I am a firm believer that everyone has the right to express themselves in whatever way they are comfortable with. If that means wearing gender neutral clothing, I will support you. If that means piercing every possible location on your face, that is awesome. If that means wearing no makeup, I'm glad you are so comfortable and confident in your natural state. For me, I color my hair.
My freshman year of college, I was incredibly unhappy. I felt out of place and lonely, and I was seriously considering transferring schools. I spent most of my J-Term at home and in bed because I just didn't feel like getting up or doing anything. Spring semester, I made some new friends, and I made the decision to color my hair for the first time. It was a cheap, temporary box from Target in an electric blue shade. I only had a few streaks done, but I felt an immediate change. I felt more confident, more myself than I had in a long time. I started dressing differently and making more friends. I was truly happy.
When it washed out, I went with red streaks. Just to be different and I thought I was so cool.
Then, that summer, I had it professionally colored at a salon. It was a dark shade of red that my mom told me looked very sophisticated.
It faded and changed as the summer went on as I worked under the sunlight, and I ended up with orange hair.
So I colored it bright red, in spite of my mother's objections.
Again, it faded and changed as the year went on, and I went through many different shades of red.
October, I was the Joker for Halloween, obviously.
I spent January abroad in Germany.
I spent spring break in New York City.
Later in the spring, I survived another dance concert.
When summer came, I needed a change. My hair had been red for a whole year. So I did something drastic. I colored it black.
I hated it. So I added blonde streaks at the end of the summer. Again, not the best look.
When Thanksgiving break came, I was tired of my hair looking like a streaky mess. So I did something drastic again, despite my mother's protests. I went blonde.
I loved it. I felt beautiful. This felt "me," even though I know the bleached blonde look is a widely accepted stereotype that I feel I don't fit. But my green eyes looked brighter, my skin looked paler, and I looked even better in black (my favorite color). So I decided to go even blonder.
I'm still young and discovering who I am. Looking through these pictures, I realized I catalog my life events by what color my hair was at the time. My hair color has helped me grow and gain more confidence in myself. I strongly encourage anyone who is hesitant to color their hair to try it. Hair is hair. It will grow back if you hate it.
Looking at these two pictures, I look different, obviously because I'm older in one and have drastically different hair (also ignore my denim on denim modeling shoot). But I think I look so much happier now than I did then. And for that, I have my hair to thank.