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I gave it my all, but being blonde isn’t for me.

I thought that being blonde would somehow give me a different outlook on life or make me more of a California girl. I’m not a California girl, though, and even if I were, this color just doesn’t suit me.

It’s not that it looked horrible. It looked OK. Some people even complimented me on the change last year. As much as I wanted to make my inner child happy by becoming a blonde, it just never felt right. Every morning when I looked in the mirror before heading to work I felt frustrated with my hair. I’d put it up, put it back down, or try to part it the other way, but nothing looked good to me. My frustration over my hair would surface again when I’d catch a glimpse of the long yellowy pieces dangling below my chin.

I knew I had wanted a change, yet I felt some obligation to stick it out with my new hair color. I felt like it deserved a chance to grow on me (literally).

In the past I’ve done this same thing with relationships. I meet someone, I make a commitment, then I feel obligated to give it my best shot for some arbitrary amount of time. How long is long enough? Did the guy ever even have a chance or did I wait too long for it to feel like something it wasn’t?

In this case, a year of being blonde was just long enough to get the impulse out of my system.

Being the opportunist that I am, though, I wanted to take advantage of my pre-bleached locks, so last weekend I bought a box of denim-colored hair dye and went to town. First, unsure about whether or not I was allowed to have blue hair at work, I decided to only dye the underneath layers.

I felt relief at seeing blonde strands quickly being overtaken by the blue – much more relief than I had expected. I couldn’t resist. I strayed.

The next thing I knew my whole head was blue (and so was the bathroom counter). I nearly laughed out loud as I rinsed my hair. It wasn’t that I was going to be thrilled with the blue; I was just so happy not to be blonde anymore. It took me getting rid of it to fully appreciate how much I didn’t like it – how out of character it felt.

My hair needed more work, though, since I had only purchased one box of dye. Even with the haircut I gave myself, my hair was still too much for one bottle to handle.

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The next day I headed to the store but it wasn’t blue I was looking for. That’s right – it was time for me to go home, back to my old familiar red.

Red does everything for me that blonde never could – its bright, fun, professional, and when paired with pops of blue, is unique like me. But most importantly I feel like myself again.

I was red for five years before I went blonde. It was one of the longest commitments I had ever made. Much longer than any relationship I’ve had with a man thus far and probably more rewarding as well. I love being a redhead. I never got sick of it, not even when I decided to go blonde was I sick of red, I had just wanted to try something new.

Maybe it was a quarter-life-crisis.

Or, maybe, like dating, I had to find out what I don’t like in order to appreciate what I do.

Maria Sestito is the Napa Valley Register public safety reporter. Jersey Girl runs every other Sunday. Follow her on Twitter at @RiaSestito or email her at


Public Safety Reporter

Maria Sestito is the Napa Valley Register public safety reporter. She covers breaking news as well as crime and courts. Maria came to the Napa Valley Register in 2015 after working at as a reporter and photographer at The Daily News in Jacksonville, NC.