Feb 11th, 2020, 12:59 PM

Purple Hair, Don't Care

By Linnea Wingerup
Purple hair. Image Credit: Linnea Wingerup
How is colorful hair affecting confidence, inside and out? Three AUP women reflect on their brightly-colored locks.

When I dyed my hair for the first time in the dingey bathroom of my fourth-floor apartment, my roommate gently working bright purple color through my light brown hair, I was terrified. What the hell was I doing? I stared at myself in the smudged mirror as my head was engulfed by this new, louder violet. I shook with nerves and a bit of excitement as I worried about this decision that was going to stick with me (or rather, my hair) for a while. There was no going back. 

Turns out, I was right. There was no going back from the positively ecstatic feeling of choosing a hair color that made people see you. The drama, the looks, the double-takes; I was obsessed. Who knew colorful hair could evoke such feelings of self-assurance and enjoyment? Well, I spoke with three AUP undergraduate women who had dyed their locks many times, and certainly knew of the power of vivid hair color. 

Avani's blue hair. Image Credit: Avani 

AVANI, 21, Dallas, Texas 

What color is your hair at the moment? 

A teal-ish blue right now.

Have you dyed your hair before (if so, what colors)? 

I have; I’ve had a lot of different colors. I’ve had a strong orange, peach, lavender, dark purple, a burgundy-ish color, blue, a dark blue, teal green, many different shades of purple and pink.

How do you like your hair now?

I like my hair right now. The only thing that I don’t super love about my hair is that since I have short hair, and I am a femme woman, sometimes I feel a little bit too masculine because blue and short hair just seems very masculine. But also part of me loves it because of the film "Blue is the Warmest Color." Sometimes I feel like I seem like an outwardly-presenting lesbian woman, which I’m not used to. 

What do you think about when you see others with colorfully dyed hair? 

I love it. I’m just like, “bring on the weirdness.” It’s just a little bit of a staple piece. You can just wear really plain clothes and be eccentric. 

Final thoughts?

If someone who is reading this is questioning whether they can pull off colored hair, or if they’re scared they’re not going to like it, just do it. Try it once. Like, your hair grows, you can cut it off. But it’s an experience that’s really fun.

Madi's faded pink hair. Image Credit: Madi

MADI, 21, Virginia Beach, VA

What color is your hair now? 

My current hair color is blue. 

Have you dyed your hair before (if so, what colors?) 

I first started dyeing my hair when I was in 7th grade. I dyed it blonde out of a box – it was a $14 box dye. I also dyed it blue in 10th grade, and then I dyed it red my first year of college – I was 18 – and then I dyed it purple when I was a senior in high school. Recently I decided to dye it purple, which faded to pink, and now I’ve dyed it blue.

Do people comment specifically on your hair color? 

Yes, mostly because my hair was very bright and it was the first thing people saw. The only comments people made about my hair were positive when they said them to my face. The people who said things about my hair usually had dyed hair too, or you could just kind of tell that they had an artistic vibe as well. 

Has colorful hair affected your feelings toward yourself? If yes, how so? 

I definitely thought it accentuated the artistic side of me, and I felt like I liked that. I could show off my personality a bit more. 

Final thoughts? 

If you’re thinking about dyeing your hair, wear it with pride. Why not try something new, and you know, you might like it. Kudos to anyone with colorful hair. Think of the people who don’t want to or are afraid to dye their hair another color; maybe you’ll inspire someone to do it. 

Katie's bright pink. Image Credit: Katie

KATIE, 21, Tianjin, China 

What color is your hair now? 

It’s a faded reddish pinkish-brown. 

How do you like your hair now? 

I’m pretty neutral about it now. I typically get bored every two to three months and decide to add a bit of color, usually red or pink. I'm due for a meltdown in about two weeks. 

Do people comment specifically on your hair color? 

I think once someone knows me for a long time, they see how frequently I’ll just dye it again and it becomes less of a point of conversation. Unless I do something really bright, I don’t think anyone cares, and really nor do I, since I rarely give it a second thought before I dye it. 

Were your close family members supportive of your colorful hair? 

Ha, yeah! My family has never really cared what I do with my appearance, and I'm grateful for that. When I came home having bleached my whole head and dyeing it a terrifying shade of pink in 7th grade, my dad thought it was hilarious and was just like “very rock n’ roll Katie, but you’re now the class highlighter.” At this point, they don’t even comment if I’ve changed my hair.

Has colorful hair affected your feelings toward yourself? If so, how? 

It’s hard to say because I started dyeing it so young; it just feels like a normal part of my character. At first, I was just really into punk and rock, and for a 12-year-old, projecting a side of yourself through appearance might be the most liberating feeling you can get. Now it’s not that I feel very rock n’ roll at all; it’s kinda just an immediate gratification type of thing when I’m feeling bored. If anything, I’ve kind of learned that the state of your hair probably won’t ruin nor fix anything that's actually happening in your life, so just have fun with it when you can.

So there you have it, folks. The world of vibrantly dyed hair is a fun, imperfect utopia of dazzling colors, full of people ready to compliment any passerby with a brightly-pigmented head. I, for one, am ready for my next color.