"Do I have to pay for it?" she asked.
"No," I told her.
"Then knock yourself out."
I don't think she expected I'd become quite so committed to colourful hair, keeping it blue nearly solidly for the next four years. I mixed it up occasionally by shaving my head entirely but as soon as it was long enough again I'd have it bleached and put the colour back in.
When I was eighteen I mixed it up by doing my hair rainbow for Pride celebrations. This soon became an annual style - applied just in time for my birthday on the 1st of May and up kept until mid-July, at which point the incredible maintenance of keeping six colours in my hair would be just way too much.
One of the last combos I did was blue with a pink strip down one side of my faux hawk, the hairstyle I've sported almost exclusively since 2003. I called this 'My Little Pony' hair and it was this colour I had in my hair last when I began growing out the roots in preparation for moving to London.
|Gotta get it nearly white |
before putting dye in.
Just before my move I had my hair cut so all the colour was gone. I was also the proud owner of a rat tail, which my best friend snipped off much to the relief of pretty much everyone who knew me.
Within two months I was working at Pancreatic Cancer UK, where I would remain for the next two and a half years. A few weeks into working there I ran the idea of colouring my hair by the CEO and was told she wasn't comfortable with it. I felt a bit odd without colourful hair but I respected her request and carried on.
Four years later and I have a job where there is no concern about the colour of my hair - or clothes or anything else for that matter. Having felt that not colouring my hair hadn't been my choice, I decided to give it a go over the holidays, reviving the My Little Pony look.
|Ran out of gloves… |
couldn't be bothered to go buy new ones.
As I towelled my head dry after washing the dye out with ice cold water and conditioner, I remembered just how much work it is to upkeep the colour.
I miss my brown hair. I miss washing my head with hot water every day. And I no longer identify with brightly coloured hair - as much fun as it is.
It's interesting to look back and see how I've changed and grown. There was a time when, if asked to list what made me me, I would have indisputably included blue or rainbow hair.
What I find most refreshing about this discovery is how comfortable I am with letting go of something I'd always felt defined me. I think it was Leonard Cohen who said, "The less there is of me, the happier I am."
There's something very rewarding about not holding on so tightly to how I think I should or shouldn't be or something I feel defines who I am.