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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?


This Post Has 71 Comments

  1. 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. 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!!

  3. 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 🙂

  4. 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 🙂

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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!

  8. 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….

  9. 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!

  10. 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!!

  11. 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!

  12. 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!

  13. 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!

  14. 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!

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  21. 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!!!

  22. 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!! =)


  23. 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?

  24. 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.

  25. 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!

  26. 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.

  27. 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!!! 😉

  28. 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!

  29. 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 “

  30. 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.

  31. You look great either way Samantha! Everyone is used to seeing you as a blonde, so it’s probably a bit shocking, but you still look incredible as a brunette.

  32. You look great either way. I did notice the brunette matched your eyes. Try auburn? You could be bald and still be beautiful.

  33. I prefer blonde. But of curse the most important in you is your sense of humor and profesionalism. I really enjoyed “Passport to Europe”.

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