I Don’t Wanna Dye A Virgin

“I don’t wanna dye a virgin….”

These were the words I heard when I stepped over the threshold of the Aveda Institute in Holborn for my hair appointment. At the time, many moons ago, I worked as a sales associate for the brand and was based nearby, in Selfridges. As employees, we were offered perks such as this one: a free cut and colour at the salon. Only I was about to be denied my trendy new hairdo.

Eyeing my naturally white-blonde hair dubiously, the colourist reached out and lifted strands of hair, as though testing the quality of it with her fingertips. “This is virgin hair….pale blonde virgin hair. It’s never been coloured before, am I right?”
I nodded my head silently in agreement.
“Do you know how much time, money and effort people put into achieving hair this colour?” she continued. “Weelll….no,” I mumbled, feeling chastised. “I was just a bit…bored I guess.” “Well, I hate to disappoint you, but I’m not prepared to colour this hair. It would be a crime. Nobody dyes hair naturally this blonde dark brown. I’m sorry, no can do. You’d regret it, I guarantee you. I’m having no part in it.”

That was about 17 years ago, and I’d never attempted to get my hair coloured again. Until now. Age 41, I was presented with an opportunity: four whole blissful weeks off work, free as a bird whilst my second home (ie workplace) – a boutique selling luxurious beauty products – is closed for a refit. The perfect opportunity for a semi-permanent colour. And hey, the hairdressers may not be willing to dye a virgin, but I’m not willing to die a virgin. I’m hurtling along the motorway of life at an alarming rate, and I want to do all the things; feels all the feels; see all the sights. If colouring my hair bright pink is on my bucket list, then I’m sure as hell gonna tick that box.

I start tentatively, with a Pick & Mix Rose semi purchased in Superdrug, which is pretty, but lasts approximately five minutes.

The second the first shampoo is rinsed from my strawberry blonde locks, any trace of the pretty pink colour disappears down the plughole with it.


Rose gold hair (unicorn shower cap optional)

I’m going to have to be bolder. This has never been a problem for me – I’m ballsy by nature. Time to bring out the big guns. I reach for the Schwarzkopf Shocking Pink hair dye. “Oooh, that’s going straight in my basket,” I say to myself in a camp voice (if you know, you know). I hesitate momentarily, before slinging another packet in for good measure.

Shocking Pink – there’s a clue in the title, Sam…

A few days later and I decide to get busy in the bathroom. Any attempt at prep goes straight out the window when I step back onto the opened tube of dye, Frank Spencer stylee, squirting hot pink worms all over the bathroom mat. Oops. It’s downhill from there: within half an hour the bathroom is like a crime scene, my hair is a deep shade of Ribena and my face is matching, having leant over the bath for what feels like an eternity rinsing all the dye out.
I flip my hair back to take a look. WOW. And not in a good way. It might look lighter when it’s dry I tell myself, scrubbing at the pink-splattered white tiles with my body exfoliating gloves.

It doesn’t.

I console myself with the knowledge that my “virgin hair” is less porous than bleached hair, so it won’t last long anyway. By the time I step off the plane from Ibiza and slip into my work uniform, my hair will be back to boring blonde once more. The fun and funky fuschia locks will be washed down the sink, along with the memories of a month of freedom….

Bucket list item ticked off, I’m safe in the knowledge that I won’t die a virgin. Phew! Talking of buckets, I’m off to stick one on my head until this angry shade of puce fades from my hair…and face.

Shocking Pink selfie. Oh, it’s shocking alright…


Sam x

UPDATE: despite the highligher-pen-pink intensity of the colour, it faded very quickly and was completely gone within a few weeks. I was actually sad to see it go! Next time (yes, there will be a next time!), I’ll buy the 3-pack below, mix it with a big tub of conditioner and use it after each shampoo to create a longer-lasting gentle pastel shade…;-)

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