It’s Only Hair

9 Aug

I suppose you would describe my style as clean, polished, maybe even preppy.  I grew up in a fairly conservative family, attended a Christian college (despite being non-religious), and my career as an elementary school teacher only nourished my wardrobe filled with pencil skirts and polo shirts.  I am the girl next door.  Jeans and polo shirts.  Khaki skirts and sweaters.  Sundresses with wedge sandals.

It’s not that I want to blend in.  It’s just that I’ve never felt like a loud person.

So this hair?  Is a departure for me.  A leap.

I dyed my hair once before, a few years back when I was teaching 4th grade in St. Louis.  I went to work the next morning and was thrilled when a co-worker asked, “did you do something different with your hair?”  I proudly answered yes, I had done something different; it was now slightly browner than before.  You know, chocolate brown instead of its natural chestnut brown color.  With a semi-permanent dye.  We both laughed at my half-assed attempt at change.

So this past weekend, at BlogHer, as my colorful and vibrant friend A’Driane from Butterfly Confessions applied the bleach to my hair, I took a deep breath and chanted “it’s only hair,” in my head.  And as she painted the hot pink dye onto my head, I wondered how I would style this new ‘do.  How would my family react? What would people think?

I washed the last of the pink creme out of my hair, toweled off, and finally revealed the results to the critic in the mirror.  I couldn’t help but smile.  The pink was perfectly offset by the surrounding brown, providing a pop of color to what was previously a blank canvas.  Once curled, the magenta waves twisted and mixed with the brown, and entertaining the eyes.  The girl who always took things so seriously, even her hair, was transformed.

The gorgeous and talented Cecily and A’Driane chatting in the hallway during Sparklecorn. A highlight of my weekend.

My pink hair made me more approachable at the conference (which was attended by almost 5,000 women!).  It granted me an audience with pink-haired Cecily from Uppercase Woman (she was friendly, kind, and so very funny).  And it made me feel striking, even when I wandered down to breakfast in my sweatpants and tank top on Saturday morning.  And now that I’m home and have re-entered real life, my wet mommy bun doesn’t seem so, well, mommy-ish.

So, thank you, A’Driane. For pushing me out of my comfort zone and for filling my life and my hair with color.  What seems like such a small, superficial act has inspired me to be brave in other areas of my life – to take chances and try new things – and to have more fun.

After all, it’s only hair. Or is it?

**note: after Mirjam’s comment, I had to add that last sentence.  And that’s what I love about blogging.  I love that it makes me think about what I meant.  What I wrote.  And how I can make it better. **

10 Responses to “It’s Only Hair”

  1. applesndroses August 9, 2012 at 11:34 am #

    Oh no, it’s not just hair…it’s so much more!

    • learnedhappiness August 9, 2012 at 11:44 am #

      You’re right. Hair is an outward expression of how we feel inside. But at the same time, I had always taken it so seriously…a bad hair day would leave me feeling lifeless. And I would NEVER have dyed it before because “what if I didn’t like it?” I think what I really mean is that it will grow out. It will adapt to fit who I am in the moment. And that I don’t have to worry about it so much. I feel so much more free with the pink hair.

      So I guess it’s not just hair…but it *is* a safe place to have a little fun and be a bit reckless. =)

  2. Cecily August 9, 2012 at 11:34 am #

    Welcome to the Pink Haired Gang, lady. Proud to have you as a member!

    • learnedhappiness August 9, 2012 at 11:49 am #

      Well, thank you! So nice to have met you and to be inspired by you!

  3. tranquilamama August 9, 2012 at 12:06 pm #

    I hope to get out of my comfort zone at BlogHer next year like you did. For me this is about you taking risks and establishing another part of your identity.

  4. MelissaBL August 9, 2012 at 12:31 pm #

    I kind of want colorful hair now.

  5. Amber @fourkidslater August 9, 2012 at 1:10 pm #

    Cute! I recently took a leap & went from my natural dark, nearly black-brown to a dark brown with a (can only see in the sun) red tint to it…semi-permanent. So I understand how big that was! It’s definitely more than just hair & I love what you’ve done. 🙂

  6. Jaime August 10, 2012 at 3:42 pm #

    Just this morning I told my boss how close I came to having A’Driane dye my hair right along with yours. She just laughed. I’m taking that almost as permission, since if it were forbidden I’m sure she would have told me! So count me in next time. 🙂 I am so proud of you for leaving your comfort zone (over & over) so boldly all weekend at BlogHer and thrilled I got to see it up close.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Bacon Seed – Blog Archive – Pink Laces - August 9, 2012

    […] of the unexpected blessing of BlogHer 12 came late Saturday night after my new friend Susan from Learned Happiness and I met up with Kristina from You Improve It at the CheeseburgHer party. After realizing we were […]

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