I’ve recently dyed my hair a very fun lavender color. I’ve been planning on doing this for about a year, and I’m extremely happy with the results. It was a very long process, but I was lucky enough to get it all done in one day.
I’ve been wanting to dye my hair purple since the trend of pastel hair came to be. I thought it was gorgeous. Growing up, I always liked the idea of dying my hair, at first it was because I wanted to be blonde like my friends. That sounds so sad, but I truly hated my dark hair. Because my hair is so naturally dark, I was insecure about the hair on my legs, my arms, my armpits. I remember very succinctly a young boy pointing out my very handsome mustache.
As I grew up I came to love my dark hair because it made me different and because I came to love myself. Even though I loved my dark hair, I wanted to dye it just because I could. I no longer wanted to dye it because I hated it, I wanted to dye it to express myself and because it seemed like a lot of fun (it totally is!). I remember begging my mother to let me dye some streaks of my hair red and after some coercing, I convinced her. Of course, I wanted the entirety of my hair to be a fiery red, but being twelve or thirteen, I did not understand that dying your hair (especially hair as dark and as long as mine) costs an arm and a leg. I remember coming out of the salon, trying not to embarrass myself by showing too much excitement, just glowing with my two little crimson streaks.
Continuing on into my college years, I dyed my hair red all over just because I could and it was really the only color I could dye my hair. I attended and graduated from BYU and while it is an excellent school, does not allow for dying your hair if it is not a “natural” color. Of course, I argue the word natural because there are plenty of people who are brunettes who bleach their hair blonde or blondes who dye their hair brunette. Those aren’t natural colors for them. Of course, I totally understand that the school’s definition of “natural” means colors that would be normally found on the human head as opposed to on a flower. I often felt very suppressed while attending this school in other ways (again great school, but just because I think it’s a great school doesn’t mean I have to agree with everything it believes–just like how I have friends who support Donald Trump; I may not agree with their president choice and I may sometimes question their intelligence, but I still think they’re pretty great as people), but I think it all accumulated on my hair. I didn’t think that the color of my hair should be within their jurisdiction. Now that I’ve graduated, I can dye my hair to my heart’s desire.
I like having control of my life. I know that I don’t have ultimate control of my life because many things that will happen to me will be out of my hands. There have been times when people have taken control from me, forcing me to bend to their will. I’ve been in frightening and heartbreaking relationships and friendships that have made me feel like I was worthless.
Some may argue that we always have a choice, and they’re right. But sometimes, we don’t feel like we have a choice, or that the only choice to be made will lead to a negative consequence. I’ve been fearful in some relationships, not necessarily of violence, but fearful and afraid just the same. I’ve felt like I was not worthy of love, that I deserved to be treated like garbage, that I was the one causing the turmoil. Looking back on those relationships or friendships, I have found that, sure, I was not perfect, but I did not deserve to be treated as poorly as I was. I did not deserve to be told that I was stupid, or ugly, or mean, or not good enough. I did not deserve to be abandoned. I did not deserve to be treated as unworthy or to be cast aside as though I were nothing.
Many of the friendships and relationships I have now are loving and supportive. They call me out on my bull, but they encourage my light and they love me, even when I’m doing something that may or may not be moronic. Friends and lovers are supposed to laugh with each other not at each other (unless you trip up the stairs, that’s hilarious). Healthy relationships may tease and poke at each other, but they know when to stop. They build each other. They help each other. They love each other.
My own marriage is a wonderful relationship, the only thing that my husband really laughs at me about is my height, and admittedly, it’s pretty laughable. He mostly thinks it’s cute. He encourages me and doesn’t really care what I do with my hair or with my life as long as I’m not hurting anybody or doing anything illegal. We challenge each other to become better, we don’t push each other down in hopes that we feel better about ourselves. Within my friendships, we encourage each other’s ideas while also lovingly providing the occasional dose of reality. I am so grateful for my friends and family who have helped me get through some of the most horrifying and harrowing parts of my life, even if they didn’t know that anything was going on.
I dyed my hair because I wanted to start taking more control of my life after giving my control over to so many people. I should give my control over to God as opposed to humans. I chose purple because it is one of my favorite colors and I think that I should start doing things that make me happy as opposed to constantly trying to make other people happy.
In a way, I’m asserting myself with my hair, I’m calling attention to myself when for a long time, I was constantly hiding. Sometimes I was even hiding in plain sight. I once had a psychologist in a group setting who said to me that I always walked in the room with such confidence and I spoke in a way that I seemed like nothing could hurt me. He often wondered why I was in this group, the trauma group. It wasn’t until he understood that I was trying to protect myself that he was able to help me.
By dying my hair purple, I’m not trying to hide anymore. I’m trying to be myself as much as I can, purely, and unadulterated. I don’t need to put on a persona, I don’t need to try to win back friends or relationships that treated me like dirt. I can feel free to love those whom I will without being judged. I can feel free to open up more and allow myself to be accepted and loved.
This post seems very rambling (because it is) and disjointed (because it is), but essentially what it all means is that I chose to dye my hair because I wanted to express the self-love that I possess. I still have many insecurities that bubble up from time to time as a result from my past, and there will be plenty of days that I completely fall apart, even with my rad new hairdo. But ultimately, it represents how far I have come in my journey of self-discovery and learning to love myself again. I’m still on this journey, I still have a lot to work on, but I’m very proud of myself for how far I’ve come.
Thank you to everyone who has helped me get this far, especially my family, my husband, my yoga buddies, the ladies and dude that were my bridesmaids, and my close ballroom friends. You guys are all amazing people and I’m so glad that I found you.
Hopefully, this post wasn’t too confusing and I hope that all of you can find a way to self-love.
Thank you for reading!
(Originally published on TheMiniMeditatingDragon.blogspot.com 10/12/16)