Life in the Fast Lane

A TRIATHLETE'S MULTISPORT ADVENTURES, TRAVELS, RANDOM MUSINGS, AND CHRONICLES OF HER OTHERWISE ORDINARY LIFE

Back to Brown

By 3:16 PM , , , ,

I was born with chocolate brown hair, which was a rarity in Southeast Asia. My dad's recessive Spanish genes kicked in as soon I came into this world and as a result, I was always mistaken for a foreigner.


Growing up, I was always proud of my hair color. I felt that it was the one thing that made me different and perhaps even stand out. As it turned into a darker, more olive shade of brown, I celebrated its uniqueness and swore that I would never "touch" it 'til I needed to get rid of any signs of aging. If you know what I mean.

Then last year, my younger sister had her hair dyed red. Like me, she was a "brunette", except her hair was always much darker than mine. But this new red 'do looked really good on her. I liked how it enhanced her features. It was as if she suddenly developed this "cool" vibe in a matter of two hours (or however long it took to apply that shade).

This got me thinking about doing something different to my hair someday. The most I'd ever done was a hot oil treatment. I wasn't a fan of chemicals; I never had my hair straightened or permed. But now I wanted to play with my hair.

Finally, in May of this year, I decided to get some highlights, just to see how it looked on me. It came out fine at first. Friends and family said that it made me even more "tisay" (slang for the Spanish term "mestiza") and "sooooooo advertising" (even more like a stereotypical Creative, someone had said).

Until it started to grow out. And grow out horribly it did. From a light brown shade, it became blond and way too obvious. The darker brown roots quickly came and before I knew it, my hair length was divided into 1/3 dark brown, 2/3 blonde.

I just had to get rid of it.

Yesterday, thanks to a day away from work, I traipsed over to the same salon that did my highlights and asked them to look for a shade that resembled my original color. An hour later, I was back to the Tina I always was. And I decided that I liked this look much better.

From faux-blonde to au naturelle once more.

This isn't to say that I will never experiment with color again. Being the fickle, easily bored person that I am, I might just surprise everyone someday and go black. Or red. Or chocolate brown. Who knows?

But for now, I'll stick to "ash brown". It seems to suit me best.

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6 comments

  1. Like you, I also have Spanish ancestry, but instead, it comes from my mother's side of the family, particularly my brown-haired, blue-eyed late matrilineal grandfather. (Unsurprising, considering how hardcore Spanish my entire name is.) Also, like you, I have brown hair. So does my mother. We're also both fair-complexioned towards pink, and not towards yellow, like most fair-skinned folk of Southeast Asia.

    I started dying my hair when I was 13, experimenting with different hair colours that I was sick of it by the time I was about 23-24. After a year, I dyed all my hair jet black, and continued to do so until very recently, where, like you, I went back to my roots. Sometimes the original is better, eh?

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  2. Awesome! I love learning about people's "lineage". My dad's family's is pretty interesting. The Araneta clan is one of the biggest and most influential in this country (I don't know if you remember the Araneta Coliseum; that belongs to my dad's cousins) and we all trace our roots back to the three Araneta brothers who came here from the Basque region of Spain. My grandfather's generation is still pretty "Spanish" (in terms of looks, and they still speak to each other in Spanish; somehow, they didn't pass it on to my dad, his siblings and their cousins). I wonder if your mom's relatives and mine somehow encountered each other in the distant past. That'd be really cool.

    P.S. Ditto on original being better sometimes.

    P.P.S. I hear you on the extremely Spanish sounding name. Mine's Cristina Margarita Ramos Araneta. *high five*

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  3. You're lucky that you can pinpoint your ancestry. All I know is that I come from the Reyes y Gandeza line, but I don't know where in Spain they come from. My grandparents were orphaned early in their lives, and were adopted by the religious in the Church (they were Belgian nuns and priests, I believe), and they both passed away earlier this year, so I do not know the details of their lineage. I wish I had asked earlier.

    P.S. Original, for the win!

    P.P.S. I believe you know my name, as it's on Facebook! Haha!

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  4. Pretty interesting story. Who knows; maybe someone took the time to trace your roots. I know of a distant relative who makes it his business to locate everyone and research on our ancestry (with coat of arms and all). Perhaps someone's doing the same thing for your clan!

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  5. Funny, you mention that, because my mother is looking into finding someone who can answer the questions we have about our genealogy. We tried finding information on the internet, but we found little more than my late grandmother's written works (she was a doctor of Education and English teacher).

    Thanks for the tip!

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  6. You're welcome! Hope you get to find out more about your family/ancestry soon. :)

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