When I was in 6th grade a friend gave me a bottle of hair-dye at a sleepover. That simple exchange changed my life forever. I'll never forget that the color was called "Candy Apple Red." I excitedly brought the bottle home and immediately tried to apply it to my hair, without thinking of the consequences. I had no idea what I was doing, if my mom would be mad, or even if it would damage my hair. My mom was indeed mad at me for multiple reasons that day. The first reason was the fact I attempted to color my own hair, the second was the fact I did it behind her back. I was grounded for a few weeks, but nothing compared to the disappointment I felt from not succeeding in getting my hair the way I wanted it. I saw a bright red in the bottle and assumed I could just set it on my light brown hair for it to work its magic. It did little to my hair besides give it slight reddish hue. I could have achieved the same effect from putting Kool-Aid in my hair! I decided that day I would do everything I could to learn how to color hair the right way.

I got my first actual salon hair color as an eighth-grade graduation present from my mom. It was an ashy blonde with brown and light pink underneath. I fell in love, but I wanted more. The bright pinks, the mermaid blues, the unicorn purple, highlights, low-lights, and all the ombres I could get my hands on. I quickly realized the price of going to a salon to get my hair done regularly. I was a freshman in high school at the time, so I couldn't afford it. This led me to do it all myself. I spent hours every day on YouTube and various internet forums discussing hair color. I had to know what worked best and how to use it all. By the end of my first summer experimenting with color and researching coloring methods, I pretty much considered myself an expert. I had found something I truly loved and had a knack for doing.

In time I had dyed my hair almost every color in the rainbow, continuously learning along the way. This taught me a lot about myself, as well as the trade. I began getting attention from people who would have never previously looked at me. These weren't all positive looks however. I've gotten disapproving glares with some very hurtful comments said behind them. I also had people come up to me and just start belting out questions left and right. It was purely out of curiosity, but its just not comfortable for anyone to be put on the spot like that, especially when you don't know the person. I've had some pretty uncomfortable questions asked too. Once when I had pink and blue hair I was walking to my bus after school let out. I felt a tap on my shoulder and spun around to find a girl about my age whom I'd never seen before. I smiled at her and said 'hi' figuring she would follow suit and inform me of why she stopped me. She just smiled for a second and stared at my hair. I was about to tell her I had to catch my bus when she finally said ,"Your hair looks like cotton candy so I want to eat it, but I know it'll taste bad. That makes me sad." She smiled once more and turned to walk off to what I presume was the way to her bus. I was stunned. It was such a random thing to be told.

The majority of the feedback I receive about my hair is positive though. I've lost track how many times people have stopped me just to tell me how cool my hair is, and it still makes my day every time it happens. It is an overall wonderful experience I've had throughout my hair coloring journey. I've felt a passion for it for eight years now, and I don't plan on stopping anytime soon. I got my cosmetology license after high school. Now I get to pursue my love of hair-color for a living! Sometimes small things can create an impact that ripples into the whole rest of your life. Don't let the things you're passionate about sit on the back-burner of your life. You never know when your kooky hobby could turn into your life's work.