Whether through the media, our friends, or even ourselves, we’ve all been witness to breakdowns. Despite the reason for the breakdown – a break-up, a failing grade, or a worldwide pandemic – there are always people who come out of it with pink hair, a tattoo, or a new cat.
Often, pop culture portrays this choice as a mistake that the person regrets for their entire life. But as the resident girl with green hair, I beg to differ.
Three years ago I had long, brown hair, always with a middle part because I was too self-conscious to try a side part. I was so attached to my ‘look’ that when I was prescribed glasses I only wore them when I had to look at the board during class.
But then my grandma was diagnosed with cancer, and I was suddenly possessed by the desire to donate 8 inches of hair. The decision was out of nowhere and I ended up crying in the bathroom of Michaels because I hated my short hair so much.
After a few weeks, I realized I didn’t so much hate the haircut, but more so the change. I’d had plenty of change in my life before, of course, but never had I chosen one so dramatic, and that made it less scary, and more powerful. Now, after three years of chin-length hair, I cringe at pictures of myself with long hair.
By choosing to change your hair or your look you realize how much potential you have. A brunette can be a blonde, a blonde can be a ‘bluenette,’ and so much more, so why cage yourself in? Think about it; everything in life changes at some point — friends, grade level, dreams — so why keep your hair the same?
Even something as simple as cutting off 5 inches can drastically change how you look and feel, and if you hate it, so what? You experimented. You lived a life you wouldn’t have otherwise.
During times of crisis, this lesson can be everything you need. When you feel like you have no direction, dying your hair is an act of tangible change that gives you control by letting go. You don’t know how it’ll turn out, so you have to let go of the perfect image in your mind.
Of course, there will always be those decisions you regret. Once I attempted to dye my hair dark blue with a dye I’d never used before. The result was a yellow-green. By then I had already dyed my hair twice, so while I mourned when the color didn’t come out after four months, I’m glad it happened. Because of that less-than-perfect color job, I learned how to roll my eyes at people who told me it looked off, rather than beat myself up. And in the end, I embraced the green tint by dying my hair a jade green, which has turned out to be my favorite color yet.
So right now, as we’re all stuck at home and everything changes at a pace too fast to follow, it is the perfect time to pull out the dye kit. Discover a new look, let go of the past and people’s opinions, and learn how to be at peace with your mistakes.
Dying your hair is more than a change of color: if done right, it’s a change of outlook. And even if it isn’t done right, I, for one, would much rather face a worldwide crisis with a head of rainbow hair than not, thank you very much.