I broke a huge, huge promise to myself.

I swore that once I turned 20 I would never dye my hair an unnatural color again.

I started dyeing my hair when I was in 7th grade. I remember getting my first set of highlights and being transformed into a new person. I was different. I was pretty.

And once I started dyeing my hair, I couldn't stop. 

For my 8th grade year, I chose a shorter cut, some side bangs, and a nice auburn color. By the time 9th grade rolled around, my hair had grown out and I got a full set of highlights. Then (for only God knows what reason) I decided to cut my hair into a mullet. Let’s not talk about it; it was a scene trend.

Tenth-grade me wasn’t about that life anymore. I cut my hair above my shoulders and dyed it pitch black. Yes, pitch black. I remember walking home from the salon with my hood up, wondering how long my parents would plan to keep me locked up in the house once they saw it. Oddly enough, they didn’t really care. (They were always pretty cool with the whole 'self expression' thing.)

I later added some red in my bangs, which looked pretty sweet at that Green Day concert.

With my hair growing out again, I kept it simple in 11th grade. A nice chocolate brown. With a few pink highlights underneath.

Senior year, of course I had to go out with a bang. We’re talking blood red. Though I wouldn't do it again, that one I definitely don’t regret. It was a lot of fun, and I even got mistaken for Hayley Williams once! 

When I graduated from high school, my mom asked me (very politely) to dye my hair brown for graduation. Royal purple didn’t look too good with blood red hair. Needless to say, I’m glad I took her advice on that one.

After graduating, I wanted a fresh start. So I chopped off nearly 12 inches of hair to rock a pixie cut. I kept up with it for a little less than a year— one of my more long-term relationships with my hair. But I was at it again when I moved away from home.

I moved out of my house during my second year of college. Not far away, but far enough away that I didn't feel guilty the night my roommate and I went to Sally's to pick up some dye. First it was blue.

Then green. Then purple. Then black once it got a little swampy. 

When I turned 20 years old, I vowed I’d never dye my hair an unnatural color again. Never would I everI always dyed my hair to be a different person. And at 20, I wanted to finally figure out which one of those people was the real me. 

But here I am, nearly two years into my 20s, sitting at my kitchen counter, with purple hair.

There’s just something about hair dye that’s… exciting. Over the years I've learned that it's not about being pretty. Hair is a canvas for whatever creation you want, and it’s never permanent. You can be whoever you want to be, for however long. It’s fun, it’s different. And I guess that’s why I like it.

And as bummed as I am that my freaking hair is purple right now, I'm cool with it and happy with how I look. Who knows what color it will be next week.

Posted Aug. 2014


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