ELLENWOOD — It ain’t easy being beautiful.
That’s the message I got from Netori Johnson. The subject came up when a recent conversation I was having with him turned to his hair. I’ve had a few interviews with him lately for his Next Generation profiles, which ran recently on DawgNation.
As anybody who follows Georgia or recruiting can tell you, Johnson — aka “Snowcone,” as some have come to call him — loves to dye his hair different colors. Specifically, he likes to dye only the very top of his head. The sides and back remain au naturel. What color he puts on top depends on his moods, whims or special occasions.
“It’s whatever I feel at the time,” he said. “The ladies love it.”
Well, like any hard-hitting reporter would, I set out to get to the bottom of the story on Johnson’s hair. Surely he must spends hundreds of dollars a sitting in order to have a professional stylist light up his locks in various neon shades?
“I do it myself,” Johnson informed me.
Johnson simply seeks out the colors of dye that he needs at any local beauty-supply store.
“I’ve got to find one in Athens,” said the Georgia offensive line signee. “Otherwise I’m gonna have to come back here and buy 100 bottles.”
The real trick is in the preparation and application. It’s quite tedious and labor intensive.
I’ll let Johnson explain.
“I have to bleach it first if I want the color to be bright,” he said. “So I use hair bleach to bleach it. That strips the color and my hair will turn blond. If you let it sit too long it’ll burn the hair out of your head, so you have to be careful. I let it sit about 20 minutes, then I wash my hair out real good. My hair feels real thin after that. Then I put the color on. You put that color on, now it’ll take. And that’s how it’s done.”
Johnson said the whole process generally takes about an hour. He always does it in the Ellenwood home he shares with his grandmother, Venus Meadows.
Johnson has tried all kinds of colors. Sometimes he goes with one solid hue. Others times he might go multi-colored.
Currently Johnson is rocking a two-tone look, bright red on the sides with purple down the middle. But it was fading fast and he is looking to touch it up soon.
Ever since he committed to Georgia in April of 2016, Johnson has generally used some shade of red. He has tried the dye colors “Truly Red” and “Ruby Red” to emulate the Bulldogs’ primary color. He has yet to find a “Georgia Red” or “Bulldog” red.
Johnson figures the perfect tone is in somewhere in Athens, but he hasn’t found out yet whether UGA line coach Sam Pittman is going to allow him to continue his hair art once he moves there in June.
Cedar Grove coach Jimmy Smith shared a story about colored-hair restrictions with DawgNation’s Jeff Sentell.
“When he first got here (in the 10th grade), he had red hair,” Smith said. “It was flaming red, all of it. So I told him he had to get that red out of his hair, man. I told him I didn’t like it. He was like, ‘Alright,’ with no fuss about it at all. Netori is a good kid, so I thought that was it.”
That was not it.
“He comes back the next day with blue hair,” Smith said with a laugh.
Johnson had pulled a fast one.
“‘Coach, you didn’t say I had to go back to black; you just said I had to get the red out,” Johnson told him.
Smith just quit worrying about it after that.