How Marilyn Monroe’s Hairdresser Told Me Not To Dye My Hair So Black (And I’m Now Going To Follow His Advice On Two Things!)

When I met Mr. Kenneth Battelle, aka. Marilyn Monroe’s hairdresser, I thought when he told me to be a movie star, he meant like Katie Holmes or one of those it girls. I didn’t know he worked on “the” Marilyn Monroe. 

Warning! As I’m drinking tea and totally hungry, this is going to be one rambling post. Enjoy. 

And of course my argument then and now was, “But! I want to be a movie director!” And being really pesky.  And me being like, “This elderly man is super cool and nice but I’m so sick of people telling me to be an actress when my goals are to be behind the camera and I wa—and—and—and” for some time. I didn’t meet him a whole lot or anything because I didn’t live at his salon, but it’s stuff like those moments you capture in a few short instances where it’s like mountains of advice layered on each other that you remember forever. In one half hour while someone else at his salon worked on me, I learned he thought I was super beautiful (I was fully made up that day) too much not to be a movie star, I should have better dating standards, he knew someone else I knew(!) who was a totally immature silly fellow, so forth.

Remember, I have health issues and diabetes. When I met Kenneth, I had gone all day long on an airplane, landed in Manhattan, and gone straight to his salon without eating anything other than orange juice. I quickly ate something as I got my hair “did” and he totally understood hhahahhHAHAHA. And we had a cool convo afterwards. 

And, I wish to note all women are beautiful when made up. This is not a post about me thinking I am better or worse than any other female person. I’m repeating what these guys said. They believed movie stars are pretty because in their days, it wasn’t about nepotism so much or acting talent. If someone found you healthy, curvy, and pretty, you were made a movie star!

Kenneth seemed really against my wish to have black BLACK hair because he said it was hard on my face, destroyed whatever natural beauty I had, and didn’t go with my coloring. Today I see, yeah, I should not have done that as long as I did. I need to use makeup trickery to look “good” with black hair. We shouldn’t need makeup to look “good.” That day, I learned he had been Marilyn Monroe’s hair dude and as a great lover of retro film stars since I was born, the fact made me sooooooo excited! I loved anytime I had a moment to snoop around his salon which was not often but I did stop over and snoop every once in a while.

I was thinking about this today because I have this theory. When someone tells you something once, it’s kind of like, “Ugh!” When you hear the same thing from more than one person, it’s OK. When three people of value tell you something, you need to make changes in your life. I’ve so far had someone else a second person, who’s kind of a career role model to me, tell me to be an actress.  And when I was in junior high landing in Manhattan, the very first actual famous-y person I ever met, not in life, the first in NYC, was this fashion designer to the retro stars, Mr. Arnold Scaasi. I never met him again. We met by chance when I was plopped down and wandered around looking for stuff to do and my usual hatching plans. He too told me to be a movie star.

Secretly, I wanted to tell people the extra truth. Memorizing lines, or schoolwork for that matter, was and is a struggle for me. I can do amazing science-based things (music, computers...) some can’t yet a basic grammatical line series stumbles my brain. :/ Surely, there’s a way to get over this. 

So that’s it for me. I have decided number one today, if I have the problem of actually someone ever asking me to a movie star, and take my word when I say right now it’s not an issue because none of the directors I’ve ever known or met online or in person have asked, but if I do, heck yeah, I’m saying yes. 

Number two, Kenneth, and I did not know when I first met him at the Waldorf-Astoria salon went by “Mr. Kenneth,”  must know his stuff. Homeboy was around my favorite movie stars of all time! Right? ;) OK, so my lesson gained from this is because I’ve been so fed up lately with my overall image and inners and other stuff, me wanting to really change my career full force with my look including behind the scenes stuff goals as behind the scenes is my main motivation, I am going to look into enhancing my color. Maybe going dark reddish blonde, or medium red blonde!

When I as a younger girl met Kenneth the hairdresser king, he saw me with another person’s work. I’d previously gone to another talented hairdresser who despite my protests,  didn’t do what I wanted. She took my hair that’s naturally between the redhead and brunette land and wouldn’t make it pure crow black. She’d given me some auburn hair extensions with chocolate brown and a few black together to “look natural.” I had no choice but to take this because I’d ordered the hair in the mail and had to leave to NYC ASAP. And as my usual self complaining about stuff complained about this. I wanted black hair! And, being a movie director! To which I’m sure he felt, “This chick is crazy.” Side note. He’s right. I’m abSolutely!!!! crazy—only about work! I dream of work goals so much like an obsession. And, he learned I was less silly crazy once I had food HAHAHAHHAHA. I tend to make outrageous statements when I feel sick like how much tuna melts are ruining my life.

I am trying to decide right now if I should go for dark blonde-red or light brown-red or what. OK, chickens. This is my dilemma. My hair in the sun looks super Emma Stone-y amazing.  All virgin hair, yo.


But in the shade, or in most other lighting, it either goes muddy red or flat out dog mess brown. Or off black, no red. All depending on the lighting. Which is why I want to reach for the hair dye. I love black hair, red, auburn, blonde; anything brown on me while beautiful on others ... on me, straight up reminds me of poo. No thanks. I hate brown hair on me so much—and my virgin hair only looks vivid red in SOME lighting. Yuck!

I could be wrong—changing my hair feels like it’s going to change my life. What a weird feeling because it’s only hair. What if it’s true?!?! Amy Adams bought a career when she ditched her wheat blonde hair! What if people love me without the black dye? After years of going at my request “Sharpie marker black,” much to Kenneth and other people’s dislike, I’m ready......

Oddly, I for ages because I’m from the Midwest and have gone on/off to NYC in life always thought my virgin hair would be black-red based on an inch of roots reflecting dark against the dark smog. As it turns out from growing out my real color, it’s a weird medium brown-red that changes according to the light. When I was a little kid, it was authentic dark strawberry blonde. Not carrot, not blood, natural orange-toned dark blonde. :P If anything, going out in the sun has lightened stuff all the way almost to a true light natural auburn in some light. Actually, I’m really confused. Either my hair is naturally medium red-brown or it’s naturally red meets off black and gets lightened when I let rays of sunshine embed themselves in it. Either way, my hair is stuck between auburn and brunette.

Maybe I’m being too obsessive about all of this stuff. 

Or not. I’m going to listen because what if I become the person of my dreams achieving all my goals and more? I feel a tinge scared that all of this is true and it’s a feeling I have never had before! So over dramatic of me!

I mean, he was MARILYN’S HAIRDRESSER. Different than the average person telling you advice. He knew better. 

And, I feel almost today like this emotional elderly Pedro Almodóvar film character looking back on life and feeling I had some of the coolest moments ever with people who themselves are entertainment world historical people. My life goes that way. Dull. Buying a Diet Coke. Stay home. Binge on Netflix. BOOM!!!!! SOMETHING COOL! Boring again for a few weeks or months.... 

OK, my tea is done buddies and I absolutely want to eat the hard boiled eggs.....maybe egg salad calls....... 

Well, hey, a hair dye career change worked for some Norma Jean person. ;)