Becoming a Mermaid

Becoming a Mermaid

Tips and tricks to becoming a mermaid at home

The mermaid hair trend has been taking over the world at an alarming rate. Just kidding. It wouldn't be that cool if everyone was a mermaid. But if you feel like joining myself and Ariel in the mermaid world, read on.

1. Prepare to Become a Mermaid

Do your research! Obviously there a myriad of colors and styles to choose from. But you need to pick a color you love and will love you back. In other words, don't pick a color that washes you out. After you've narrowed down your desired color, research different hair dye brands to find what you want. The easiest way to do this is to go on YouTube and search for videos of people dying their hair a similar color. I personally chose to use Manic Panic hair dye. The color turns out extremely bright, the price is right for a college student, and they have many different color options.

2. Bleach Bleach Bleach

Before you run away in terror, hear me out. Many people are under the impression that bleaching your hair will damage it. The picture above shows my bleached hair. I went from red to strawberry blonde after two bleach sessions. Bleaching your hair does damage it, but it will not ruin your hair. You have to remember that using hair straighteners, blow drying, and curling your hair all damage hair as well. As long as you follow the instructions on the bleaching kit you choose, your hair will be happy. Do not use household bleach on your hair. Buy a hair bleach from your local drugstore.

Bleaching is not a necessary step. However, your mermaid color will be brightest if you bleach your hair beforehand. You can color over your current hair color, but it will be a much more subtle look. Depending on how dark your current hair is, you may have to bleach your hair multiple times. After you've bleached your hair, you may notice that it has a yellow or orange-like tone (see above photo). This is known as brassiness. The brassy color can be lifted by using a toner. If you want more details on this subject, watch this video. It explains how toner works and what products to use.

3. Becoming a Mermaid

Before you even start the dying process, make sure you've covered the floor with old towels, newspaper, etc. The hair dye will stain sinks, counters, towels and everything in between. Next, line your forehead, neck, and ears with a petroleum jelly or vaseline. This will keep the dye from staining your skin. I've dyed my hair numerous times and the method I find works best is to go section by section. Personally, I have a ton of hair so I have to divide it into sections starting from the bottom and then work my way up to the roots. If you have long or thick hair like mine, I suggest you buy two bottles of dye. One may not be enough.

For my specific hair color, I used a mixture Manic Panic's Voodoo Blue and Enchanted Forrest. I recommend you buy a mixing bowl and brushes for the easiest application process. I bought mine here.

4. Caring for Mermaid Locks

When your hair is wet, it will stain whatever it touches. Therefore I highly recommend buying towels that match your hair color or only using old towels (the nice towels are for guests anyway, right?). Same goes with bed sheets and pillow cases. Your hair will stain them unless they're black or a matching color.

To maintain your beautiful mermaid locks for the longest period of time, avoid washing your hair everyday. Every time you wash it, the color will fade. I only wash my hair about twice a week. Other activities like using heat tools, swimming in chlorine pools or saltwater, and sitting in direct sunlight will fade your hair faster. So invest in one of those cute sun hats, swim in fresh water, and pretend you're a vampire in hiding.

5. Have Fun

Now that you've joined the mermaid squad, own it! My favorite part about having blue hair has been trying out new outfits and makeup with my hair. The color combinations are really fun to play with!

Cover Image Credit: Aubrey McMichael

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it


Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

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My Hair Journey After Box Bleaching My Hair

Although it may seem cheap and easy, the reality of box bleaching your hair is disastrous. Professionals, this article is dedicated to you.


In 2017, I made the disastrous decision to box bleach my hair that I am still paying for today.

It seemed cheap, easy, and was something fun I could do at midnight. Little did I know, this would be a choice that I would still be regretting to this day. Besides the awful reality of box bleaching your hair, such as the chemicals in store hair dye already being disastrous for your hair, if you don't know what you're doing you not only run the risk of damaging your hair, having your hair fall out, but could also seriously hurting your scalp.

Follow me on my hair journey over the past two years and use this article to look back on if you're ever bored and in need for a change. Wait to go to a salon!

May 23rd, 2017.

Nichole Doty

I like to call this moment the calm before the storm. Back in 2017, I had long dark hair. I loved my hair and was very proud of how long I grew it. This is the longest my hair had ever been at this point in my life, and I absolutely loved it.

July 31st, 2017.

Nichole Doty

This was the day that everything changed. I made the terrible decision to not only box bleach my hair but to add box pink hair dye on the underneath of it. Not only did it look terrible, but it was also an irreversible decision that was made that I would have to live with for the next few years to come.

August 12th, 2017.

Kasey Bauner, (kasey_bauner via instagram), who works at Jay Marie Salon and Spa in Schereville, was able to save my hair in a beautiful way.

Nichole Doty

HALLELUJAH! My hot mess was fixed! Through hours and hundreds of dollars later spent at the salon, they were able to salvage my hair without shaving all of it off!

December 9th, 2017.

Nichole Doty

A few months later, after some length came in, that's when the roots started to appear. After the first glace at the outgrowth, I knew that I would have to keep chopping my hair until the roots fully grew out.

January 5th, 2018.

Nichole Doty

This was the first big chop I had to do since the box bleach disaster I did to my head. I knew that I didn't want to dye my hair back to its original color, so this began my repetitive cycle of hair growing out, getting a drastic chop, and growing it out again.

July 5th, 2018.

Nichole Doty

In July, my hair started to show more length since I had to originally chop it. My roots were starting to come in the dark so I had to try and wear hairstyles that would discretely cover how much my hair had grown.

August 31st, 2018.

Another big chop when school started in the fall of 2018. There's something so disappointing about having to keep growing out your hair just to chop it, but unfortunately, that's what I signed up for when I got myself into this mess.

November 29th, 2018.

At this point, my roots looked terrible. From the back of my head, the roots were growing towards the middle. I had to keep reminding myself that I couldn't see the back of my head so I could gracefully ignore how terrible it looked. Aside from this awful outgrowth I had going on, the color in my hair was starting to settle into a yellow mess.

January 31st, 2019.

Nichole Doty

As if I didn't learn my lesson from the first time, I started to experiment with different colors. I used the L'Oreal Colorista Semi-Permanent dye. I will say, though, this really is the most Semi-Permanent dye I have ever used as it would fully wash out in two weeks without any traces of color left behind.

April 25th, 2019.

I felt as though if I added different colors to my hair it would make the roots look more natural. As it did, I do NOT recommend the Kiss Tintation hair dye. This was the most patchy dye I have ever used, although I did love the blue.

May 12th, 2019.

Nichole Doty

As of just a few weeks ago, my hair was a big green mess. The dye would not leave my hair, so I started to panic that I really messed up this time. I could no longer wait at this point as I felt the frantic need to chop my hair.

May 23rd, 2019.

Nichole Doty

Here we have it! At the end of my journey thus far, I have managed to almost have all of my natural colors back! Although there are some green strands still left behind, I am mostly back to a full head of hair being the same color.

Overall, I want this article to serve as a warning to those who are like me and don't think through decisions properly. I'm the type of person when I want something I want it at that exact moment no matter what. My rash decision has led to poor self esteem and issues throughout these past two years. Am I being dramatic? Maybe. Maybe I'm like you who feels as though your hair is a big part of your identity and who you are as a person. Thank you for following my hair journey and remember: ALWAYS think through big decisions properly and wait to go to a salon to get your hair done!


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