A Hair Transformation ft. Salon Bordel

vor 3 years

Our editor experiences the Holy Hair Trinity

There was something incredibly beautiful and angelic to being blonde … When the sun hit my hair at certain angles, there was glimmer out the corner of my eyes. Sometimes this would last for twenty minutes if I set my beach towel or patio chair just right. I walked around in this kind of sparkle trance on summer days, looking upward to find the sun. I was in a perpetual state of bliss. How could I be otherwise? And I loved being blonde when naked. I like that tousled bed head look. The languid sexiness. I never brushed my hair, I liked it tangled and wild and untamed. I felt very good blonde.

When I went black, it was an act of defiance. I had been dating a man who called me Miss Bardot because of my blonde hair. My Instagram handle was (and it still is) goldleafed, coming from a nickname that another past lover had tokened to me. Who wouldn’t love being called sun kissed and goldleafed? I was also a hair model, and relied upon my blonde hair for not just a slight boost of income, but also as an escape from the otherwise nitty grittiness of Manhattan. My hair unlocked doors to all the top salons and shears that NYC had to offer, with high degrees of pampering. My hair always looked good. And de spite all this blonde doting, I fantasized about going black, about beingpolished and shiny and untouchable in that femme fatale way. You know what I’m talking about. And I knew I would wear it well. First off, all my clothes are black. I committed to that a while ago. My fondness for darkness was never fully appreciated when I had such a blonde head atop my monochrome attire. Stomping around in Ann Demeulemeester combat boots, my ideal vision of myself was never fully realized as long as I housed highlighted and coiffed blonde strands.

Shortly after moving to Berlin, I bought a box of black hair dye and I did it myself. My flatmate was aghast. Everyone was. Family members thought I had snapped. They checked on me with regularity, thinking my existential crisis was coming to an obvious head. But I loved it. I walked around with such power. I chopped it off, too. I felt dominance when I slicked my hair back with gobs of gel. Men stopped leering at me. Only those who felt they could counter my bitchy death stare dared approach me. And those happen to be the types I like. I really loved this vampy Janna. And I still do. She’s great. But I just hit the two year mark.My hair has grown back over a meter. It’s beautiful! But it is now getting lost in all my black clothing. And I myself am feeling pretty drab after this full year of lockdown, of salons being closed, of not tending to my hair. I can’t be fully stimulated by anything else, so why not stimulate myself? While museums are still closed, salons just reopened. And th at’s when I got the idea locked in my head and I just couldn’t shake it….

A missing factor of my life yet experienced has been the completion of the Holy Hair Trinity. Blonde … black … and then, there is red … I want to go red. I KNOW it will look good. Redheads are feisty. They’re witchy and wild and ferocious. Multi-dimensional. A rarity. I have written sonnets dedicated to the hair of my naturally red-headed girlfriends. A thing of timeless beauty. A fleeting characteristic! Soon there will be no more red heads left in the world. They are gems.

But going red is definitely not something I can do alone. I would never dare. So here is where we have Salon Bordel come into the equation. Note to non-German speakers, Bordel translates to Brothel. My kind of place. And they are going to be my guides.

It starts with a consultation with Daniela, one of the owners. Both of the Bordel salons are female-owned by the dream team Simone and Daniela. I support female-owned establishments as much as I can. We look out for our sisters. Daniela is a redhead, too. She tells me going red is a commitment. I’m ready for a commitment! Maybe not to a man or a mortgage, but definitely to my hair.

Daniela assures me that this will be good. She tells me I can always go back to black. And she is reiterating all the things I hoped weren’t too good to be true. She tells me it will look amazing on my long hair. And trust me, this is a seven hour undertaking on her behalf- she is not lying to make anything easier on anyone.

The first step is all over lifting and bleaching. They break down my black. Three or four coffees, and a multitude of Practical Magic fantasies later, we have lift off.

Halfway through this process, I am back to blonde. It’s the first time I have seen myself blonde in years. I say hello to the strands. It’s nice to see them again, knowing what is there at the root of me. I had some sweet moments of reflection of my blonde self. I flipped through old photos, reminiscing, thinking of all the ways I felt powerful as a blonde. All the ways I felt powerful with black. All the ways I will feel powerful red. 

I begin to fall asleep until she takes a paintbrush and begins to paint me rusty. I never once felt a sense of dread or regret … only excitement. Another hour goes by, and the red is being rinsed. Then she starts drying my hair. The red is being revealed. And I can’t shake just how GOOD IT LOOKS. Am I a natural red head? It looks like it. I can’t stop staring at myself, at the new vivacious person in the mirror. She looks like someone I would stare at and compliment. That’s a good sign.

When I came home, my flatmate applauded. A bottle of prosecco was had to celebrate. When I came to the office, there were oohs and ahhs. My friends freaked. My closest girlfriend booked her own appointment for red. I could wax poetic on this change for a while, but I will wrap this up. If you feel the need to undergo a change, I encourage you to trust yourself and do it. Listen to your heart and the voice in your head. It is there for a purpose 🙂

I found it incredibly therapeutic box dying my own hair black years ago. But if you have something very specific in mind (especially for something like black to red …) you must go to a professional! And be mindful with who you choose! Go to those whose own personal style you like. They will be someone you are with for a while and can make the experience that much more delightful (or otherwise …) I was blessed with Daniela and her team at Bordel. They are my new team of pampering angels. You can find more info on their two salons here and they also have their own line of all natural hair products ! Follow their Instagram for some hair inspo

Text by Janna Shaw

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