Created In Partnership With Superior Preference by L'Oreal Paris

4 Women On How Going Blonde Changed Their Lives & Careers

There’s something to be said about the soul-healing powers of a hair transformation. Whether it’s a post-breakup chop, a daring color change, or, simply, a sleek blowout, a new look can make you feel a bit lighter (both literally and figuratively), or inspire you to adopt a totally different persona. More importantly, though, a hair refresh can make us feel confident and empowered. Even better: You don't necessarily need to go to the salon, thanks to new products like innovative gel hair dyes that provide long-lasting (and natural-looking) color at home.
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In partnership with L’Oreal Paris, we’re exploring how beauty — and hair, specifically — can help fuel ambition in the workplace (which feels particularly apropos in light of International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month). We spoke with four women entrepreneurs who are bosses both in their lives and respective businesses. And even though they’re different in every way (backgrounds, ethnicities, industries, ages), they all share one similar characteristic: being blonde. 
Some deviated from their naturally flaxen-colored strands but found themselves returning to the shade with newfound gusto, while others took the bold leap of going from black or brunette to icy blonde. In all instances, they agree that going blonde — or back to blonde in some cases — was a life-changing experience, helping them reignite passion and creativity in their careers, and even motivating some to launch new ventures. Read on to meet four women who are proof that that “blonde ambition” is totally a thing.

Remi Ishizuka, 33, Austin, TX, content creator and co-founder of HomeBodies

Are you a natural blonde? If not, why did you decide to go blonde?
“No, I’m Asian American, so my natural hair color is jet-black. In my early 20s, I played around with different hair colors like pink, purple, and orange. I was on a journey trying to find myself, and it wasn’t until I quit my corporate job and went full blonde eight years ago that I felt the most authentically me. Since going blonde, I became a full-time health and wellness content creator, co-founded a business with my partner in our living room in the middle of the pandemic, and even moved across the country. All of these things were scary and intimidating, but going blonde has taught me that if something scares you, you should probably do it.”
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How does being blonde make you feel? 
“Being my own boss — and being blonde — has never felt so freeing. When I look in the mirror, seeing my blonde hair is a little reminder that I’m capable of anything I set my mind to. Blonde hair is super versatile, and it flows with me and my moods. Some days being blonde makes me feel light, fun, and carefree. When I’m working, I feel empowered, bold, and confident. It suits me in all of my different phases and chapters.”
How do you maintain your hair’s color and health?
“I get a trim and my roots done every six weeks. In between those touch-ups, I only wash my hair once a week. My trick to keeping my blonde hair bright and healthy is investing in super-nourishing shampoos and conditioners and having a good post-shower routine. Also, I try not to style my hair with heat unless I absolutely need to. Most days, I air-dry it to keep it really soft and healthy. When I had jet-black hair, it was so hard to style — it was so silky and flat that it couldn’t hold a curl. That’s another reason why I love being blonde: The dimension and sparkle is so nice. It makes getting ready more fun.”
Have people ever made assumptions about you — in the workplace or in general — because of your blonde hair?
“I mostly always get positive comments about it, but I’ve also heard some assumptions being made because I’m Asian American. I’ve heard, ‘You’re white-washed Asian’ and ‘Why don't you embrace your culture?’ but I never see it that way. To me, my hair is an expression of myself, my creativity, and my personal style, like an outfit or an accessory. I can change it at any time.”
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What’s the best career lesson you’ve learned over the years?
“In order to be a boss and take charge of your life, you’ve got to be willing to get a little uncomfortable and take a risk. Before I was blonde, when I was in my corporate job, I got a little too comfortable and was just going with the motions. I didn’t feel inspired or creative during that time. Now, I’m constantly seeking out challenges and opportunities to grow — even if they scare me.” 

Adriana Urbina, 31, New York City and Madrid, professional chef and founder of Tepuy Collective

Are you a natural blonde? If not, why did you decide to go blonde?
“Yes, I was blonde when I was little, but it turned brown when I was 15. I went back to blonde at 21 and it’s been that way ever since. I went back to my original color — dirty blonde — because it makes me feel 10 times more confident, fearless, and beautiful, and I truly believe that when you feel good on the outside, you can accomplish anything.”
How do you maintain your hair’s color and health?
“I hydrate it a lot, and I use the Blondifier shampoo, conditioner, and mask from L'Oréal Paris’ Serie Expert line.”
Have people ever made assumptions about you — in the workplace or in general — because of your blonde hair?
“Absolutely. I once was called ‘bimbo.’ The culinary field is very tough, and people already assume that you’re not good enough by the way you look. I experience way less discrimination today than I did back then, but I now know how to deal with that criticism and use it as fuel to keep perfecting my craft.”
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What’s the best career lesson you’ve learned over the years?
“Don’t ever let anyone tell you that you can’t do something. You can do anything if you put effort into it and work on your craft. Remember that that’s their insecurities being projected.”

Kelly Rizzo, 42, Los Angeles, CA, founder of Eat Travel Rock and Eat Travel Rock TV

Are you a natural blonde? If not, why did you decide to go blonde?
“Yes, I was very blonde from when I was born until about high school. Now, I’m naturally a dirty blonde.”
How does being blonde make you feel? 
“Very empowered because I feel completely like myself, and when you feel like yourself, you’re your most confident. Every time I’ve tried to deviate from my natural blonde color — I tried to go brunette twice and have even played with funky colors like pink or purple — I never felt like myself. It might’ve been a fun change temporarily, but I lost a bit of confidence when I strayed from blonde. I always noticed that my confidence comes rushing back when I return to my natural color.”
How do you maintain your hair’s color and health?
“I do deep conditioning treatments, and every two weeks or so, I fly to my native Chicago to visit my longtime colorist. I’ll tell my family that I’m going there to see them, but really, it’s to get my hair colored and I’ll just happen to see them, too.”
Have people ever made assumptions about you — in the workplace or in general — because of your blonde hair?
“Yes, definitely, but not so much as an adult. There are so many powerful women in the world now who are blonde, so that stereotype has faded a bit. But back in the day, maybe in the ‘80s and ‘90s when there were lots of stereotypes about blondes, I experienced it. The other assumption I get is that because I'm blonde, no one ever believes I’m Sicilian. They think I should have dark hair, but there are a lot of Sicilians who are naturally blonde.”
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What’s the best career lesson you’ve learned over the years?
“Persistence and tenacity are key. I learned that from my dad. If you have a great idea or a dream you present to somebody and they turn you down, keep pushing forward until you get the results you want. Never take ‘no’ for an answer.”

Brandice Daniel, 44, New York City, founder and CEO of Harlem's Fashion Row and ICON360

Are you a natural blonde? If not, why did you decide to go blonde?
“No, I went blonde at the beginning of 2021 for my birthday. That change was drastic for me — I immediately felt more empowered and like myself. For years, I had my head down and was focused on growing a business. The blonde hair made a statement, and it also felt nostalgic in that it reminded me of my younger self, when I took more risks with hairstyles and fashion choices.”
How does being blonde make you feel? 
“Unapologetically me. It's not my natural hair color, but it's such a risky shade that it brings out the core of who I am: a cliff-jumper.”
How do you maintain your hair’s color and health?
“I deep-condition it weekly and get it trimmed monthly.”
Have people ever made assumptions about you — in the workplace or in general — because of your blonde hair?
“I think people assume I'm more fun with blonde hair — and they are right.”
What’s the best career lesson you’ve learned over the years?
“Everything great happens after a cliff-jump. It's difficult to achieve greatness without taking risks.”

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