Dyeing My Hair Doesn't Change My Personality, It's Just Part Of The Change

Dyeing My Hair Doesn't Change My Personality, It's Just Part Of The Change

Changing your appearance is a way to express yourself, and that is why I do it.
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I grew up constantly hearing my mother and others tell me to never dye my hair, that people pay a lot of money to get their hair to look like my natural color. For years, I took pride in that and believed that I shouldn’t change it. Adding to that trend, I then never cut it. For years, I had the same long blonde hair.

Then, last year I decided to cut it shorter, just past my shoulders, and dye it red.

To be fair to myself, I had wanted to do it for a while, but every time I brought it up, I got a similar reaction, that I shouldn’t change my hair. When asked why I wanted to change it, I never had a straight answer, but I started to understand that I didn’t need one.

Sure, I have influences, like my favorite Disney princess, but overall, I just wanted a change. It was the beginning of my sophomore year, I was finally feeling a sense of independence, and there was no reason not to.

I was also pleasantly surprised when people liked it. Changing your appearance might not always seem like a big deal, but it affects almost everything in your life.

In my case, it gives me a chance to be more myself.

That may sound weird to some people, “you change yourself to be yourself?”, but when you’ve lived your whole life looking a certain way, it can morph into your identity. I believe I used my hair as a kind of safety blanket. It was long enough that I could cover my face or entire back, so by cutting it and dyeing it a color that is harder to ignore, I gave myself a kind of confidence boost.

I don’t like a lot of attention, but it is nice to be noticed or get a compliment sometimes. My hair is no longer a way for me to hide, but a way for me to stand out and lessen my anxiety. If I feel like people are looking at me, I just imagine it’s because of my hair.

I am not the quickest to embrace change, in fact, I’ve proven myself quite stubborn, but I feel like dyeing my hair is the smallest way to make the biggest impact on my life. Since I started dyeing my hair, I feel more willing to try new things, like meeting new people or allowing myself to be challenged.

I don’t think changes in my personality or identity necessarily derive from dyeing my hair; I think dyeing my hair is a part of the change.

Changing your appearance is a way to express yourself, and that is why I do it. I want to show myself, and others, a different side of me and a new stage in my life.

My hair, or any part of my appearance for that matter, doesn’t define me, doesn’t change the fact that I’m me. It’s just hair, but it is my hair.

Cover Image Credit: Brandy Clymer

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20 Small Tattoos With Big Meanings

Tattoos with meaning you can't deny.
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It's tough to find perfect tattoos with meaning.

You probably want something permanent on your body to mean something deeply, but how do you choose a tattoo that will still be significant in 5, 10, 15, or 50 years? Over time, tattoos have lost much of their stigma and many people consider them a form of art, but it's still possible to get a tattoo you regret.

So here are 20 tattoos you can't go wrong with. Each tattoo has its own unique meaning, but don't blame me if you still have to deal with questions that everyone with a tattoo is tired of hearing!

SEE RELATED: "Please Stop Asking What My Tattoos Mean"

1. A semi-colon indicates a pause in a sentence but does not end. Sometimes it seems like you may have stopped, but you choose to continue on.


2. "A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor."


3. Top symbol: unclosed delta symbol which represents open to change. Bottom symbol: strategy.


4. "There are nights when the wolves are silent and only the moon howls."


5. Viking symbol meaning "create your own reality."


6.Greek symbol of Inguz: where there's a will, there's a way.

7. Psalm 18:33 "He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he causes me to stand on the heights."


8. 'Ohm' tattoo that represents 4 different states of consciousness and a world of illusion: waking (jagrat), dreaming (swapna), deep sleep (sushupti), transcendental state (turiya) and world of illusion (maya)


9. Alchemy: symbolizes copper, means love, balance, feminine beauty and artistic creativity.


10. The Greek word “Meraki" means to do something with soul, passion, love and creativity or to put yourself in to whatever you do.


11. Malin (Skövde, Sweden) – you have to face setbacks to be able to go forward.

12. Symbol meaning "thief" from the Hobbit. It was the rune Gandalf etched into Bilbo's door so the dwarves could find his house.


13. “Lux in tenebris" means “light in darkness."

14. Anchor Tattoo: symbolizing strength & stability, something (or someone) who holds you in place, and provides you the strength to hold on no matter how rough things get.

