Posted: Feb 20, 2013 8:00 AM
 
Last year I dyed the tips of my hair pink. When I was 24, I dyed my blond locks jet black. This winter, I went from very light to chestnut tresses. It may seem shallow, but changing your hair really can change your attitude.

Some people say that what you look like on the outside doesn't matter at all. Some people say that changing your appearance can change who are. I believe both.

Your outward appearance doesn't always reflect who you are on the inside, but it can. It's the quickest way to tell the world — and yes, yourself — who you are at this moment.

How you present yourself can be a reflection of what is going on with you inside, knowingly or not. It's not always, of course. I'm making wide generalizations here. Often this can't be helped. When I was a new mom, I'm sure I looked like a walking mess most of the time. I was sleep deprived and hormonal and I looked it.

When I got my first job, I was as confused and lost as I've ever been in my life, but my wardrobe didn't show it. I put myself together the way I thought a working woman should, and I did well professionally. It wasn't because I was dressed well. But dressing the part gave me the credibility to act the part.

It's often said that in order for real change to come about, that you must start with your insides. But what if you don't have the strength to start there? What if you don't have the wherewithal just yet? I argue that the reverse can also be truth. If you don't know where else, start with the outside.

I dyed my longtime blond hair an inky black. It was, in a sense, the outward birth of a new me.

When I first moved to Los Angeles, I was nursing a terrible heartbreak. A year later, I was doing well at a great job, in a new city, with friends and a future. I wanted my outside to reflect my inside. I had changed radically in my soul, so I wanted to change radically in my appearance. I dyed my longtime blond hair an inky black. It was, in a sense, the outward birth of a new me.

It looked terrible. Looking back, it was just awful with my skin and my wardrobe. My roots grew in light, which looked even weirder. But in pictures, I look happy. I look free. I look like a person who has found herself.

Common sense prevailed and over time I turned it back to brown and then eventually blond again. But I love that girl with black hair. I love who she was and what she represents.

I had recently become the mother of two. I had landed my first few writing gigs. I was feeling more confident in my style and life choices than ever before. And dadgummit, I wanted pink hair.


Last year, at 32 years old, I dip dyed the tips of my blond hair pink. I had recently become the mother of two. I had landed my first few writing gigs. I was feeling more confident in my style and life choices than ever before. And dadgummit, I wanted pink hair.

I thought about it for two months before I took the plunge. I talked to my hair stylist numerous times about exactly how I wanted it to look. When it was finally pink, I was giddy about it.

It seems silly — because, hello, pink — but it really felt like me. It felt like who I was right then, coming through my hair.

I kept the pink in my hair for the better part of a year, and when it faded in the fall I didn't rush to the salon. It wasn't that I didn't feel pink anymore, it was just that time got away from me.

Last month, after mulling it for awhile, I dyed my hair ombre, a pretty brown fading to blond. It's trendy, like the pink, but it requires less upkeep and it brings out the color of my eyes.

I haven't ruled out going back to the pink. Heck, I haven't even ruled out going back to black. Changing my appearance in this way marks seasons of life. It's also an empowerment. A statement to myself and others. People do the same with clothes, dramatic haircuts, especially with body art.

Your outward appearance doesn't always reflect who you are on the inside, but it can. It's the quickest way to tell the world — and yes, yourself — who you are at this moment.

More about hair

Simple messy bun
Rock rainbow hair
Hello, ombre!

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Kate L February 23, 2013
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I have felt the same way about using color or hairstyles to make a statement. Looking back I have had many of both. For me, as a mom, my hair has definitely told the story of what season of life I am in. When I was a young mom, it looked lifeless and tired, which was exactly what I felt. Now that my kids are older, I am able to take more time for myself and my hairstyles have improved. I love your past color choices and can't wait to see what's next.
Angela Amman February 21, 2013
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The ombre is really pretty! I used to be more daring with my hair, and this kind of inspires me to have fun with it again.
Leigh Ann Torres February 20, 2013
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I love the pink! For the longest time I didn't have my natural hair color, but after having kids i've slacked off on being bold. I'm thinking of doing a bold, fun streak.
Jennifer Chidester February 20, 2013
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Gotta say-- I love the pink. I think it's because the smile on your face in that pic looks like you loved it, too!