A few weeks ago, my friend and I decided to check out Sally Beauty Supply to find some new, inexpensive hair dye to mess around with. My hair, which originally started out as a dark brown to light grey ombre, had recently turned a shade of blonde-green (thanks to mother nature and a subpar dye job), so I was attempting to fix the situation.
While I wandered around the store attempting to understand how "Titanium Gray" and "Lightning Gray" were somehow different colors, I noticed my friend picking up some very wild shades. I'm talking bright red and purple hues. She asked for my opinion and I responded with vague, slightly judgmental answers like, "Are you sure you want that color?", "That might take awhile to come out of your hair if it doesn't look right," and "If you really want it then do what you think is right."
How fucking hypocritical, right? I'm saying all of this to her while my hair is literally the shade of the inside of a ripe avocado.
I wasn't sure where this judgment was coming from. It wasn't that I didn't think she couldn't rock those colors; my friend was the type of person that could literally look amazing with any hair color or style, with a versatility that I was always super jealous of.
She didn't take any of my remarks to heart, thank goodness, but she did end up not buying any of the colors. She realized that her job at a chain restaurant wouldn't allow unnatural colors, so she nixed the whole idea. That got me thinking... Why are we, as a society, so judgmental of these wild, unnatural hair colors?
I remember after getting my hair done that I fell absolutely in love with the bright shade of gray; it made me feel cool, edgy and more confident. I was on top of the world until I stepped outside of the hair salon and was met with elongated stares from (seemingly) everyone. That feeling sucked.
I've had this grayish (blondish-greenish back to grayish) hair look for almost 6 months now and I still get that feeling, sometimes. Luckily for me, I'm studying to be a journalist or creator within the social media field.
These types of career paths encourage creativity and self-expression. They encourage authenticity and openness. These types of career paths will allow me to be judged less by the color of my hair and more by the content I create. I'm one of the lucky ones.
Some of my other friends aren't as lucky. They'll be judged if they try to pursue law with blue streaks in their hair, or apply for an internship in finance with a flaming red ombre. These career paths will judge your looks over your resumes.
Is that fair? Why and when did hair dye and tattoos and nose piercings become synonymous with being an "unfit employee?" If anything, it should show that you're willing to take risks to succeed. I think it's time we change the stigma around dying your hair and being taken seriously as a professional in your work field.
Judge a person by the way they treat themselves and others, judge an employee by their resume and their work ethic, but don't judge either by the way they look.