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Why My Hair Is Purple

When I was fifteen, I dyed my hair red and told people it was because I wanted to be a mermaid. This wasn’t a complete lie. I did want to be a mermaid. Mermaid’s have perfect bodies, mystical hair, and Jamaican crab friends who just want you to find the one. I would tell people that everyone had a mermaid stage anyways. It was a fun explanation as to why I would do something so seemingly not me.

When I was fifteen, I also had no idea who the hell I was. Living in the tiny bubble that I did, I didn’t feel like I had a category to place myself in and boy, do tiny bubbles just love categories. I didn’t play an instrument or a sport, I wasn’t particularly creative, and I was just an average student. I couldn’t even speak Spanish and I’m Cuban! Once my therapist told me, “Well, you are really great friend.” It didn’t make me feel better.

So slowly, I became obsessed with the idea of dying my hair red. People with red hair are spicy, I thought. They have an attitude problem and don’t care what anyone else thinks. At the time, I imagined redheads had a sense of self that I couldn’t fathom. So, as you can expect, I dyed my hair as a part of some identity crisis. As you can also expect, I didn’t get any spicier or gain an attitude problem. Eventually I got bored of the red and went back to my natural dark brown hair. I swore I would never dye my hair again.

Skip ahead to five years later and now my hair is purple. It has not been purple for long, only about a week. So why would I do this again? I am very different from who I was when I was fifteen. I am not afraid of trying new things and currently in the process of finding my niche in college. I feel like I have discovered a lot about myself, but I think that I am dying my hair for the same reasons. Well, sort of.

I am currently trying to figure out who I am and build an identity for myself just like I did when I was fifteen. The difference between my fifteen year old self and my current self is my mindset. When I was fifteen I was so desperate to place myself in a box and show that image to the rest of my peers, I also believed that I was incapable of certain aspirations because I had never tried them yet. This sounds silly, but when you grow up around people who have been dancing or playing soccer since the age of three, you’d feel the same too. In trying to discover myself, I built up walls and ceilings.

Now, I feel like my possibilities are endless. Instead of desperately trying to find this box I can neatly fold myself into, I freed myself from limitations by letting go of the desire to have them. There are many things I can try and succeed at. I am learning more about myself than ever before. Instead of feeling incapable, I feel capable of anything I truly want. I have college to thank for that. There are so many opportunities to learn new things. However, the biggest thing I’ve learned is that if you want something, you have to make it happen. No one else can. Dyeing my hair now means something different to me than it did when I was fifteen. When I was fifteen, it was an escape from who I was, but now trying something this bold feels like I am heading towards myself. So, to make a long story short, I dyed my hair purple because I am exploring myself and enjoying the process.

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Kat F

Oswego

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