As you all know, I have colourful hair.  My natural colour is a sort of strawberry blonde, something like this:

But I got bored of it after years of the same colour.  I wasn’t brave enough to change up the style, so I went through dying phases.  First, dark brown in 2005:

Then, deep pinks and purples in 2007:

2007, in The Jolly Tar. I love my hair here.
This was a Stargazer dye, so it all washed out within a week.

Then red in 2008:

Then in December 2008, 2 months into my degree, I decided to take the plunge and bleach it.  I wanted to shake up my image a bit, do something radically different, and stand out from the crowd. So I did this:

For the past three years, almost, I’ve loved having colourful hair.  The pros of having colourful hair are:

–          Colourful hair is its own accessory. You can wear jeans and a t shirt and still look good.

–          You become instantly memorable (“who’s she?” “the one with purple hair”).

–          It’s a conversation starter. People have started talking to me on buses, in shops, in toilets, and on the street about my hair.

–          It tends to attract other “alternative”-ish people. (one of my old uni friends told me that the reason she decided to start talking to me was because she thought my hair was cool)

–          Kids getting excited when they see your hair in public – “look mummy, look at her hair! Can I have blue hair?” I love that. <3

–          Obviously it looks cool as fuck.

I’ve dyed it many colours since then; here’s a quick selection:

January 2009

blue hair

Blue – March 2009. I miss this colour so much, but it was hard to maintain!
Deep pink – summer 2009
Blue and black – December 2009
Red and black – autumn 2010.
March 2011 – cut it short and bleached out the black to go back to purple

However, three years later, I’ve finally decided to dye it back to a normal colour – probably dark brown again.  Having coloured hair has lost its shine (literally and figuratively), and I’m sick of all the downsides:

–          It’s such a pain to maintain.  I used to dye my hair dark brown, and as long as I dyed it every 6 weeks or so, when my roots came through and the colour started losing vibrancy, the colour always looked fantastic.  Now, with purple hair, I need to dye it every two weeks, and bleach the roots every month, if I want to keep it looking good.  I can’t afford to do it that often, which means that I usually spend half my time having grey-tinted hair and brown roots.

–          Dirty looks from sanctimonious strangers.

–          Creepy come-ons from strange men who think it’s acceptable to stroke your hair when it’s an unusual colour. No dude, it’s still my hair, FUCK OFF.

–          Dirty men who ask you if the carpet matches the curtains (true story).  Have these men considered the logistics of dying your pubic hair?!

–          Nagging relatives asking you when you’re going to grow up and dye over it.

–          You’re less employable. I pretty much lost my retail job in 2008 because I dyed my hair purple.  Fuck BHS. (purple hair is “unnatural”, whereas white blonde with black streaks is totally fine…)

–          Stained bath towels, pillows, and collars (I learned the hard way that dark blue towels are the way forward).

–         Sometimes it’s nice not to stand out.  You can’t blend in with purple hair.

p.s. want to dye your hair?  Read my how-to guide!

15 Replies to “The Pros and Cons of Colourful Hair”

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