Bad Hair Month

Bad Hair Month

Just before the start of shooting “Passport to Europe – Season 2” Travel Channel and I agreed that my look needed an update.  Secretly I wanted to end the blonde look because of the high maintenance so I said, “how about I go back to being a brunette?”

So it was decided and a new colorist was chosen…  When I arrived at her shop she was extremely cool and I liked her right away.  I went through her book and saw that her clients represented a who’s who in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

That should have been my first clue to leave.

When I sat down on the chair and she said, “So I think with your hair I want to go ultra short and choppy, with bleached blonde highlights.” That should have been the second.  I told her what I was going for but when it was all over I looked in the mirror and thought my career was over.  Before me was a head of jet black hair. It was so black that a reflective haze of purple had settled around my head like the earth’s atmosphere.  She assured me that it would lighten dramatically in a few days. It was Thursday and I would be leaving the following Tuesday for Europe.

I knew I would have to call the Travel Channel with the bad news. But first, like a fourteen year old girl after her first bad perm, what I needed to do before anything else was have a good cry… Then call my mom, while crying.

“Get Prell, Head and Shoulders or V05 hot oil hair treatment”, my mom a former beautician in the 1960’s advised. “They can strip the paint off the walls.”

I got all three and alternated using each one every hour for the next six hours.  My hair was so dry and straw-like, rats could nest in it but at least the purple haze had lifted. My husband in attempt to cheer me up said he liked my new hair color and took to calling me “Blackjack”.  At this point Travel Channel wanted to see pictures so I sent the photo you see at the top of the post. After seeing the photo they were extremely considerate of my feelings but I could tell they hated my new appearance as much as I did when they said, “we like you better as a blonde”

The only episodes where you can see the elusive “Blackjack” look is Stratford-upon-Avon and some other English destination, possibly Cornwall, but honestly I have blocked it out so I don’t remember.

Every year or so my husband will out of the blue say…  “I miss Blackjack”

So do you like me better as a blonde or brunette?



  1. Becky A. November 12, 2012 at 7:55 pm - Reply

    I’m used to the blonde (been watching since Great Hotels — long time fan!), but that picture really isn’t so bad. A bit lighter would’ve been better, but I think you’d be fine as a brunette. And it’d be better for your hair in the long term.

  2. Dana November 12, 2012 at 7:58 pm - Reply

    I think you look awesome as a brunette! Of course, you’re so pretty blonde, but I like it!

  3. Barbie November 12, 2012 at 8:00 pm - Reply

    Honestly, it does not look bad at all!! But I do like you better as a blonde! 😉 (But then again I might be biased since I am currently a blonde too!). Love you shows!!

  4. William Lute November 12, 2012 at 8:06 pm - Reply

    Doesn’t matter. It’s still you!!!!

  5. jay November 12, 2012 at 8:09 pm - Reply

    you look good whatever the hair color 🙂

  6. Writing Out Loud November 12, 2012 at 8:09 pm - Reply

    Blonde. Definitely blonde. But that’s definitely more about me than you. You look great either way.

  7. Leigh November 12, 2012 at 8:09 pm - Reply

    She should have just done some lowlights so you could grow your natural color out!! I like both colors but I nice mix of the two would have been ideal 🙂

  8. Mike November 12, 2012 at 8:10 pm - Reply

    I like both

  9. Kim November 12, 2012 at 8:12 pm - Reply

    I love your hair no matter what color it is ! You are working and doing a show for the viewers and giving us information. As a Travel Agent, if you have a interesting show, I am sooo not worried about what color your hair is ! lol…. you are the same person, hair is only hair….it will all be fine ~~ take a trip and relax 🙂

  10. Vicki November 12, 2012 at 8:14 pm - Reply

    Yiu are forever a blonde in my book!

  11. lisa November 12, 2012 at 8:15 pm - Reply

    I like the brunette pic!

