The first time I did any kind of coloring to my hair, I was in seventh grade. My mom let me put Sun-In in my hair to get a lighter, more golden blonde. I’m not entirely sure it actually worked, as my hair was pretty light, but it spawned a little hair-coloring demon in me. For most of the last 16-17 years, I haven’t seen my natural hair color. I didn’t even known what it was.
Red. “Grape Jelly.” Hot pink. Bleach blonde. Dark brown. Medium Brown. Auburn. Copper. A failed attempt at teal.
My hair color’s always been a reflection of how I feel. Who I feel that I am. How I want to present myself, and who I want people to see. Since entering the working world, it’s always been a compromise between what I want and who I feel I am, and who I need to be for my job. Which has sadly meant no hot pink streaks hidden away. It’s also been a sign of how disconnected I feel from myself– the unending roots because I can’t figure out what color I want and reaching for the same color–because no other color could POSSIBLY feel right.
As you can see in this recent picture, my roots have gotten LONG since my last hair coloring. It prompted the eternal (or at least eternal-for-the-last-five-years) dilemma in me– keep it that color or find out what my natural color is?
Once, while living in Indiana, I got close, as in 2 inch roots. My coworkers were SOOO excited to see the natural color. But the look of my roots just drove me insane. Most of the time I get tired of having roots and color it whatever it was, whether that felt like my “color” at the time or not.
This time– I took the plunge. There was enough natural growth that the Beau helped me find a dye close to the color, and worst case scenario– if I hated it, it’d be easy to go back to strawberry blonde.
After I had finished & dried it, I went in to the living room to see the Beau. I was anxious, and a bit nervous. I was excited by what I saw in the mirror, but I knew how much he loved my redder hair.
“This is it. This is what your girlfriend looks like naturally. No make-up, no hair color.” He goes, “It’s nice.” I continue to give him the eye of “BUT…” and he adds, “It’s plain. It’s nice, but plain.” Of course, the dude who loves my vibrant copper and strawberry blonde hair isn’t going to jump for joy over mousy dishwater blonde hair.
It’s not an entirely accurate color, since it has built in highlights and lowlights from the strawberry blonde. And, of course, after a few weeks, it’s taken on a pinkish tone from the red starting to push it’s way through the dark blonde.
Oddly, I felt like “me” for the first time in a while with the strawberry blonde. I feel like “me” now, too, with this dishwater hair. I question how two different colors can feel like me, but realize that’s the nature of this girl-beast: always dueling with herself. And at least I I have a few colors I can bounce between, at least until I don’t feel like myself again. ;)
Relate? Empathize? What’s your history with your hair color?