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Had Virgin Hair for 18 Years and Now I Can’t Stop Dyeing My Hair

There was a time where I thought I would leave my hair in its natural state forever. I never thought I would care for dyeing hair because I never feel the need nor the want to change my own. Granted this was because I thought I could never work up the courage to have brightly colored hair. My natural hair, a plain black-brown, was safe and didn’t draw attention to me and I liked it that way. I’ve never been one to feel like I needed to stand out nor did I want to, I was super self-conscious and I thought if I had bright hair, that would be just another thing for people to nitpick me about. I was stopping myself from doing something that did interest me because I was too scared about what other people would say. I looked at other people with their dyed hair and always thought to myself, “Looks good on them, but I don’t think I ever could.” But my opinions have since long changed, upon coming to a college, one that has thousands of students, it dawned on how many people really are here, and how many people I would actually come across. Let’s be real, it’s pretty hard to get to know every single person at college, especially as an introvert. I really am just one small person in a sea of thousands. That sounds a bit sad, but realistically I will never truly be able to find out what everyone thinks of me, and that thought really changed my mindset.

In high school, you were with the same people every day, a bold change would be noticeable by everybody. My high school especially was small, so knowing that I never wanted to stand out more than I needed to, because high school was… well, you get the point. But at college, specifically, a college that is on the quarter system, my classes are constantly changing, I have to meet new people every few months, and it’s helped me see how small dyeing my hair is in my life.

I only started to dye my hair this last year. Something about being in my dorm all alone, without many interactions with others made me feel bolder. No one would see if I messed my hair up, I would have enough time to fix it or grow it out again and so I decided to dye half of my hair. Granted it wasn’t a bold change, I simply lightened half of my hair, it really helped me with my self-confidence and the way that I look at myself. With that COVID quarantine mindset, I really took advantage of not seeing other people try and test out different things, discover a new me that I could then take back to college when we would be back on campus.

The article “This Is Why You Can’t Stop Dyeing Your Hair: Psychologists Explain,” it talks about how being able to feel like a new person with each hair color is an addicting feeling, and that being able to reinvent yourself is just something that people crave. This is exactly how I felt when I first dyed my hair, granted I only did half of my hair and it was a somewhat poor job, I felt newfound confidence in myself that I had not experienced. I feel like I take up a newer and more improved personality anytime I dye my hair and it’s because I feel like the changed hair color makes me feel differently each time. So far I have only done half and half hair, blue, and green hair (expect more in the future) but each time, I have felt myself shift into a slightly different personality, and I think that it’s been really good for me because I was so used to feeling safe with my natural hair. I still haven’t gotten used to the staring that I get sometimes, but now I feel like I care less and less about people staring. In my mind, they are just staring at my hair, and of course, they would, it’s bright green. I can carry on without overthinking if they are judging me because, to me, they are only looking at my hair because it is so brightly colored. I used to think that my natural hair was a safe mask that I could blend in with, but even with my bright hair, I feel less worried about the stares, my brightly colored mask works just as well.

There was a time where I thought I would leave my hair in its natural state forever. I never thought I would care for dyeing hair because I never feel the need nor the want to change my own. Granted this was because I thought I could never work up the courage to have brightly colored hair. My natural hair, a plain black-brown, was safe and didn’t draw attention to me and I liked it that way. I’ve never been one to feel like I needed to stand out nor did I want to, I was super self-conscious and I thought if I had bright hair, that would be just another thing for people to nitpick me about. I was stopping myself from doing something that did interest me because I was too scared about what other people would say. I looked at other people with their dyed hair and always thought to myself, “Looks good on them, but I don’t think I ever could.” But my opinions have since long changed, upon coming to a college, one that has thousands of students, it dawned on how many people really are here, and how many people I would actually come across. Let’s be real, it’s pretty hard to get to know every single person at college, especially as an introvert. I really am just one small person in a sea of thousands. That sounds a bit sad, but realistically I will never truly be able to find out what everyone thinks of me, and that thought really changed my mindset.

In high school, you were with the same people every day, a bold change would be noticeable by everybody. My high school especially was small, so knowing that I never wanted to stand out more than I needed to, because high school was… well, you get the point. But at college, specifically, a college that is on the quarter system, my classes are constantly changing, I have to meet new people every few months, and it’s helped me see how small dyeing my hair is in my life.

I only started to dye my hair this last year. Something about being in my dorm all alone, without many interactions with others made me feel bolder. No one would see if I messed my hair up, I would have enough time to fix it or grow it out again and so I decided to dye half of my hair. Granted it wasn’t a bold change, I simply lightened half of my hair, it really helped me with my self-confidence and the way that I look at myself. With that COVID quarantine mindset, I really took advantage of not seeing other people try and test out different things, discover a new me that I could then take back to college when we would be back on campus.

The article “This Is Why You Can’t Stop Dyeing Your Hair: Psychologists Explain,” it talks about how being able to feel like a new person with each hair color is an addicting feeling, and that being able to reinvent yourself is just something that people crave. This is exactly how I felt when I first dyed my hair, granted I only did half of my hair and it was a somewhat poor job, I felt newfound confidence in myself that I had not experienced. I feel like I take up a newer and more improved personality anytime I dye my hair and it’s because I feel like the changed hair color makes me feel differently each time. So far I have only done half and half hair, blue, and green hair (expect more in the future) but each time, I have felt myself shift into a slightly different personality, and I think that it’s been really good for me because I was so used to feeling safe with my natural hair. I still haven’t gotten used to the staring that I get sometimes, but now I feel like I care less and less about people staring. In my mind, they are just staring at my hair, and of course, they would, it’s bright green. I can carry on without overthinking if they are judging me because, to me, they are only looking at my hair because it is so brightly colored. I used to think that my natural hair was a safe mask that I could blend in with, but even with my bright hair, I feel less worried about the stares, my brightly colored mask works just as well and so I can’t stop dyeing my hair.

Jade Zuniga

UC Riverside '24

I am a first-year Psychology major who is looking to improve my writing skills. I love listening to music, watching movies, drinking boba, and playing with my cats.
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