Wednesday, June 19, 2013

It all started with pink hair

Last summer around this time, I went through some kind of quarter life crisis. I can't really call it as mid-life crisis, as I'm only 25 - so quarter life I shall call it, lol. Anyway, I basically went on a hair color rampage.

A frenzy.

I'm now a recovering hair color addict.

Over the past year, I changed my hair color, literally, about every  month. Before the major changes, I had long, flowing, silky dark hair. Dark brown, almost black, almost to my waist. I guess I got tired of having the same old look, so I drastically cut it into a chin-length bob and highlighted it.

I got so many compliments, I didn't know what hit me. People stopped me just to say how much they loved the new short, lighter hair color. It felt good to be noticed. But then... I wanted pink hair.

Yes, you read that right - pink hair. I blame it on Gwen Stefani. I wanted her beautiful candy pink hair she had in the early 2000s, exactly like in the picture, on my head - since I was 13 years old.

Darn it, Gwen.

So, after the semester finished, I finally did it. I bleached my hair, got a few jars of Manic Panic, and gave myself pink hair.

And... I loved it. Of course, it didn't turn out as awesome as Gwen's, but it made me happy. Until, that is, I went in public. I live in a small town, and the amount of stares I got was disconcerting. I should have seen that coming, but I wasn't prepared for how bad it made me feel. I would get very blatant stares while going grocery shopping, and the glares I got while in restaurants made me feel like I was a freak.

I'm such a mild mannered, quiet person, and I guess the "wild" color didn't really suit my personality or the attention it rendered. I even tried a darker pink, more of a burgundy/raspberry color, thinking it might be an easier color to live with. I did like it better, but I missed having "normal" hair. So, I died it black.

Then, the frenzy started. It seemed every time I got bored, I wanted to change my hair. I went through many different looks, different dyes, different brands. I had pinks, purples, black, highlights, blonde, varying shades of red, and different shades of brown.

Here is a picture I made of some of the different hair colors I've had since last summer. I thought it was kind of interesting to have a side-by-side comparison of a few of the different colors I had. The first block in the upper left is my "virgin" (real) color. The last block in the lower right corner is the color I am now - trying to stay as close to my original color as possible. 

Miraculously, after all the coloring, bleaching, highlighting, etc - my hair is actually still on my head. Yes, there is some damage to my hair, but it really isn't that bad, considering all I've put it through. It is very porous now, and won't really hold a dye for very long. There are some split ends. For a while, my hair had that kind of gummy-feeling when it was wet, and was way too stretchy.

I decided, no more - it's time to turn this ship around and get my healthy hair back. Hair is not a plaything, it does have its breaking point (quite literally). You can't change your hair as often as your nail polish and expect it to be thriving and healthy. It can only take so much, and I wanted to stop the madness before I did irreversible damage. I started to baby my hair and began treating it with respect again.

I decided to adopt the "co-washing" method for my hair, because shampooing felt like it was doing more harm than good to my fragile hair.  I haven't dyed my hair in about 2 months now, and I no longer use hot tools on my hair on a daily basis like I used to. I have actually really seen a healthier difference in my hair in even just those two months. It doesn't feel as dry anymore, it has shine, and the strands have that "normal" stretch to it when wet. I basically co-wash, gently comb my hair while wet, and let it air dry. I pretty much only use hot tools once week, for church when I want my hair to look nicer than usual.

So, now I'm on a new journey. No longer will I grab a box of hair dye whenever I feel bored. I asked my husband to put his foot down if I start debating about coloring my hair. I'm going to grow out the dye I had, get rid of the damage, and start over. I'm trying to get my pretty, long, silky natural hair back.

Wish me luck. :)

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