I can’t control my life but I can control the colour of my hair
My mother started going grey in her early twenties, shortly after I was born. Hair dye was as much part of my childhood as playing in the sandbox or the ubiquitous smell of cigarette smoke. I was 14 when we first coloured my hair a dark red and it alternated through varying brunette and auburn shades for the following five years. It became a peculiar bonding ritual; my mother and I, later my sister too, would gather in the downstairs bathroom with the stained tub and the too-loud fan to dye eachother’s hair.
It wasn’t until I was 19 and I had a friend going to school for hairstylist that I ventured out of my comfort zone. I was her final project and she wanted to leave an impression. She dyed my hair black with strong, sharp lines for a very dramatic look. Unfortunately, Ive never been one to spend much time on my hair and a salon-polished look was not one that I was interested in maintaining. So I shaved my head. It was wonderful.
A series of unexpected events lead to my working in the construction industry. Not only do I like my job, this also meant the elimination of a dress code. I went from dress pants and heels to jeans and workboots. Nobody cares what colour your hair is when it’s shoved under a hardhat. Starting off subtle, I went with pale blue highlights. You couldn’t tell that it was there unless the sun hit it just so.
My parents' 25-year relationship ended in an incredibly acrimonious split. Chaos reigned supreme in both my work and home life. I quickly abandoned subtlety and cycled through varying shades of blue, teal and vibrant reds. After my divorce, I bleached my hair and rocked a pale lavender bob for almost 6 months.
I’m currently enjoying dark purple locks professionally coloured by the lovely step-mother of a dear friend. Subtlety has returned and my hair is the longest it’s been in two years.
Sometimes I miss my crazy colours. I make no promises that I won’t return to them. At this point, I think the least-likely option for my hair is my natural dirty-blonde. Or green. Or orange. Ok, I guess I have some limits. However, within these limits, I plan to explore the rainbow. Life is too short for boring hair.