"Oh my God, your hair is sooo pretty. What salon do you go to? What dye do you use? HOW DID YOU GET THAT COLOR?"
My answer? My Swedish genes.
I've never dyed my hair, and yet it has remained various shades of blonde throughout my life---from strawberry blonde to platinum to a yellow-gold.
To be quite honest, I've never really thought much of it. Hair is just hair. However, if I ever express a desire to change it in any way---cut it, dye it, or even change hair care products---there's always at least one person who feels the need to oppose it.
"Why would you ever want to change your hair?! You have the hair color and texture that people pay thousands of dollars for over the course of their lives, and you get it for free. Do not change it."
It's true. Blonde is the most popular hair dye of choice, and people do pay good money for it. Only two percent of the world population is naturally blonde, myself included. However, 1 in 3 American women choose to dye their hair blonde. That means fake blondes make up over 30% of the American female population.
However, being at an SEC college, I'd say the statistic is even higher here. I'm not sure of the exact reason why, but I've seen more blondes at Ole Miss than anywhere else in my life---except for maybe the University of Alabama.
Sometimes, it's quite easy to tell if someone is dying their hair blonde: if it all appears to be the same shade (without highlights or lowlights), if it has a weird greenish, blueish, or coppery tint from a bad dye job, if the hair on the head does not match the hair on the other parts of the body (for example, if someone has very dark eyebrows or arm hair), or the go-to "do the roots match the rest of the hair?" trick.
However, here at Ole Miss, there are some girls who dye their hair blonde very well. So, sometimes it is a bit harder to tell. Even with looking at the roots, you could be wrong. If a natural blonde doesn't wash her hair for a few days, her roots will inevitably start accumulating dirt and oil, making the roots look darker than the rest of her hair.
Furthermore, there are negative aspects to being blonde. Other than the infamous "dumb blonde" stereotype (which actually arose after blonde hair dye became popular, so it really shouldn't apply to natural blondes, but it does), there are also many other unfavorable things about sporting the golden color.
I love to wear black clothes, especially black leggings, but I assure you there has not been a single day where I didn't find at least three hairs attached to my black clothes, sticking out very much like a disproportionate bumblebee, yellow mixed with black.
Due to the general lack of melanin in my body, I'm especially sensitive to light. I sunburn super easily, and if there's even a spec of sun out, you better bet I have my sunglasses. In addition to this, I'm also more susceptible to cancer in both my skin and my eyes.
So: here's the dilemma---to dye or not to dye? To be honest, I love my hair. I love the way it catches the sunlight, I love the way it lightens when it dries, I also love the fact that other people love it, as crazy as it sounds.
And yet, there's a part of me that really wants to dye it. It's not to distance myself from the "dumb blonde" stereotype, or anything like that. (In fact, I actually love to disprove the dumb blonde stereotype. It's a specialty of mine.)
No, the reason I would want to dye my hair is much more personal than that. I am actually a twin, and many people actually confuse me with my sister, and vice-versa.
I kid you not, since I have come to college, not a single day has passed where someone has said something along the lines of "oh my God, I didn't know you had a twin! I talked to her thinking it was you." I'm dead serious. This has happened every day, or something similar to it.
I feel that, if I dyed my hair, there would be something much more concrete people could use to distinguish me from my sister. Honestly, it would make things easier for everyone. Too many problems have arisen from people confusing us!
Yet, that is not the only reason that I feel a desire to dye my hair. If I were to dye it, I think it would be to a more strawberry-blonde, reddish color.
While I got my blonde hair from my father, my mom is a natural redhead. All my relatives say I look just like she did when she was my age, except for the red-hair part. I feel it would be nice to be a little closer to my mother, in that way. Then again, I do love my hair color...so we shall wait see. For now, I'm a bit too fond of the blonde.