Diane Hamilton grew up not liking her black hair and olive skin. Everyone else, it seemed, was blonde. She was different. And being different when you're a kid or teenager isn't a good thing. Or so she thought.

So she gradually became a blonde - a platinum blonde at that. Then, when she was at a Syrian heritage festival, she was the only blonde. She realized something.

"I cheated myself of the opportunity to appreciate my heritage," Hamilton said. "I decided to go back and give myself a second chance to appreciate my heritage."

She did it with the help of Lindsay Colõn, owner of Posh Salon and Day Spa, 623 E. Markland Ave.

To go from the blondest of blond, platinum, to dark brown is not easy, Colõn said. That may not seem like a big deal, but any hairdresser will tell you that to do that, and for it to look as good as it does with as much shine, wasn't easy.

The point of Hamilton's makeover was to get in touch with who she really was. Others choose a makeover to feel better about themselves, Colõn said. "The way we feel about ourselves a lot of times determines how we handle our day. If our hair doesn't look good, we don't feel good. If we feel good about ourselves, we usually do better. Feeling good about yourself helps when things aren't going so good."

So how do you know when you need a makeover?

"I think that's something you'd want to talk to your stylist about," Colõn said. "If you boldly ask your stylist, 'Is the look I have outdated?' a good stylist will tactfully say if it's a time for a change."

Permanent change

Not only was Hamilton thinking about changing her hair to reflect her heritage, but she was also thinking about finding a solution to a problem she had with eyeliner.

"I'm close to 60," she said. "As you get older, your face changes. The last two or three years, my eyes were drooping some, and I couldn't keep my eyeliner on. It'd smudge."

While at Posh, she noticed a sign about permanent makeup, which uses a tattooing technique to apply pigments under the skin.

"I researched it, and I found others who had it and they looked wonderful and didn't have problems. I talked to Lindsay about it. I finally decided that it was a good decision for me."

Then, the night before, she almost "chickened out," Hamilton said. But Kourtney King, TITLE, had arranged to come in when the salon was closed just to do that for Hamilton.

"I felt guilty, and so I went ahead and did it. I am so glad I did."

She doesn't have to worry anymore about smudged eyeliner. And getting ready in the morning is easier. "It eliminates a step for me," she said.

"Eyeliner it is the most popular permanent makeup," Colõn said. "There are a lot of different reasons why people choose that, and they vary depending on the age group. Elderly people who can't see to apply it well anymore do it. Some older clients also do it because their hands aren't as steady anymore and they can't apply it in a straight, clean line. The younger generation seems to choose it because they want to be able to wash their face and still feel like they have a little makeup on. A few look on what they'd spend buying eyeliner for a lifetime and realize they'd save money over the years. So they're looking at it economically - or they're just saying that trying to convince their husbands," Colõn said and laughed.

It's not painful because King applies a numbing cream to the area before doing the procedure, Colõn said.

Economy-minded

Knowing that people feel better about themselves when they look good and knowing that the economy is sluggish, Colõn has come up with a way for people to look good for less.

Starting in January, Posh will offer a platinum card. It costs $10 for a year. With it, you will receive 10 percent off all purchases. On bonus days, you can get up to 50 percent off on products. Throughout the year there will be specials on services at Posh, which has a staff of 16 and now carries Pureology Luxury Haircare products.

And Colõn is offering a variety of specials during the Christmas season, as shown in advertisements in the Perspective.

Check out the Web site for more information about Posh Salon and Day Spa, at www.poshsalon-dayspa.com, or call 457-7470.