  12. Sharon November 12, 2012 at 8:18 pm - Reply

    I too like both. The brunette is not that bad. I agree with the others that a little lighter would be better. I too am a brunette. OK I cover the grey but was really a brunette once. I still color it an Auburn Brown. I think that would be better.Every woman needs a change once in a while. It’s hair. It will grow.

  13. Lisa November 12, 2012 at 8:19 pm - Reply

    You are fine blonde or brown, and that picture actually looks good. I imagine it was pretty bad before you did all the color stripping. But I know how you feel about losing your appearance identity. A very similar thing happened to me, I can’t afford a real salon so I go to a beauty school nearby, and the day I went, almost everyone there were gone to some kind of conference, and no instructors were around. I normally am light reddish brown, and my natural hair is light brown, but I came out of there almost black also. I cried and cried, and wasn’t so fortunate as you to have a supportive husband (mine had just asked me for a divorce that week). I went back a few days later for a “correction” which was blonde highlights on the black. I did the prell and everything too. I was a teacher then and all my students asked why I would do that to my hair. It was a dark time in my life (pun intended), but not the end of the world. Hair can be changed and sometimes husbands are better off changed also.

  14. Liz November 12, 2012 at 8:20 pm - Reply

    Most definately blonde! I’ve made the same mistake myself and keep coming back to blonde even though I know it’s bad for my hair. Can’t help it, it just feels right!

  15. Don November 12, 2012 at 8:27 pm - Reply

    Hubba hubba.

  16. Suzanne November 12, 2012 at 8:28 pm - Reply

    Maybe a scooch lighter but I like the brown, it suits you…goes with your coloring 🙂

  17. Stephen November 12, 2012 at 8:31 pm - Reply

    Lighter is better…either blonde or brunette. Of course, you look good in any color!!!!!!

  18. Regina November 12, 2012 at 8:35 pm - Reply

    I’d pay big money to look that bad, lol.

  19. Sherri Lorenz November 12, 2012 at 8:40 pm - Reply

    I think if it was styled more loosely and maybe had some highlights, I could really dig the “darker side of Samantha Brown”. Hey, that could be a whole other series…You could be covering the edgier scenes in the world’s hottest cities with your new look!

    Samantha Brown’s After Dark….

  20. MileageUpdate November 12, 2012 at 8:42 pm - Reply

    We’ll be honest, we’d like you if you shaved your head or colored it bright green. It doesnt matter to us.

  21. Pam November 12, 2012 at 8:48 pm - Reply

    First I read your post and then looked at your photo. I really like it! Don’t be so hard on it. Think it’s a new look for you!

  22. Tracy November 12, 2012 at 9:09 pm - Reply

    The blonde gives you a softer look. The brunette gives you an edgier look. I like both. As long as you like it, that’s all that matters!! Either way you are a very gorgeous!!! Love your show!!

  23. Kristine Hanchar November 12, 2012 at 9:26 pm - Reply

    You look beautiful brunette or blonde, but I have had that same “bad” experience at a salon. You feel like your world has eneded. Then comes the $200 Color Repair.

  24. Leanne November 12, 2012 at 9:36 pm - Reply

    Samantha-You look great either way (HONEST), but I do prefer the blonde. I would have never known you weren’t a natural blonde. You wear it well. Love your shows!

  25. Kristine November 12, 2012 at 9:37 pm - Reply

    You have a very “Snow White” look to you with the brown! But the blond looked so ‘you’ … Can’t really pick, Sam. You’re fantastic either way!

  26. cosmoHallitan November 12, 2012 at 9:37 pm - Reply

    I’ve also been watching since Great Hotels and have gotten so used to seeing you as a blonde it’s hard to imagine you as anything else. But even if you dyed your hair pink – please don’t! – you’d still be beautiful!

  27. Doyle Gaines November 12, 2012 at 9:43 pm - Reply

    I always liked the “Great Vacation Homes” color best. I think it was more brown?

  28. Brandi Stagg November 12, 2012 at 9:44 pm - Reply

    Gorg either way!

