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What’s Up With My Hair? My Life In Head Shots

  |   By Elisabeth Dale

You might be asking yourself, what’s up with Elisabeth’s hair? Maybe you’ve seen me go from a brunette, redhead, to a blond over the years. 

I recently bared my soul for the What’s Wrong With You? Podcast, where I talked about my faults and failures in life. And it got me thinking about how far I’ve come, too.

Do I have regrets? A few. But none about changing up my hair. I remember a time in my 40s when, on impulse, I dyed my hair a specific shade of brown, just to match a dress I was wearing that night. It might seem frivolous, but to me, it was as important as getting my lingerie right under that designer gown.

So I thought it would be interesting to take a look back on my hair evolution. Because at 61, I’m happier and more in love with who I am than ever before. But where did it begin?

High School

hair

Me, circa 1973. I was likely 16 in this photo, as I was younger than most in my grade. My advancement was due to beginning my education at an early age in Orleans, France. All I remember about my hair is that it was long and curly, so I slept in giant rollers at night to try to straighten it out. Sometimes I put these long tresses on an ironing board and literally “ironed” the curl out (with a towel between me and the hot surface, so my hair didn’t go up in flames). Who am I in this pic? I’ve got no clue, but I loved participating in drama classes and playing music.

Engagement

my hair

Elisabeth McAnulty, Age 27

My first real headshot with a professional photographer was for my engagement to my (now former) husband. I call it my Princess Di hair phase, being it was the mid-80s when I was childless and frequenting clubs and discos. When I wasn’t working as a word processor (Google that and learn about a long-lost job), I imagined myself saving the world through non-profit work. Using a round brush and blow dryer, I would smooth and straighten my still thick, curly frizzy hair. The color was eggplant. I’d stay with this style for several years and continue to experiment with colors, mostly in the chestnut brown family.

New Book, Blog, and Breast Expertise

Wow, just look at that old Dell Laptop
Photoshoot for the launch of my first website, Booksonboobs.com
Zovo Lingerie, Seattle, 2006

Fast forward some 25 years later. Here I am, at 50 years. Now I’m a stay-at-home (but always in the car) Mom to three teens, living the life of a corporate wife in Seattle. Assume I walked straight from the salon to this photo shoot, taken in a lingerie boutique. It was for the launch of my blog and first website, www.booksonboobs.com.

By now, I was deep into writing my first book—working with my editor and publisher. And I look tentative, as if I was wasn’t sure of my new writer status. Not a surprise, since I’d only taken two creative writing classes before pitching my book idea and landing an agent. The hair color doesn’t seem natural either, a streaked strawberry blond concoction with different flips and twists.

my hair
 
At the launch party for Boobs: A Guide to Your Girls
Elisabeth Squires, October 2007

Still married, but an intense red hue to my look. You can see me embracing and celebrating my new author status before I kick off my book tour.

Living In a Waterfront Paradise

my hair
 
 
 
My short-lived wig days
Elisabeth Dale, in custom Cadolle corset
Sarah Takako Photography, 2010

This photo session took place in Kingston, Washington, a small rural community on the shores of Puget Sound and a 30-minute ferry ride from Seattle. It’s where I moved a couple of years after ending my 25-year marriage. Even though I’m wearing a corset, I’m not revealing much, since I’m hiding behind glasses and a long wig. Somewhere in the past year, I changed my name and my marital status. Makes sense to try different costumes as a way to find my new identity.

For The Breast Life Rebrand
Wearing Trashy Lingerie feathered corset
Barbara Green Photography, 2010

Hadn’t yet moved to Los Angeles, but was flying down frequently to get to know the area. So I hired an LA photographer to take some photos of me for the rebrand of my boob business to The Breast Life. The style is a bit bed head, as was my travel schedule. But what is the hue, you ask? Not so sure, as it may be the result of heavy metals in the rural county’s water system. What’s clear is I’m starting to spread my wings, take chances, and reclaim my writing life.

Moving On…to Los Angeles

my hair

my hair

 
For redesign of TheBreastLife.com
Mikel Healey Photography 2012

These shots were taken in Santa Monica and accurately reflect my first year in LA. Remember that I’m not sure if my move is permanent or temporary since I put my entire household in storage. But there’s a sense of adventure and curiosity in my eyes. I’m still searching, and I’ve updated my hairdo and color, going with a dark auburn red.

my hair

Author photo for The Bra Zone
Ron Rinaldi Photography 2015

The requisite author photo headshot for my second book, The Bra Zone. Still rocking the same hair color and cut, for the most part.

The Next Chapter?

my hair

my hair

my hair

In my favorite Fleur of England
Sarah Nelson Makeup
Mikel Healey Photography, May 2017

So why the big change? It was an accident. First, I’d been longing to get rid of the red, which I’d worn in some shade for over a decade. But I had to grow it out first. Having zero patience, I decided not to wait and instead asked my hairdresser to give me a shorter pixie cut. Then she got the bright idea to transform my now gray-brown hair to platinum blond. What did I discover? I love the freedom of this style. It shaves another ten minutes off my getting-ready-in-the-morning routine. All I do is wash, comb, and let air dry. And at my age, there’s no more time to waste.

And, of course, the new look required new headshots. In these photos, I’m relaxed, happy, and full of joy. I’m simply me—genuine and unfiltered. This ease is reflected on the standup and storytelling stage, too. Who knew exposing even more of myself could make me feel so confident and alive?

Do you change up your hairstyle and color or feel more comfortable with the same look? What works for your life and style?

 

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Breast and bra expert, author, and founder of TheBreastLife.com. My latest book, The Bra Zone: How to Find Your Ideal Style, Size, and Support, busts common bra fitting myths and helps consumers navigate the confusing world of bra styles and sizes.

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