15."Ad Maiora" is translated literally as “Towards greater things." It is a formula of greeting used to wish more success in life, career or love.


16. A glyphs means “explore." It was meant as a reminder for me to never stop exploring.

17. "Aut inveniam viam aut faciam," meaning roughly, "Either I shall find a way, or I will make one."


18. Lotus Flower. It grows in muddy water, and it is this environment that gives forth the flower's first and most literal meaning: rising and blooming above the murk to achieve enlightenment.

19. The zen (or ensō) circle to me represents enlightenment, the universe & the strength we all have inside of us.

20. Two meanings. The moon affirms life. It looks as if it is constantly changing. Can reminds us of the inconsistency of life. It is also symbolizes the continuous circular nature of time and even karma.


SEE ALSO: Sorry That You're Offended, But I Won't Apologize For My Tattoos


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The Art Behind A Barbershop

Going to a barber to get a haircut might seem mundane, but the process itself creates a unique bond over an unappreciated art form.

arjunt
arjunt
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I drive my dad's Toyota Camry by the street side parking spaces adjacent to the shop. The shop's parking lot is spare and not very forgiving, oftentimes forcing one to parallel park, but I am fortunate today and find several empty spots. I slowly turn the steering wheel to the right, guiding the car to park in the middle spot right in front of the shop and exit the vehicle while watching for oncoming traffic. The process of getting to the barbershop alone is memorable, so how does the service fare?

Entering the barbershop, I'm greeted by the owner's playlist of Arabic, Hindi, and Spanish songs that reflect the diversity of their customers. I hang my coat on the rack, expecting to take a seat and wait upwards of a half hour for a barber to be available, but the man in the back-left corner smiles at me and motions for me to take a seat at his station. Each of the barbers at this family business greets me as they do any customer with a sincerity that makes you feel as though you are part of their family. They speak in Arabic to each other as they style their customer's hair, and though I don't speak their language, I detect from their tone of voice the friendly banter that you'd find between uncles, brothers, and cousins at a gathering.

As I take a seat, I tell the barber what I'd like to get done today. A short haircut and a beard trim. He nods as he wraps a paper strip around my neck. Some stylists might prioritize efficiency and cut quickly to get through as many customers as possible. Not so here. He works with a meticulous attention to detail, often switching to trimmers of different sizes to better remove stray hairs. Yet the haircut doesn't seem frantic or mismanaged in the slightest—the barber appears in control at all times. He gently tilts my head down or to the side to cut different hairs, unlike prior stylists who've yanked and shoved my skull every way possible.

I doubt any barber thinks of their work as art, but the process of cutting can certainly be artistic in the right hands. Barbers must be careful as they cut and style hair, much like how a sculptor chisels to form works of a grand scale. Although there isn't as much of lasting appeal in a haircut as there is in a sculpture since it fades as soon as the hair grows back, It has a powerful emotional significance. Your image can unconsciously impact how you view yourself as a short and a long haircut each produce different reactions. Placing this power in the hands of a barber creates an unspoken bond of trust, one that attaches meaning to your haircut and makes the barber's work more meaningful for him. When you get a great haircut, there's a sense of gratitude for the barber's work that is often overlooked.

As I get my beard trimmed, I need to hold an even greater trust in the barber—one that hinges on not just my appearance, but also my life. He nudges my head backward and pulls out a blade in order to shave my grotesque neckbeard. After applying gel, he scrubs the blade across my cheeks and my neck to remove the stubble and smoothen out the skin. While I'd prefer a more modern method of shaving with a razor, using a knife delivers a cleaner shave, and despite my apprehensions about willingly lying down defenseless as a man holds a short dagger at my throat, I trust in his abilities and let him do his work. It's kind of like a higher stakes trust fall; the blade has this power to bond barber and customer.

When his work is done, I glance at the mirror, feeling reborn again. I walked into the barbershop a disheveled man. I walk out cleansed of excess hair, yes, but I also walk out with an appreciation and newfound respect for the barber's work and environment. I pay, making sure to give a generous tip and leave soon after. My stubble grows back within days thanks to hair growth genetics and I once again appear unkempt. Despite my better attempts, I fail to achieve as clean of a shave as a barber can, yet I do not distress this failure, for it means I can once again enjoy the experience of going to the barbershop and appreciating a hidden and unappreciated art form.

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arjunt

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