  29. Melissa November 12, 2012 at 10:19 pm - Reply

    I think you look great with dark hair, and the haircut looks great on you. I wish I could pull that off!

  30. Jose November 12, 2012 at 11:23 pm - Reply

    It doesn’t look “horribly wrong” to me. Just a completely different look for you. With the right outfits, you could really make this hairstyle work for you on a daily basis!

  31. shaley November 12, 2012 at 11:27 pm - Reply

    you are friendlier-looking as a blonde. Not that you look mean-looking as a brunette. But my mother will be happy any hair color you may have.

  32. Erin November 13, 2012 at 3:22 am - Reply

    I think you can totally pull it off!

  33. Linda November 13, 2012 at 7:48 am - Reply

    You look stunning…it looks brunette to me…You are a total WOW Factor!

  34. Bruce Manning November 13, 2012 at 9:59 am - Reply

    It is not the hair color that matters. It is you whom we enjoy hosting your shows. Your sweet personality, charm, wit all blended with an I can do that drive makes you worth our time to watch you.

    You are lovely from the inside out. I’m sure that your husband agrees.

  35. RJ November 13, 2012 at 12:36 pm - Reply

    I like the black jack, or brunette, also the short look, but you look great with any style. Enjoy your show.

  36. James Ludos November 13, 2012 at 1:13 pm - Reply

    While I don’t mind the color it is a bit short, but I know it hasn’t changed the great person that you are. I will say you look allot younger so it can’t be all bad. Love yer shows and look forward to many more.

  37. Gary November 13, 2012 at 6:26 pm - Reply

    You look nice with the dark hair

  38. Chuck November 13, 2012 at 7:22 pm - Reply


  39. Jazz Sun November 13, 2012 at 8:00 pm - Reply

    Good looking!

  40. Craig November 13, 2012 at 8:34 pm - Reply

    Blondes have more fun, but I could have fun with you no matter the hair color!

  41. Jo November 13, 2012 at 10:00 pm - Reply

    I really like you with any hair colour, but I think a lighter shade of brown might have been better than the dark brown in this pic.

  42. Hershey November 14, 2012 at 2:40 am - Reply

    It’s definitely a different look. I prefer you as a blonde but you still look good anyway whatever the hair color. Always been a big fan ;p

  43. Chip November 24, 2012 at 11:30 am - Reply

    I like both. With the dark hair you remind me of my wife when she was much younger when I fell in love with her. Therefore, the darker hair makes me think of you as younger. The blonde hair gives a more comforting feeling as that is what we came to know via your show. The key thing in all of it is your smile and eyes and this is what the TV execs should really be looking for.

  44. Kevin G November 26, 2012 at 7:00 am - Reply

    I definitely prefer your hair blonde. It looks very natural on you. But you look good either blonde or brunette. If you do decide to go brunette I agree with what some of the other people said here and think that it should be a lighter shade of brown.

  45. Zeagle Eagle December 1, 2012 at 4:30 pm - Reply

    Your hair color and style doesn’t matter. You’ll always be hot and sexy.

  46. samiscute December 9, 2012 at 2:46 am - Reply

    I’m not allowed to say that Sam is cute…

  47. Patricia January 22, 2013 at 1:21 pm - Reply

    Samantha, I have enjoyed all your shows and looked forward to your different look in each one of them. You are an awesome down to earth woman and such a delight on each show. I have looked for you on the travel channel and wondered what happened to you…. Now I am so excited to find you and to wish you Congratulations on your twin Miracles!!! What a blessing!!! Much Happiness to you!!!

  48. Fred Orth February 25, 2013 at 9:08 pm - Reply

    For heavens sake, whatever you and your husband like is, in my poinion, perfect!

  49. Diane D. March 15, 2013 at 2:31 pm - Reply

    You have a beautiful smile and a wonderful personality. You look great either way. I’ve never had a job that dictates what color of hair I have so that would be different for me. But you have an amazing job that many of us are green with envy, especially if we love to travel and funds are an issue. In the end, I suppose you have to please the producers of the show.

