As you all know, I have colourful hair. My natural colour is a sort of strawberry blonde, something like this:
But I got bored of it after years of the same colour. I wasn’t brave enough to change up the style, so I went through dying phases. First, dark brown in 2005:
Then, deep pinks and purples in 2007:
Then red in 2008:
Then in December 2008, 2 months into my degree, I decided to take the plunge and bleach it. I wanted to shake up my image a bit, do something radically different, and stand out from the crowd. I was struggling with making friends, and naively thought that colourful hair would draw people to me (though, it must be said, it did work to a certain extent – it was certainly a good conversation starter, and many of those conversations led to decent friendships!) So I did this:
For the past three years, almost, I’ve loved having colourful hair. The pros of having colourful hair are, in my opinion:
– Colourful hair is its own accessory. You can wear jeans and a t shirt and still look good.
– You become instantly memorable (“who’s she?” “the one with purple hair”).
– It’s a conversation starter. People have started talking to me on buses, in shops, in toilets, and on the street about my hair.
– It tends to attract other “alternative”-ish people. (one of my old uni friends told me that the reason she decided to start talking to me was because she thought my hair was cool)
– Kids getting excited when they see your hair in public – “look mummy, look at her hair! Can I have blue hair?” I love that. ❤
– Obviously it looks cool as fuck.
I’ve dyed it many colours since then; here’s a quick selection:
- Blue – March 2009. I miss this colour so much, but it was hard to maintain!
However, three years later, I’ve finally decided to dye it back to a normal colour – probably dark brown again. Having coloured hair has lost its shine (literally and figuratively), and I’m sick of all the downsides:
– It’s an absolute bastard to maintain. I used to dye my hair dark brown, and as long as I dyed it every 6 weeks or so, when my roots came through and the colour started losing vibrancy, the colour always looked fantastic. Now, with purple hair, I need to dye it every two weeks, and bleach the roots every month, if I want to keep it looking good. I can’t afford to do it that often, which means that I usually spend half my time having grey-tinted hair and brown roots.
– Dirty looks from sanctimonious strangers.
– Creepy come-ons from strange men who think it’s acceptable to stroke your hair when it’s an unusual colour. No dude, it’s still my hair, FUCK OFF.
– Dirty men who ask you if the carpet matches the curtains (true story). Have these men considered the logistics of dying your pubic hair?!
– Dirty men who ask if it’s true that alternative girls prefer anal (also a true story).
– Nagging relatives asking you when you’re going to grow up and dye over it.
– You’re less employable. I pretty much lost my retail job in 2008 because I dyed my hair purple. Fuck BHS. (purple hair is “unnatural”, whereas white blonde with black streaks is totally fine…)
– Stained bath towels, pillows, and collars (I learned the hard way that dark blue towels are the way forward).
– Sometimes it’s nice not to stand out. You can’t blend in with purple hair.
So I return to being normal and unmemorable – but with hair that’s easier to maintain. I am mostly doing this to try and find a job – I know how stiff the competition is, and I don’t want anything to put an employer off hiring me. *sigh* I’m also getting sick of standing out all the time, especially now that I’ve left the student bubble of Nottingham and am in the “real world”. Sitting in a doctor’s waiting room, or in the Job Centre, feeling people’s eyes on me when I wish I was invisible… it’s not a nice feeling. I’m almost looking forward to being a normal colour again, actually.