I grew up wanting to dye my hair in many different colours. Unfortunately for my younger self, my parents were not a fan of the idea and the closest I got to a bright and fun colour was red. Nowadays, parental consent doesn’t hold me back. In the past year, I’ve dyed my hair blue, pink and now purple. I’ve successfully fulfilled my childhood dreams.
Dying your hair can be daunting. The first time I did mine I hadn’t bleached it, and I was still terrified about damaging it or somehow messing it up. Because I hadn’t bleached it, the pink didn’t show up much, but it was enough to get me comfortable with the dying process, as well as the occasional second glance of a stranger.
That first experience taught me somethings: hair grows and dye fades.
Yes, those two things may seem intuitive, but I never really understood it until I dyed my own hair a bright colour. Nevertheless, they were important. They taught me that nothing I did to my hair would be permanent. I could have a sloppy dye job and I’d only get a handful more glances before I took enough showers for it to fade.
The next time I would dye my hair it would be during COVID. I went blue. Oh, and I gave myself an undercut with a leg razor and bangs. Just over a month later, the blue had almost completely faded and my hair had grown just over a centimeter. For all intents and purposes, I had a clean slate.
At this point, I developed a relative fearlessness in regard to doing my hair. I cut it on my own, I dyed it haphazardly and I re-shaved the undercut. But I still had never bleached it and then dyed it. I was still scared of damaging my hair because yes, hair would grow and dye would fade, but I’d seen videos of hair bleaching gone wrong. I didn’t want to completely mess it up.
Until one day I told myself, screw it. I wanted to bleach my hair, and I knew all about how to do it and the precautions I needed to take. It was time I took a real risk just like that first time I dyed my hair.
So, I bleached my hair with all the grace of a tornado, stuck a grocery bag on my head and waited. I ended up a little on the orange side, but ultimately, I didn’t care. I had just bleached my hair, something I’d been terrified of doing, and it didn’t look half bad! Sure, I could have done better or, you know, gotten a professional to do it, but all things considered, I liked it. I was so proud of myself that I waited two weeks before putting a colour in.
If there’s one thing dying and bleaching my own hair has taught me, it’s that it’s not about what others think. I dyed my hair because I wanted fun colours and, yes, that meant I’d get a few extra stares when out in public. That didn’t matter in the end; I got to rock colours my childhood self had dreamed of having, and no one’s personal judgment was going to stop me.
Now, a few months after, I encourage people to take a risk and dye their hair. It might not look exactly how you planned, and maybe it’ll be a little off-kilter, but ultimately, it builds confidence.