I’ve been dying my hair ‘abnormal’ colours for about 6 months now and it’s been a huge change for me as I had only ever been different degrees of a brunette my whole life. Having social anxiety that has a tendency to rubberband between severe and barely there isn’t the best when paired with bright hair either; people love to have a good stare at something that’s not quite the norm. I thought I’d write a blog post about it so that people who aren’t sure about dying their hair can read about my experience and also people who already have bright hair might be able to relate.
Before I get properly started, I have to say that the majority of people that I know or have met along the way have all been very positive and ask questions in a kind way that doesn’t make me feel awful. I’ve dyed my hair various different colours because I am an artist; I love colour and I love it when people tastefully play with their appearances through tattooing, piercings and clothing – I don’t think hair dying is any different to any of this and it’s my preferred way of expressing myself. I remember being very bored of having dark brown hair and to be honest, I just didn’t feel like I was an exciting person or that my appearance reflected who I was inside. I also knew that bleaching and dying my hair would be a huge step outside my comfort zone which would push me in the direction of becoming more confident.
For the first few weeks, I was completely terrified of going out and thought that everyone was looking at me and judging who I was before they’d met me. I think I personally associated coloured hair with being quite alternative or “emo” or quite honestly, a bit weird, so I felt like people were putting me in that bracket. I’ve come to realise that they can do that if they want to, but I know that I’m just someone pretty average who likes having blue hair and I’m finally comfortable with going out, meeting new people and I barely notice people looking at my hair now. That’s another thing – you have to accept that people are looking at your hair and not at you.
The pros of having cool hair is that you get complimented and positively noticed a lot. I’m quite short and not very thin and I don’t have the most beautiful face in the world so I often used to disappear behind my gorgeous, tall and slim friends but I’ve had people start conversations with me about my hair since dying it. Having said that, I don’t really like attention being on me which sounds ridiculous coming from someone with bright blue hair, so if you want to just have a day where no one talks to you or looks at you then you can’t really do that unless you want to wear a big hat.
The obvious con is that it’s a lot of upkeep. I have to dye mine every 2-4 weeks and the bleaching is around every 6-8 weeks depending on how much root growth I can bear to deal with. It can get quite expensive in the long run too, but I think it has to be way cheaper than going to a salon, although you just won’t get the same results at home that you would at the hairdressers. (But if you have the money then you should definitely get a professional to do it for you!)
Lastly, you will get people asking you questions in an insensitive way or just not understanding your choice to dye your hair (or just being a bit of an idiot). Classic examples have been walking into parties/clubs and people saying “What have you done to your hair?!”, “Why would you do that?”, “It’s still that colour?? I thought it was just a phase?”, “How has your hair not fallen out?!”. At first, I used to get quite upset because I thought everyone would understand, accept it and love it for what it was. But like with a lot of things: some people just won’t get it. Now, I laugh it off if they’re being completely annoying (which is very rare), but I try to explain it quickly with things such as “I like the colour blue” because it really is just as simple as that.
I have to say that having coloured hair has been the most fun ever. I’m not sure when I will stop having coloured hair as I know that I don’t want it forever, due to the fact that it’s so much work to keep it coloured and if I’m honest, I do quietly look forward to the day that I return to being brunette and can just slip away unnoticed into crowds again. For now though, I’ll keep enjoying being able to match my eye makeup to my hair!