Many people of different ages ask of teens the question, “Why do you dye your hair?” It’s a valid question. It seems like the fad these days is to have a different color of hair every week. Red, purple, blue, green, orange, it doesn’t matter, as long as it’s new. The crazier the better, the brighter the cooler. I feel I’m experienced in this area, as I’ve dyed my hair at least a dozen times in the last couple years. Why do we do it? Most hair dyers probably aren’t entirely sure of their ulterior motives behind the florescent colors, but I decided to figure it out.
When someone dyes their hair a noticeably bright color, they get noticed. It’s impossible not to see the green haired girl walking down the hall, or the blue haired boy in your gym class. It’s immediately the way you’re first described by your peers. This attracts attention to you, and makes you more known around your school. Everyone’s talking about your new hair color, about how “crazy” and “cool” it is; or maybe how “gross” it is, depending on how it turned out. You could look like a way cool punk rocker, really trendy, or like your hair grew some major mold. It can depend on the dye or the way you dye it, or sometimes on pure luck.
Sometimes people dye their hair because they need a change. They’re sick of the brown-haired, boring old person they see in the mirror every day, and want to add a little spice to their look. It’s really hard to be boring looking when your hair can be seen from a block away. It’s a valid reason to make a change, and seems like a good idea to me.
A more common reason that people dye their hair, but most wouldn’t admit to, is to try to be “cool”. If making friends or getting respect is your reason for bringing out the dye, I would seriously recommend reconsideration, and would look down on you if that was your only reason. Maybe for some people it would be a perk, but it shouldn’t be your primary motive for going hair-crazy. If it is, and you dye your hair with hopes of being cool, and it doesn’t happen, you’ll be stuck with a hair color that you didn’t really want, which would definitely not be a good situation. It’s pretty easy, and sometimes even a little amusing, when your parents or grandparents gasp at the sight of your bizarre locks, but if you don’t have your friends behind you on it, the cons will much outweigh the pros.
Some people simply think they would look much better with a different color of hair. This usually applies with more natural colors, such as blond, brown, red, or auburn. Most of the time these changes are for the better, especially if they aren’t too drastic. Going from blond to black could be quite a change, and sometimes fair skin doesn’t go too well with ebony hair. Interesting if you’re going for the goth look, but not if you’re trying to make yourself subtly better looking.
Also, a very effective way of rebelling against your family is by dying your hair. Once they see the stain-covered bathroom and your incredible head of crazy colors, yes, they could scream. Beware of emotional mom’s, I’ve heard they faint. And if you’ve got the extremely aggressive parents, watch out for those scissors, they just might try to cut your hair. But, no matter what they do, you will have made the firm statement that you are your own person and you won’t listen to reasoning or discipline. Hopefully after a few weeks of grounding your parents will figure out that your hair color WILL wash out eventually, and that their social circle will get over their initial shock and thoughts of what irresponsible parents they are to let their child get away with such a thing.
There are many different ways to dye your hair, depending on how committed you are to the new look. In my own humble opinion, Kool-Aid is a beginners’ step to the entire hair dying obsession. It’s a non-committal way of trying out a different color. It washes out in a week or two, and isn’t terribly noticeable, or expensive. The next step is semi-permanent dye, like you can get at Divine Decadence or other trendy vintage stores. These are very noticeable, and last a little longer than Kool-Aid, up to eight weeks. These colors are much more interesting and original. After that comes the bleaching of hair, and the permanent colors. I haven’t reached this phase yet, but most probably will soon.
This was my perception on the reasons for young people dying their hair. There’s probably many more reasons on why people our age dye their hair that I haven’t even considered. Whatever the reasons are, it’s an intriguing fad that doesn’t seem to have been around for too long of a time, but is getting more popular. I’ll be interested to see if this trend gets defeated by some newer, “cooler” trend, and I hope that the dying of hair won’t be completely stamped out, because I think it’s an interesting and colorful way to make a statement.
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