Ali is a fashion product manager currently based in New York City, though by the end of the month, she'll be out in sunny Los Angeles. We met through a friend and bonded over our similar tastes in fashion and our love for dance. On a rainy weekend in Brooklyn, Ali opened up to me about all her hair transformations and how she may or may not have dyed her hair as an act of rebellion. Read her story below:
ON LIKING HER HAIR
I do like my hair. I didn't used to, because I wanted to be like my friends who had really pretty hair they could do things with. I think it was more being jealous that I didn't know how to do my hair and I thought they had perfect hair all the time. I love it now, because it's naturally a perfect wave, and I get so many compliments on it -- people are always asking, "What do you do?" and I'm always like, "I wake up." [laughs] I shower and then that's pretty much it, so I'm actually really happy about it since I'm very low maintenance and lazy and don't know how to do it. It works for my personality.
My hair makes me feel like a girl. Thinking about how I'm going to do my hair is not part of my daily routine, but I like when it looks good or when I style it or when someone does it for me, and I have a good hair day or it looks good in a photo, I get excited about it.
ON HAIR DYE AND REBELLION
The first time I dyed my hair was from a box. My friend was like, "Let's dye your hair!" I did this ugly red. I dyed it dark, dark brown a lot at the end of college. I thought that would look really cool on me, and it didn't. It was super dark with red in it and my skin is pale, but not cool Zooey Deschanel pale. That's what I thought I was going to look like, but it was not good. Then I moved to New York and didn't dye it for about three and a half years, and then I went blonde a year ago. That's stuck.
I think dying my hair dark was me trying to be rebellious. I moved away to college and thought it was going to change my life or something. It didn't end up being that dramatic, so it didn't have the effect that I wanted it to. It was never a reaction to something, it was more me being like, I don't live with my parents! I want to do this! And that was the wildest thing I could think of.
ON LIFE AS A BLONDE vs. BRUNETTE
Before I lightened it, I was always putting my hair up and that was it. Now that it's blonde, I like showing it off. I bought new glasses and did this whole new look and I've been very into promoting it. I like the way my hair color looks with all my clothes and the way it looks with everything I wear. I've just been more excited about it. Every time I get it done, I ask for it lighter and my stylist says, "No," because "it won't look as good," but I want to keep bleaching it. I'm very obsessed with it. I have a tad more confidence with it because other people compliment it. The other day, I was in a room full of blondes, and they were like, "It's all blondes here!" I was like, "Oh my god! I've never been called a blonde before!" I felt so cool.
Before I dyed my hair, I felt like I blended in. Everyone used to say me and my old roommate looked like sisters, so now I feel like my blonde hair has created this solo persona that I like. It's not like having blonde hair is that extreme -- a lot of people have blonde hair -- but for me, it was a big change and I'm glad I like it enough to stick with it. I want to be more extreme with it, but we'll see what happens.
ON GOING GREY
On my mom's side, her parents didn't go grey until their eighties. My mom is in her mid-sixties and she just has a tiny, tiny bit. So, I'm hopeful that's going to be my situation -- not that I don't want it, or care, but more because I don't know what it would look like with my hair color.
The thing that I got from my mom was just being so low maintenance about my appearance. If I'm low maintenance, she's even less so. She never puts makeup on, she doesn't do her hair. She has really short hair and she doesn't really care about her appearance, so I was never raised in a house where it was like, "We cover up our greys, or we do makeup." I've never even thought about myself having grey hair. I'd probably dye it, if I really wanted to hide it, but I don't have an issue with it.
ON CHANGING HER HAIR FOR SOMEONE ELSE
No. No. For sure not. The only thing I've ever tailored my hair for was dance or other activities. I always needed to be able to pull it back in ponytails for dancer purposes, so I never went too short until I went to college. It's never been for anyone else. I don't change it that much, but I also just don't care. I'm going to do what I want.
-- As told to Untangled in Brooklyn, New York. Photos by Julia Brucculieri.