Blue hair don’t care. Or #bluehairdontcare. I've spent half a lifetime trying to be a natural blonde. This time I went with trying to be a natural blue.
As I sit here thinking about the past six months sporting blue hair, the most prominent thought I have is this one regret: Not telling other women how much fun I've had with blue hair.
So, to the elderly woman, with long grey hair, who came up to me at a Midwest Meyer’s Starbucks on a snowy morning, I have a different response now than I had said when you admired the color of my hair...and said you wished you had the courage to color your hair too. I regret not saying something like this:
Honey, it’s only hair. It’s your hair. Do you know what the sainted Mother Theresa said? Life's an adventure. Dare it!
It’s ok to take chances, no matter what other people think. What matters is how it makes you feel. I say, be bold! And if it's hard being bold, just have fun!
It's only hair
How do you get across to a stranger all those years of learning or unlearning to care about other people's judgment of you? Of realizing exactly how short life is? That our time on this planet, well - I'm sure you've heard this - temporary. Who cares about the minor point of hair color? When we have fun, and enjoy it all - everyone around us does too. Even the ones who hide behind bullying to attempt to feel better about themselves by trying to make you feel small. So, I have a regret. I didn't share my wisdom with this woman. I just meekly smiled and said thank you, it's my favorite color.
It's easy to understand her attitude, with her hesitations. I remember when my friend and I first had our newborns. We discussed their possible futures and some of the things they could do to rebel. One was dye their hair some bright, punk-rock style. With some reflection we agreed that it’s only hair. Hair can be grown out or dyed back to a normal color once they tire of it. We never dreamed I’d be the one with a blue hue and the kids (let alone strangers in coffee shops) would be the ones accepting it.
My journey to blue hair
Two summers ago at Burning Man a woman I know applied some temporary colors in my hair for fun. One little streak of teal lasted for a few months. I kind of liked it. So this past summer I decided to be bold and jump on the rainbow color hair trend. Of course I chose blue- it’s my favorite color! As a bonus, my boss (me!) said it would be fine. No corporate execs around to snicker or fire me, no clients who would not like it.
I had an idea in my head of what I wanted. I wanted to look like a “Natural blue” (this doesn’t sound so far off from a lifetime pursuing being a “Natural blonde.”) However, my vision of layered blues isn't that common, and I wanted it done my way. Fortunately, Pinterest has many suggestions for blue hair styles.
Next was finding someone to execute my desires. I admit, I was too timid to do it on my own, having had bad experiences in the distant past. (Have you had bad experiences with dying your hair at home? I'm sure there are millions of mistakes happening based on the number of YouTube how-tos alone!) Both my friends Claire and Jessica had been dying their own hair, with beautiful results. But they didn’t want to risk messing up someone else’s hair. My long-time stylist has started a new business, and her traveling set up wasn’t conducive for us to do this adventure together. Then, a really great friend with lots of connections hooked me up with a talented woman whose salon, Hello Beautiful!, is in the hip part of Brooklyn. The whole experience-- from the funky decor, to Rebecca's very capable demeanor, how pretty the different blues looked-- made me feel happily special.
The results make blue hair look natural
Being a "natural blue" really isn't that much different from being a "natural blonde." Looking back at having brightly hued hair for the last six months, most important lesson is that I love it. This lesson didn't come easy...there were a few times I seriously doubted myself, or was afraid that others would be embarrassed being seen with me. I sometimes hid behind the joke "I'm just a little old lady with blue hair" and online behind the hashtag #bluehairdontcare. Having blue hair doesn't mean I don't care about anything. It means I have become more empowered to not care what people think of my personal choices for how I look or what I find fun. Isn’t that what the adventure is about? Finding what gives you joy?
Tell me in the comments below about your experiences with hair color or if you're inspired to try something new (even a new shade of blonde?) Stay tuned for next week's blog where I offer tips on blue hair care, as well as the different reactions I received from friends & strangers!