A Year With Pink Hair

Well, it’s been about a year since I dyed my hair hot pink. It’s grown out a little and faded a little, but it still looks pretty cool:

It's weird how it didn't grow or fade evenly either

It’s weird how it didn’t grow or fade evenly either

Obviously it’s nowhere near as striking as it once was:

I miss you, all hot pink all the time

I miss you, all hot pink all the time

It’s pretty amazing how quickly you get used to something like this, how easy it is to forget there’s anything weird about you. It was hardly a month before I was wondering why people were staring at me in the store. I don’t get as many stares now that I’m less bright, but still some. And even though it’s not as exciting and dramatic as it once was, I still feel really happy every time I look in a mirror. It can make me smile, even if there’s nothing else to smile about, and that’s worth something. I’m looking forward to a time when unnatural-colored hair is more accepted by dress codes everywhere so more people will be free to express themselves. I haven’t redyed it for two reasons: future job searches and money. I hope within my lifetime, both of those issues will resolve themselves, and I’ll have the most awesome hair of any 50-year-old space pirate ever (hey, we all have plans for the next 25 years).

This might be my favorite picture of it because it's the only bright thing in a drab world

This might be my favorite picture of it because it’s the only bright thing in a drab world

Even though I’m not continuing my awesome look, I don’t regret getting it for a second. It makes me happy, and it seems to make other people happy too. One of the best things about having unusual hair is that strangers talk to you way more. Most of the time to say “I like your hair!” or ask questions about it, but also often on some other topic entirely. Maybe having hot pink hair broadcasts the message that I’m a cool person and that makes people more likely to talk to me. Maybe I seem friendlier and happier since I dyed my hair. Maybe both!

This was last May, already lighter!

This was last May, already lighter!

I thought the most disapproving group would be older people, but they actually talk to me the most (besides children!). At the community center where I work out, there are always senior citizens waiting for other programs, who’ll often say things like “Look at that!” or “That’s the brightest hair I’ve ever seen!” Maybe they’re old enough to not care so much about being the Appearance Police, or maybe there are just way more cool old people in the world than I realized. I’ve had a lot of conversations with them this year, and it’s been awesome.

The other conversation I most often become a part of is when some child stares, points, and says “Mommy, that lady has pink hair!” The mom will respond with “Yes” or sometimes “Yes, isn’t it pretty?” or just kind of pull them away depending on how much they think I’m a Bad Example. This is Cary, so I expected a lot of the latter, but actually the first two are way more common! Also, there’s a lot of people in college or high school who compliment me and then ask questions like:

How long has it been? One year
WHAT? How is that possible? It’s a permanent dye and I’m part magic
What dye did you use? Elumen
Where did you get it done? Atomic Salon
Did you have to bleach it first? Yes:

WHERE MY DRAGONS AT? Maybe I should go back to this next!

WHERE MY DRAGONS AT? Maybe I should go back to this next!

It’s weird, because now I only notice people staring at me when I’m out of town, like a recent trip to Asheville or in Florida. I guess this could be because I’m more aware of my surroundings in an unfamiliar location where maybe I already feel somewhat like I don’t belong. But I prefer to think it’s the same reason I gave Rob when he remarked, at a Cary festival, that no one was really staring at me like he expected: “Well, they’re used to me by now.”

Yes, everyone in the Triangle has already seen my weird hair and gotten over it. This actually might be kind of true, at least around here, since the other HUGE perk to having weird hair is that you only have to go to a place once to be a regular. People remember you, and it’s the best. I’ll be a little sad to give up this Instant Regular status, but hopefully my favorite waitresses and grocery store clerks will gradually get used to the non-pink me.

This is from November. You can definitely see it's much lighter, but I like that shade too

This is from November. You can definitely see it’s much lighter, but I like that shade too

The only sort of negative consequence I can think of is that you have to start taking a different attitude to your wardrobe. Before I had pink hair, I knew some colors looked better on me than others, but nothing looked automatically hideous, just less flattering. Now, not so much. A lot of things clash with hot pink. It’s a bright color! You can’t avoid it. There’s a whole section of my closet now that’s basically in quarantine till “after pink.” Almost everything I’ve bought in the last year has been black or gray or a kind of turquoise or some shades of blue. Black is the best, because it’s the most striking against the pink. I definitely don’t wear as many busy prints as I used to either, just because it can easily be sensory overload. But I’m okay with that, and it doesn’t really affect my life that much. If you have a desire and the chance to dye your hair an amazing color, I say go for it!!! I have no regrets. It’s been the best year ever!

Previously: Pink Hair!
Two Weeks In

One response to “A Year With Pink Hair”

  1. DadLadd says:

    Maybe I should dye my beard before I shave it off when it gets hot.

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