- Edition 1, Chapter 15 -

Model Talk: Rowan Katz



Rowan, a student at Parsons School of Design earning a business and arts degree, is a rare example of a transition from blonde to brunette.

Here is her hairstory.


I was bald for the first two years of my life. My mother was genuinely worried that I might never grow hair, until one day I sprouted a fuzzy cap of the whitest blonde. As the child of two proud brunettes, they were both delighted and perplexed. Over the years, they assumed that my hair would darken – and it did, a bit, but remained undoubtedly blonde (well, dirty blonde. That's what I am, after all).

When I was 15, I made the decision to cut all my hair off and dye it platinum blonde. For the record, this was years before Miley Cyrus did it, and furthermore, I pay homage to the many starlets of punk rock for the inspiration. Anyway, all throughout high school, aside from some dalliances with blue, pink, purple, etc., I rocked this great, short blonde hair. It was my trademark physical identifier, and something I considered to be intrinsically linked to my personality – blunt, charismatic, witty, and rebellious – and also very dear to me as a part of my artistic persona. As a young Los Angelena producer, booker, musician, and songwriter, having this hair was in many ways my "shortcut to diva."

A year after I graduated high school, I found myself at Hairstory Studio with a shaggy blonde mess on my head that I was totally sick of. Their phenomenal colorist Roxie (quite the cool, punk diva herself) urged me to go darker. Up until that point I had done some crazy shit with my hair – shaved it on stage, dyed it every color of the rainbow and then let it fade until it looked like a sea monster puked on my head. You get the idea. But, I had never gone dark. My skin tone, features, and eye color all seemed crafted to best fit lighter hair, and I was very hesitant to try it out. But I knew that Roxie definitely knew her stuff – especially when it came to alternative chicks and artists, so I put my trust in her hands, and the hands of the amazing team that I spent the day with. Wes, who cut my hair, was also a genius and gave it the perfect shape for the brown.

At first, the brown was an absolute shock for me. It completely changed my general aesthetic and the way I viewed my own features. But, it was very, very cool. Friends and family members were also incredibly surprised, but grew accustomed to it eventually. I loved the way it accentuated parts of my face and complexion that I had never really paid attention to before – the paler tones in my skin, the color of my lips, and my eyebrows, specifically. But going dark was hard for me. I was so used to feeling attractive with blonde hair that I wasn't quite sure how to feel desirable with brown hair. It was opening up so many new lenses for me to view my own physicality.

In the end, I think being a brunette taught me something completely invaluable and awesome – first of all, how to own the part of me that is a total vamp, and the part of me that is the most adventurous. It taught me to love my reflection regardless of how desirable it is to someone else, especially because so many people in my life felt the need to comment how "I looked prettier as a blonde." Finally, I realized that I never cared about being pretty. In a physical sense, I have always simply wanted to represent that which is within me on the outside.

Having dark, intense hair, was so amazing and so liberating for me on many fronts. I tapped into more adventurous sides of myself as a performer, I tried new looks out, and generally felt pretty bad-ass all the time – which is (if you've never experienced it) the greatest life goal of all time. In the end, I love the fact that I can rock a super blonde look or a darker look – be a Jackie or a Marilyn, so to speak. That is more liberating than anything, and if there's one thing I know about Hairstory, the team there is all about taking what you already have to full potential. I couldn't be more grateful to have been a canvas for their art.

By the way: New Wash is life changing and definitely some next level stuff. It's a great way to take care of literally any color, style, or haircut.