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Going from Brunette to Blonde (without telling the world about it first)

May 24, 2018

I recently decided that I needed a big change in my appearance – specifically my hair. When I was younger, I used to view my hair as an accessory, and with every new haircut, I opted for a new hair style! My hair has been all lengths and different shades of brown, blonde, and red. I even got the American wave, which was perfect for easy, summer, beach waves. But this time, I needed a more dramatic change. I needed a style and a color change, so I went from being a natural brunette to blonde!

Going from brunette to blonde

This photo, by Happy Hour Headshot, is one of my favorites! Makeup by Emily Dimant.

As you can see in this pic, this is my natural hair color. If there was any hair color remaining in my hair at that point, it was at the very ends. I’m so glad that ombre hair color has been in style for so long. It really allowed my laziness with ignoring my highlights to stay on trend.

Over the last 3 years, I have found that I am more comfortable and unapologetic for who I am. That doesn’t mean that I’m rude or tactless, but it does mean that I am no longer seeking approval from countless sources. Also, (in most situations) hair grows.

Due to the nature of my job, I am on social media a lot. While scrolling, I started finding myself really loving edgier, shorter, blonde hair cuts! I thought about it for a couple of months, and then decided to go for it.

Instead of calling the salon directly and trying to make an appointment without really knowing what would be involved, I decided to message my hair stylist to see what she suggested. Steph took care of everything for me, so all had to do was show up to my appointment! (Side note: please make sure that your hair stylist is ok with you contacting them when you are not in their chair at the salon. Everyone has a different preference, and thankfully, mine was ok with it!) 

I arrived at 9:30am, and the first step of the hair process was to get rid of some of the length, while leaving it long enough to put in foils.

The next step was to start coloring my hair. The colorist used foils to brighten my hair. It was so nice, because we had a lot of time to chat and get to know each other. When you look at how many foils were on my hair, you’ll understand why!

After sitting for about 45 minutes under some heat, they removed all of the foils and rinsed my hair. I think we were all surprised that my hair turned out as light as it did during this first phase. It’s my understanding that it’s not uncommon for brunettes to go orange before going blonde, due to the chemical process. Thankfully, I was at least yellow!

going from brunette to blonde

“and it was all yellow”


After that, the colorist, Lisa, mixed up a glaze to put on my hair to lighten it to a much cooler, blonde. I sat again for a little while, they rinsed out the glaze, and it was time for the cut!

When I got to the point in my life when I had made up my mind that I needed to become a wardrobe stylist, I started to make little changes to my look. I added more visible tattoos. The way that I dressed began to change. After I was officially done with teaching, I purged my own closet, removing the trousers that I hated to wear, along with cardigans that I never liked, etc. I wanted to do for myself what I do all the time for my clients, and allow myself to love everything in my closet, and feel like it represented me.  I didn’t want to blend in anymore, or even have the option to blend in. I think all of that ties into how I ended up going with a blonde pixie cut.

I knew I was going to need a really fierce photo to debut my new look. So I made sure to connect with Emily, so she could do my makeup and take my picture for me!

blonde pixie cut, blonde pixie with brown eyebrows, natural brunette

Processed with VSCO with hb2 preset

It was about 4:30pm when I finally left the salon with my new amazing hair cut and color! I LOVE it. I finally feel like myself as a stylist. My look represents me now.

Just for fun, here are a few throwback pictures for you to enjoy. These include a picture of me the first time I got a pixie cut (and looked like the youngest member of a Beatles cover band), the last time I had a pixie cut prior to this one (10 years ago), and the last time I was blonde… it didn’t last long then, but thankfully roots are cool now, so I think I’ll keep the blonde for a while.

In any case, I’ve always enjoyed changing my look. Some of those changes have been more successful than others, but you should never be afraid to try something. You also don’t need permission from anyone to do something different. I totally could have posted a picture of my ideal hair style on my Instastory, and asked my followers in a poll whether or not I should make this dramatic change. But, I didn’t need to. I knew I wanted to do it. Don’t get me wrong, the compliments that I have received have all been greatly appreciated! The point I’m trying to make is that validation is always nice, but it’s not necessarily needed prior to making a change.

Do you feel like you’re ready for a change, or maybe you know someone who’s at that point? We can start with your wardrobe! Take a look at my services, and let’s figure out what’s best for you! 




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  1. Camille says:

    So fab Susan, you look and ARE amazing!

  2. Andy Shaw says:

    Not needing validation to make a decision is such a worthwhile approach in life! You would never have been as satisfied with the end result because it was out of your hands. God, who knows what an IG poll would have done.
    And now look at you!

    • susanpadron says:

      Exactly!! One of my favorite podcasters always says, “I don’t need your validation, but I love it”, and I think that’s such a great way to explain it! It’s ok to appreciate validation, when it comes from a genuine place, but it’s also important to not spend time seeking it out.

  3. susan – you look stunning!!! i LOVE this look, cut, shape and color for you. your account of your journey was fun to read and you gave us just the right amount of permission to give ourselves permission to be all we can be! thank you!

    • susanpadron says:

      Thank you so much, Marie!! I’m glad you enjoyed reading about my whole process and my advice! It’s so great to hear from you! I hope you’re doing well!

  4. You look amazing! I love the blonde. It’s so fun and bold, but you pull it off so effortlessly. Plus, THAT CUT. It’s all so good.

    • susanpadron says:

      Thank you, Colleen!! I am loving it too. It’s so easy to style. Between my new hair cut, my lash lift, and my brow tint, my morning routine has been cut down by like 20-30 minutes. It’s pretty glorious!

What’s it like having an intuitive stylist shop for you?

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