I started dreaming of electric blue hair in college. I even bought a blue wig later on so I could test it out, I just never took that last step. Call it elder child complex or what have you, but I felt caught in the pressure of maintaining this facade of conservativeness.
I mean, my hair pretty much stayed as it was until grad school – long, wavy, with some variation on bangs. I donated my hair to charity a few times, so I had variation in length, but that was pretty much it.
This was my hair at the 2011 Google Holiday Party (photographer unknown), literally days before I chopped it off, and weeks before I joined social media to never return.
After the wedding and dealing with all that insanity, I finally scheduled a long overdue cut and hacked that mess down to a pixie cut. It was fantastic. Suddenly, drying my hair was the easiest thing ever, no army of ponytail holders needed, nothing to worry about but keeping my bangs out of my eyes. I also really liked not having a hairy scarf over my neck at all times in the summer.
(This time, I know the photographer – it was taken by the lovely Elizabeth Mace Giosia.)
Yes, yes I am wearing a bizarre trenchcoat, a fascinator, and a veil. It’s part of the Traveling Red Dress project, which really needs to happen again this year.
I’ve let it grow out since then, because it’s a lot easier to forget to get your hair cut at longer lengths and not look like you got hit by a train wreck, but it’s still above shoulder length. It’s fluffy and light and cute, and I’ll probably keep it this way for a while.
Still, I’d never dyed my hair an unnatural color. All I’ve done are tiny highlights during a short phase in late high school. I liked the blonde and red streaks, but it was too high maintenance for a college budget, so they went away.
This year, I finally decided to get past all my neuroses, swearing to myself I could dye it darker if needed, and booked that appointment. And then, with my health issues, it got delayed – again and again and again.
So one sunny Friday, I finally went in. I originally planned to only get a little blue, but we instead added panels of azure all over. It’s mostly hidden, as I didn’t want to be too showy, but when I shake my head it peeks out. The blue we ended up with was rather dark, but that’s to prevent it fading to green over time, and there are hints of violet.
Some quality time with the tinfoil hat later…
It. Was. Epic.
Seriously, I was beaming when I left the salon. I went to Bakery Nouveau, grabbed a slice of cake, and later held the back of my hair up for the roommates.
The front’s awesome, too, but I couldn’t get a sane picture of it at all, no matter how much I tried. I’m sure it’ll pop up at some event photography soon enough.
In the interim I’ve been holding the back of my hair up for a lot of my friends. I think most were in shock that the visually conservative firecracker me would go for the hipster-punk hair. (I don’t think the hipster glasses help there, but the hair still rocks.)
A few days later, and I’ve lost some color, but my hair now ties back into this awesome turquoise puff. I love it. But I’ve also learned that my hair bleaches with ease, and takes color fantastically. I can fix it. And if I get bored of it, I can dye it again. I’d even love to go rainbow once my hair goes fully grey.
After all, it’s only hair.