Left: Checking in the viewfinder of my camera, I quickly snap a documentary shot of this much anticipated session with Luanne Rogers at Federal Way's Salon Ina. Photo copyright 2008 by Mizu Sugimura.
From the time I was a wee girl of Japanese-American ancestry growing up in Seattle in the fifties, sixties and seventies - advertisers drilled the beauty-related adage about blondes into my head. Believe me, I tried my best to resist. Even my mother tried hard to instill more practical values preaching the importance of character and railing time and time against what she declared were "artificial values" and "crass commercialism."
Above: A view of the front door looking toward First Avenue at Federal Way's Salon Ina. Photo copyright 2008 by Mizu Sugimura.
Although to this day I remain the overly-serious natural brunette (as the black hair I'm told I have by many is not scientifically a color) I was born which goes along with the rest of my familial inheritance, I was keenly conscious from the get-go about the lack of offerings in the pages of national, widely distributed fashion magazines for women of color. As you can see, whether you opt in or out, not having a choice is worse!
I especially resented the fact that persons like myself were so completely not a part of what was considered to be the important beauty market back then when a revolutionary product called Summer Blonde was touted in my youth for towheads whose locks darkened as they grew older, leaving them the blonde option only three months of the year when the light of the summer sun bleached their hair.
The manufacturers were determined to elevate the lives of these unfortunate people and transform their existence with a lovely new product designed to allow them to be blonde the whole year around and regain those lost nine months of fun once again!
As happy as I could be for blondes who were still nevertheless members of the human race, I was depressed. For meanwhile brunettes and redheads - already dismissed as also rans in the beauty universe of yesterday - could try a henna-based rinse to add fun highlights to their tresses of which fashion magazine editors admitted even then that such products while available were not (mumble, mumble) really capable of delivering a uniformly smashing result.
In today's universe of abundant beauty options, I'm thrilled that being a color is no longer obstacle to becoming a blonde or most anything else, which is why that I now take special pleasure in my middle-years to occasionally yes, color my hair.
So let's be frank, I've been excited about my appointment at Salon Ina , 32921 1st Avenue South #C in Federal Way on Tuesday, May 27th where I'd made arrangements over a month before to become a tah-dah summer blonde with my longtime stylist and artiste extraordinaire Luanne Rogers.
Left: (from left to right) Savvy Salon Ina stylist Luanne Rogers and TNT Blog Squad member Mizu Sugimura.
Over the past decade I've taken the liberty of this fantastic opportunity at least half a dozen times as a very special treat! This time I received a haircut, foil, color and power protein treatment.
And while it is equally true that my infrequent patronage would absolutely kill the entire beauty industry if it were soley dependent on the earnings of customers like myself , when it comes to the process of becoming a blonde, with the aid of a skilled professional like Luanne Rogers - I always have fun.