    By the way, your twins are BEAUTIFUL!!! Hope you are doing OK and hope you get some time to spend with them while they are small. The time goes fast!

    Take care! Thanks for sharing pics of your family!! =)


  50. Nina March 27, 2013 at 2:51 pm - Reply

    It’s Cornwall that you’re a brunette. I don’t think it looks bad, just different. I like the blonde but maybe a lighter brunette would work too?

  51. Jackie Treehorn April 3, 2013 at 11:54 pm - Reply

    Sam is beautiful, no matter the color or style of her hair.

  52. Marco April 15, 2013 at 11:40 pm - Reply

    Whatever suites your personality best. I think blond is the iconic Samantha Brown.

  53. Irene June 19, 2013 at 6:04 pm - Reply

    You are beautiful as both a blonde and a brunette! I truly love your shows and really miss seeing you on Travel Channel. I bet you’re really busy with the twins though! Congrats to you and Kevin. Ellis and Elizabeth are so lucky to have you two as their parents.

  54. Andrina July 1, 2013 at 7:31 pm - Reply

    Not that you’re too worried about hair color right now, since the twinners are here 🙂 but I do tend to favor you more blonde-ish. Or maybe a light brown? The brunete didn’t look bad- very rock n roll, like you were saying about the book! I just think the blonder color was more befitting your sunny personality. For a long time I didn’t know it was colored! And you are beautiful no matter what you have on your head!

  55. Boomer September 8, 2013 at 3:25 pm - Reply

    Honestly I think you look better as a blonde. But the reality is that your hair color does not matter much, you would look great anyway.

  56. Glenn October 24, 2013 at 3:43 pm - Reply

    The inner you is what counts most. Your friendly dazzling smile lets it (you) shine.

  57. Shelley February 10, 2014 at 6:28 pm - Reply

    I know this is Feb. 2014 and just seeing this post a little late, but actually my daughter and I loved the darker color! Next time a caramel brown with a smudge of highlights will do it nicely!!! 😉

  58. saloma March 24, 2014 at 12:06 am - Reply

    I usually like blodne. You looks beautiful in both blonde and a brunette!

  59. Bonnie Robertson September 5, 2014 at 10:29 pm - Reply

    Samantha, I love your sense of humor and thank you for making me laugh out loud when I read about blackjack. 🙂

    PS. I like you as a blond, but either way, you’re a keeper and a winner!

  60. Jim MacDougall September 10, 2014 at 7:58 pm - Reply

    Hi Sam,

    It’s a different look for you, but I kinda like it. It suits your eyes & eyebrows. Your skin color is a bit light in the picture, but with a little sun on your checks, I think it works.

    Now, I think you are a beautiful woman, blonde, brunette, or Bald. That being said , you really look cute in this picture. Don ‘t be so hard on yourself ” Black Jack “

  61. MLF November 13, 2014 at 4:04 pm - Reply

    Change is good. A bad hair cut or color only lasts so long and a great one only stays interesting so long.

    I really like your hair dark in the picture here, I like it blonde too. Frankly, you have a cute face and can pull off any short hairstyle.
    The color change itself is exciting in my opinion as a guy, it almost couldn’t look bad regardless. I think most guys would agree; where they would take issue most would be on length. I like short hair, I think most guys like long.

    My wife has long hair now so I like it less in any color than a ‘bad’ color short. I’ve never heard a guy like or not like a wife or GF’s hair style over anything but length. I have a friend who loves long hair, his wife went short and he refused to…umm…get ‘close’ to her…until she grew it back – I never heard him mention the color.

  62. mark January 27, 2015 at 2:19 am - Reply

    I like the blonde but longer

  63. James laumand September 18, 2015 at 12:18 am - Reply

    It look hot,and you look like Kelly ripper her you do. Almost

  64. Deborah February 13, 2016 at 12:56 pm - Reply

    I think you look good both ways!

  65. David April 7, 2016 at 12:41 pm - Reply

    You look perfect either way.

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