, we left the bleach on extra long, thinking it would finally be white. It didn’t work.
My hair was now a beautiful shade of neon yellow, stretching like cotton candy, and breaking off.
The next day, I went to school with a huge hood covering my head. My teachers knew something was up, and I knew I had to put my hair in their hands to fix it. At the end of the day, they were like: You’re in luck, one of our color correction models cancelled; we will fix your hair but we get to cut it however we want.
Our muse was Mia Farrow. I lost nine inches, but they got me SUPER blonde.
If I didn’t have the stupidity to color my own hair, I wouldn’t have ever taken the plunge to cut it short. After that, I ended up wearing my hair short and blonde for years.
It was a blessing in disguise.
— as told to The Thick