A blonde and a brunette … swap hair colours!

November 20, 2014

New season often signals a new hair colour, so our team at FAJO decided to do a small creative experiment. Two of our photographers didn’t just go for a makeover — they swapped hair colours!

For Tara, this was the first time she opted for such a dark brunette shade, while for Aleyah it was a throwback to her blonde years.

FAJO's Tara West (left) and Aleyah Solomon.

FAJO’s Tara West (left) and Aleyah Solomon before the hair colour swap.

Leading up to their makeover at the Civello Salon, the ladies snapped some photos of themselves, and continued to do so during the hair colour swap, as well as for a few weeks afterwards.

They documented the entire experience and the comments from the people around them. Here is what happened!

Documenting the process

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Tara West – the blonde who became a brunette

“Soccer Mom”, “Whaat?”, “Makes you look younger”, “Change it back!”, “Love it!”

This hair-colour-change experience, has been exactly that —an experience! I listened to others. I watched the reactions, including my own, whenever I walked past a mirror and had a feeling I was looking at someone else.

Being predominantly blonde for most of my life, the “brunette deal” truly made me feel different. At first, perhaps not quite as much fun, bright or shiney as my beloved blonde days? Yet, I like the sophisticated and poised feel a brunette carries. I absolutely love the colour, enjoyed the reactions and the whole experience.

I discovered the need to wear different colours of clothing (surprisingly darker) and jewelry, as well as the need to darken my make-up. This meant a trip to my friend Carla, who provided some thicker lashes for me, which I felt were a must, to keep up with the dark frame around my face.

I also noticed that I needed to keep up with my hair. Vanessa, my awesome colour technician at Civello took great care of the initial new colour, a dark brown with a hint of caramel. But a few weeks after the experience, I realized what most women do after they do a colour change —I needed to maintain it! So I had to head over to my friend Lisa, who styled and cut my new do into a flirty and fun shape.

State of mind? Perhaps. Blonde, I will likely see you back in my life, but not before I get just a little more fun out of this brunette gal!

Tara after the hair colour swap.

Self-portrait: Tara after the hair colour swap.

Aleyah Solomon – the brunette who became a blonde

There’s something about change that adds an extra bounce to your step. Having gone brunette-to-blonde before, I thought I would be fine – no big deal! I know some people are sensitive to change, but I thrive on it.

However, once it was all said and done, I admit it wasn’t as easy as I thought: I was convinced it looked like it wasn’t my real hair. On day three, I still caught myself off-guard when I walked by a mirror, but was starting to feel like my appearance finally matched me as a person.

Blonde hair looks very natural on me, perhaps even more than my natural brunette. The general comment from people who knew me as a brunette was: “Aleyah, you look amazing as a blonde, you need to stay blonde!” I guess, because my mother is a blonde, it just suites me and I feel more natural with the blonde locks. Obviously, it had to be a certain blonde and Charise Bauman (assistant creative director for the Aveda Academy, Toronto) nailed it with the honey/caramel colour.

And, of course, with change comes even more change. From a style point, I feel like I actually need to apply make-up to finish my look, on top of putting more effort into styling my hair. Though, I still think throwing on a toque is enough for most days – perhaps, this is a sign I am meant to be a blonde!

When I agreed to this social experiment, I was more interested in the social aspect. I can’t say for certain if people have been treating me differently because of my hair or not, but I can say that I have been feeling more personable. That said, I feel that how people see and treat you doesn’t have much to do with hair colour, but rather how you present yourself and express your personality. All said and done, I will stay blonde for a while … until I need another change!

Aleyah Solomon after she became a blonde.

Self-portrait: Aleyah after she became a blonde.

FAJO Magazine would like to thank Civello for doing the hair colour swap for this article. Civello opened the doors to its Rosedale location in 1989 with a mission to inspire guests to feel and look their best. Now with seven locations between Toronto, Oakville and Chicago, Civello is a leading Aveda lifestyle salon and spa, and beauty and wellness resource centre. Connect with Civello at civello.com, or Facebook and Twitter.

Feature illustration by Gorbash Varvara, Shutterstock. All photos by Aleyah Solomon and Tara West.

By Aleyah Solomon & Tara West

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