Since I was young, I’ve wanted to be brave enough to color my hair some bright color. The bleaching commitment was too much for me to make the leap. What if I ruined my hair in the process and it all fell out? Would it turn out as badly as the time I asked the lady to give me a style with the same length and she layered it all the way to my scalp? The more time I waited, the more fear crept into my mind. What would my job think? Would people doubt my parenting ability? And the worst fear of all, what is an almost forty-year old doing with that colored hair?
I’d made some meager attempts along the way. In high school, I bought some temporary blue color. I think it was made to tint grey. A concept I really didn’t understand at the time and one now I’m way too familiar. I’m not sure which old lady was actually using blue, but the point is the flaw in my thinking. I slathered the stuff over my head like shampoo and washed it out a few minutes later hoping for awesome. It mixed with my mousey brown to create some blah gray grossness. I spent the rest of the night in the shower condensing the wash out time.
In college, I went a little more brave. I choose a semi-permanent color. My dorm-mate and I each picked a color for a wild time on a Saturday night. She was going from blonde to brown, while I wanted a maroon-ish red. We read the box, poured some drinks, and colored away. After the first application I didn’t think it was bright enough under our fluorescent lights in the middle of the night. So I did it again. I ended up with some almost black color which did have the hint of purple in the sun. It looked kinda cool, but completely washed me out into vampire like status.
I’d learned I couldn’t do it on my own. I needed a professional to help me pick the right color and apply it the way it should. Lucky for me, I found a terrific professional about ten years ago who has become a great friend. The best part is she’ll tell me like it is. If it’s going to look like crap, she won’t do it. I finally had the perfect set-up. So why couldn’t I pull the trigger?
When I’m with my bestie who has a bright color under black, we get stopped constantly with “I love your hair.” I’ve been jealous for years watching her cycle through the rainbow. So I made goals. I’ll do it when I get an agent because when people ask “why did you do that to your hair” I’ll say “I got an agent Mo-Fo. Shut it.” Then when I realized I might want it sooner, I thought I’d do it when I reached a goal weight. If people made a cringed face I’d proudly tell them how hard I worked to get to a particular size.
I started to ask myself why I was waiting. Why did I need a justification to do something I wanted to do? How silly was it to prepare my defense to a person I probably didn’t care about what they thought? So I did it. I pinned a bunch of hair looks to my friend and told her I was going for a bright red. Under it I wanted purple peek-a-boos. I showed up a week later and she delivered a most daring red and purple (for me).
I love it. It’s bright, kinda different, and a little bit rock n’ roll. The purple was too muted and will be corrected the next time. Yes, the next time. There’s been many opinions. People have told me they love it and some have even said they hate it. One person did what I feared the most. She grimaced and said, “Why did you do this to your hair?” I straightened my shoulders, grinned from ear to ear and said “I did it for me.”