I don’t know what my natural hair color is.
When I was a wee child, I had adorable, blond hair. (As seen in the photo above where I am wearing a “Belle” gown.) As I aged, it became darker and darker. Then at one point I thought a perm was a good thing to have. And after that, it was never straight hair again. (I also hit puberty around this time, and it’s been said to me that the hormone change likely changed the quality of my hair as well.) Now here I was, 13 years old, with partially sort of wavy, blonde-ish brown-ish hair. I still received $12 haircuts, and I had no idea what a “flat iron” was. (This was probably a good thing for my hair’s sake.) Finally, at maybe 15 or 16 (I really can’t remember) I convinced my mom to bring me to a real salon. I experienced my first professional cut and style.
Mind = Blown.
Not only that, but I *gasp* put in some lowlights and highlights as well.
This began my hair journey.
I still wasn’t one for the best hair style, but I certainly cared more now. So time went on, I kept doing whatever it was I was doing to my hair, and eventually befriended a girl who wanted to become a stylist. She needed hair models who were willing to make specific changes to their hair. Since I cared little about the color of my hair and greatly enjoyed changing it, I volunteered every time. I was was basically every natural color you can think of, (except for red).
Eventually, I stuck with variations of blonde hair. Blonde doesn’t fade, and a root touch up was cheap when I wasn’t near my friend who could do it for free. This wasn’t in the best interest for my hair, or the color (It slowly became way too blonde… it was bad). Finally, I returned to my stylist friend and she suggested new colors. But not just any color, bright colors. Unnatural colors like pink, blue, and purple.
I was in love.
But I had jobs that didn’t allow color. Our solution? Dye the ends! So one month between college graduation and my internship, we dyed the end of my hair hot pink. It was amazing. Washed out fast, but I loved every second of it.
A year later, after my internship and before my new job, we did it again. My intern boss found out I had “dyed my hair pink” and panicked, as he had given me a rave review for this new position. He feared they would not look kindly upon a girl with pink hair. But why?
Why should I be judged for the color of my hair?
No one cared when it changed shades every few months. Why would they care if it turned purple? Or blue? Or pink?
6 months into my new job, and I couldn’t take the “normal” colors anymore. I found a stylist and asked her to add an unnatural color to my hair, in a natural looking way. So we did a silver purple. It was awesome.
After I kinda sorta purpled my hair, my boss showed up to work with bright blue hair. And I’m talking bright blue here. Shocked, startled, and excited I asked her about it.
“Wait, can I dye my hair cool colors too?!”
Her response nearly brought tears to my eyes.
“Of course, a job has no right to restrict a person’s personal expression via their hair color or tattoos.”
I then dyed my hair pink.
After that, I tried the half grey root/ half colored. It didn’t turn out so hot. Not only that, but it faded within a few weeks. It was awful.
After 6 months of the bottom half of my hair brightly colored, the top half dark, and my hair breaking apart in torment, I knew something needed to change.
Lucky for me I met someone who also dabbled with colored hair. She recommended me to her stylist. I booked an appointment the next day.
Best. Decision. Ever.
Unfortunately the cost nearly doubled (probably why the first colors weren’t that great…) but it’s worth every penny. We started with a blue/purple combination:
Not only were the colors bright and vibrant, but they lasted. My new stylist educated me on proper after care, and colored with the fade in mind. Fresh or 3 months old, my hair looks amazing. She uses the right products too, my hair is the healthiest it’s been in a long time!
After this color change, people started calling me a mermaid.
Strangers approached me to compliment my hair.
Many conversations were started with wonderful individuals I likely wouldn’t have talked to otherwise. Airport security had a wonderful time. In fact, I wrote to my new stylist about it:
And as you can see, she shared my message on her instagram! (@rainbowrage give her a follow!)
How could I ever go back to “normal” hair after this?! Bright colors became my new normal!
3 Months later when I saw her again, we put more purple over everything. 3 months after that we made my roots pink and left the purple alone.
Then a few months after that, I was ready for a big change. Since I was headed off to Mexico soon, this seemed like a fitting color choice:
I was excited to match the color of the ocean, but as I met my friends at the airport, it occurred to me that my hair was the exact same color as the ocean. As in, if I were to be drowning, I would blend in with the color of the ocean… My friends assured me that this wouldn’t happen. (Oh the things I think some times. In my defense though, it actually nearly did happen! But that’s a whole other story.)
After a wonderful time in Mexico, it was time to switch it up again. People were now calling my hair “Unicorn Hair” and I wanted to run with it. What’s more Unicorn then a rainbow?
It’s gotten to a point where most people I know haven’t seen me with “normal” hair. And I am very much OK with this.
I love having strangers approach me about my hair.
I love seeing the smiles on people’s faces when they approach me to talk about my hair. I love running into other people with brightly colored hair. I love that I am easy to spot from afar (at 5’2″ this matters). I love how happy I feel every time I look in the mirror and see pretty colors. And it’s also important to note that I love my stylist. (Seriously though, ya’ll need to follow her on instagram. @rainbowrage )
I have had experiences that I truly believe would not have happened if I did not have brightly colored hair. Bonus? People remember me easier. Even if it’s just “blue haired girl”. Down side? People remember me easier. That’s my only complaint. Head to the store twice in one day? They remember you. Have an awkward conversation with someone? They remember you… This isn’t terrible, but blending in is no longer an option. I’m OK with that. It’s not like I drive a bright red vehicle or anything…
On that note, as Ruby looks like all other 4Runners, my friends started the habit of checking the driver’s hair color to see if it was me. Needless to say, driving through busy streets while intently trying to see a driver’s hair isn’t necessarily the safest thing to do…