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A few of you know that I recently got rid of my pink hair (which I have become kind of known for) in favor of my natural color. So many people are asking me “WHYYYYYYYY?????”, so I decided to write up a little blog post about it. Most of you don’t even know that I did this, so read this before chiming in with a “WHYYYYYYY????” of your own! ;)
1. I have an allergy to bleach. The effects are very mild, if there are any at all when I am working on a client, but when I have it on my own head for an hour the palms of my hands itch so badly that I want to tear the skin off of them. Allergies tend to get worse every time you are exposed, so more recently, the soles of my feet started itching as well, and I got welts on my wrist. Mind you, those parts of my body never touched the bleach, it was purely systemic. I thought it was better to stop doing it than to end up covered in hives and unable to even bleach clients’ hair.
2. I was getting bored. I’ve had pink in my hair for 10 years. Even pink hair can get boring after that long.
3. I was tired of everything I own turning pink. Okay, mostly everything I own is already pink, but the stuff that wasn’t ended up pink. I’m talking shirt collars, pillow cases, the keyboard on my laptop, my fingernails, my bath tub, towels, the cat… you name it.
4. I was tired of people talking to me. I know that sounds weird. But it gets old when all you want to do is go to the grocery store, or sit at a coffee shop and have a conversation with a friend and random strangers keep coming up to you saying “I like your hair. How do you get your hair like that? Is that a wig? What’s your natural color? How long does it last?” etc. etc. etc. It’s not that I don’t appreciate the sentiment of the compliments, but a lot of them were very intrusive. People would yell at me from across the street, or from behind me in a crowd and then get ANGRY if I didn’t hear them, didn’t know they were talking to me, or just chose to ignore it because I was in the middle of something. It also felt like that was the ONLY thing people noticed. Like I was my hair.
5. I was tired of being called “Pink” or “Pinky”. It happened, a lot. Stranger would address me as such when they wanted my attention… mall kiosk people for example. Even if I want what you are selling, I am not going to buy it if you just yell a color at me like it’s my name. It was hard to get by unnoticed.
6. People kept thinking I was way younger than I am. I know, a lot of women want people to think they are younger, right? But I’m 27 and I want to be treated like a 27 year old, not a 17 year old. I’m not a teenager, I don’t act like a teenager, I don’t even LOOK like a teenager and I felt sort of offended every time I got mistaken for one.
7. People used it as a reason to be rude or state their unsolicited opinion. I didn’t get this too much in Seattle, but I did get it a lot when I would visit my mom on the East coast. Random middle-aged men would come up to me and tell me that I looked fake and that my hair was ugly, and ask why I would do that to myself and oh lord, I have a septum ring too, that’s even worse! But that doesn’t draw nearly as much attention as the hair does. Any time you don’t look “normal”, people feel a lot more free to tell you their opinion of how you look. I don’t know why they think that means you are “asking for it”, but I wasn’t.
8. It is sooooo high maintenance! I’m not a very high maintenance person in general (I guess that depends on whom you ask), so the pink was a lot more upkeep than I would have preferred. I had to get my roots bleached and retouch all of the pink about every 5 weeks, and it took 5 hours or so every time. That’s a big time investment for me.
9. A lot of times I felt judged the moment people saw me. This sort of goes along with people thinking I was younger. People made assumptions about me based on how I looked (as people do) and a lot of them weren’t true. It’s like I was trying to explain to some to some people on the train once who were trying to get me to come party with them in the observation car (for real)… I know I probably look like I want to party, but I don’t. I just want to sit here by myself and finish my comic book and then take a nap. I’m a loner, I’m a homebody, I’m quiet, I’m probably not as fun as you think I am. Yes, person working at the high-end boutique or department store, I am SHOPPING, not stealing. No, I’m not bitchy, I’m just more quiet than you thought I would be. Etc. etc. etc.
10. The damage. My hair is really dark naturally… dark, dark brown, almost black, and kind of coarse. We had to bleach it a LOT in order to get it the platinum blonde that I wanted it to be, and that it needed to be in order for the pink to be vivid. I was trying to grow my hair out and it just kept breaking no matter how many treatments I did or how much I trimmed it. It was just too weak. Now that it’s shorter, I can’t decide if I want to keep it shorter or try to grow it out again, but I’ll have a much better shot at growing it out with it healthy. I used to have hair down to my butt when it was all natural, so I know I can do it ;)
So that’s about it. I’m happy with my decision. I still am a little shocked when I look in the mirror sometimes, but I like my dark hair. For all of the reasons above and more, I think I’ll enjoy it. A lot of those things didn’t bother me when I was 17 or 18 or 19, but they’ve started to bother me. I love brightly colored hair, and if we lived in a world where that was not something that drew attention, and wasn’t so much upkeep, I might have kept it. But so it goes.