A whiter shade of pale ...
It's not a secret that my - almost white/silverish- locks are inspired by no other than "blonde bombshell" Jean Harlow - color and setting wise. Many a time when I post a picture of myself on Facebook I get comments on how much I resemble her. That is ofcourse flattering to hear but not true. Her bone structure, her eyes, her body, her nose and her mouth are so much different than my features. But I do understand it; we both have the platinum hair going on - which is a huge tangent place. And it is ofcourse still gigantic compliment to be compared to Jean.
My glamour trademark ...
It takes quite a lot of courage ... to roam the streets with hair that is almost white and quite frankly; it gets you alot of attention! Not necessarily from men, but in general. People always make a comment about it; nice or not. I sometimes hear in a far distance: Oh who does she thinks she is? Marilyn Monroe? I don't mind people saying it (it's usually the women who make comments) as I am aware that their frame of reference just stops at Marilyn. It's odd that I choose to be a platinum blonde because I prefer to be a brunette or a fiery redhead ala Rita Hayworth. I can never make the choice when I am standing on that so called crossroad and when I am on the edge to grab a package of brunette hair dye, I always end up at the blonde section of the store. I just love it too much to be a platinum blonde and it became a bit of my glamour trademark. People say to me often that it looks like I am giving light, that I am transparent ... not quite sure what they meant with that but they assured me it was a compliment. It takes alot of maintenance, cause in the end I want to look like I am walked off the silver screen and not like singer Shakira. Hair outgrow is one of my biggest peeves. It gives me goosebumps.
However, I am a bit more careful with my hair than Jean was with hers; she dyed it every two weeks with pure ammonia and in the end, two years prior to her death, it started falling out. Jean began wearing a wig now and then and in the movie China seas (1935) she wore a wig for the whole movie. Wearing a wig is something I want to avoid at all costs. Luckily the hairdye nowadays - albeit it still not the most healthiest thing for your hair - became less damaging.
Jean sadly died at the age I am now; 26. A magnificent actress left her stage but she kept inspiring people even to this day. Among those people was, ofcourse, Marilyn Monroe.
Jean Harlow in China seas, 1935
A Brief History ...
In the 1920s, darkhaired actresses were the rage; it was the beauty standard until Jean Harlow promptly introduced the platina hair color and caught with it the public's fancy. That was largely because of Harlow's success in movies. But platinum blonde color wasn't invented in the 1930s; it excisted way before that decade! Before Jean Harlow made the blonde tresses én vogue in 1931, women used to sit in the sun for hóurs to achieve a platina blonde hair color after putting highly alkaline soap in their hair, with as result dead and dry hair. An easier way was to powder the hair with crushed yellow flower petals. Costly made wigs were also made from imported hair from the Netherlands.
But in 1907, a French chemist (Eugene Schueller) began manufacturing hairdye in his flat in Paris. He became one of thé leading beauty companies in the world: L'Óreal. The blonding process was pretty dangerous when it was invented for the first time; the chemicals caused headaches and scalp burns and it was not unusual for hair to break off during the process (my biggest nightmare). The most common formulation for bleach was peroxide with ammonia which was added to ivory soap flakes and this was mixed into a paste. This formula was used in the 1930s.
Hollywood realized how magnificent blonde looked in their black and white films and envisaged Mae West. Harlean Carpenter aka Jean Harlow soon followed and became known as the original blonde bombshell. Rumors circulated that Jean, when she died at the age of 26 in 1937, died because of her hairdye. But the truth is that she died of renal insufficiency. It was in 1931 that the first oil shampoo tint was introduced - by a chemist named Lawrence Gelb. Eight years later he established the first home purchased hairdye and named his company Clairol.
Clairol ad, 1943
Because Clairol wanted more women to buy their hairdye they came up with a slogan: "Does She or Doesn't She?" "Only Her Hairdresser Knows for Sure!" "Do Blondes Have More Fun?" and "If I've One Life...Let Me Live it as a Blonde!".
Do blondes have more fun? Well I don't think it's depending on your hair color wether you have more fun or not. But I sure love my platina fingerwaved hair! It makes me feel glamorous from head to toe! Today it was time for a fresh new silverish hairdye and I feel reborn again and I am glad I didn't took the brown hairdye home, cause I love living a platinum blonde life ;-)!