“Where are you from?”
“Oh really? How come you’re not blonde?”
I’ve had this exact conversation about 100 times. How the discussion moves on from there depends on my mood; sometimes I take an educational approach and inform that not everyone is blonde and even those who are, can dye their hair. Or at times I let it go and apologise for my dark hair and point out at least I still have blue eyes.
I feel sorry for the Finns who have brown eyes and dark hair – poor things must have to carry passports with them at all times to prove their nationality.
The shock really kicks in when I reveal that I dye my hair and am actually far lighter than what I appear to be. Men get a sad, depressed look on their face as if I’ve destroyed something precious and the girls give me a wide-eyed stare and wonderer at my eccentricity.
Let me in on you a little secret – a lot of Finns dye their hair.
The reason for it is sometimes simple, it provides a nice change.Also, it’s a lot easier to dye light-coloured hair than it is to dye black hair. So we do it.
Another reason for dying our hair is because the most common colour in Finland is mousy brown – or dirt road grey (maantien harmaa). Not attractive on anyone.
But blondes must have more fun, not having to answer whether they’re actually Finnish all the time. People just assume they’re Swedish. Ha!