Living pink: how changing my hair color changed my perspective

Rachel Choi, Staff Writer

Ale Ceniceros
Coppell High School sophomore Rachel Choi embraces her pink hair, despite the many different reactions she has received because of it.

 

“It’s now or never,” I breathed, as I applied the bleach onto my hair. A few days later, I dyed it pink.

I had originally decided to dye my hair pink because I didn’t want to wonder about how it would feel to have an unnatural hair color and I knew having an “unprofessional” hair color as an adult would be impossible.

 

So I went for it.

 

Having dyed hair is nothing new; in the past, I had red hair. Although it was a more common color, I still had a sense of what reactions to expect from people.

Still, I was nervous to enter the world with my newly colored hair. It was Wednesday during spring break, and the mall was the first place I decided to go to with my pink hair.

Kids pointed as their mothers tried to stop them and I had to stifle my nervous laughter as others just blatantly stared. One old woman in a store just glared at me from the corner as I shopped.

I knew that not everyone would like my hair; I was already mentally prepared for it. There are negative stereotypes regarding people, especially teenagers, and unnatural hair colors because they are seen as rebellious or noncompliant.

However, I chose to get pink hair because I wanted it that way. I did not think I was making that big of a statement. I have always felt more like myself in hair colors that are bright. With dark brown hair, I felt like there was nothing that set me apart from others. Since I am both introverted and short, I wanted at least one part of me to make an impression on others.

My parents were supportive of the process because they knew that I liked to change up my style.

“Hair is just hair. It grows back and you should do everything you want to in life,” my mother told me.

School was not too much of a worry because I had seen others with crazy hair colors in the past. I walked into the building with reassurance that I was not alone.

At school, there were strangers who complimented me, as well as my friends. It made me more confident and I saw how nice people could be. One girl even came up to me during lunch and asked me where I got my hair done.

One thing that I noticed in particular is the automatic connection I feel when I see someone else with colored hair. At the mall that first day, I saw a girl with pastel pink hair and I immediately felt the sort of feeling that was equivalent to the thought of, “I know the pain your hair had to go through.”

I really liked interacting with strangers who came up to me, telling me about their own unique experiences with their hair.

Despite the positivity, there were a few encounters that did not turn out so well.

Almost every day, someone would make a snide comment about my hair under their breath. However, I learned not to care what anyone else thought because I started to feel like myself with this hair.

My advice to people who want to do something “out-of-the-norm” with their style would be to do it now. After a few years, you may never end up doing it and you will be left wondering what it would have been like.

Also, expect criticism but do not take it personally. Random people will not know about the wonderful things you have to offer to the world just by looking at your hair or style. Even if you looked completely normal, people would still have something to say about you anyway.

It is your life. Do what you want with it.

 

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