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.
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. **