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The Summer of the Teal Hair

Not too long ago, I dyed my hair teal for the summer. It was something I had always wanted to do but it never seemed like the right time, so I just decided to make it the right time.

 Hiking through nature with my teal hair

Hiking through nature with my teal hair

I'm not sure what I had expected, but I didn't really feel any different after dyeing it. In fact, since I keep my hair short, I couldn't even really tell it had changed unless I was looking in a mirror.

Everyone else noticed though.

I got a lot of strange reactions. Generally people would just stare at me when they thought I wasn't looking, but I got plenty of comments as well.

"Oh no! Your hair is tarnishing!"

"Hmmm, something's different about you... I think it's your lipstick. Hahaha!"

"That looks really nice. It brings out your eyes!" They then turned to their child and said, "Don't you ever do that."

Mainly though, people would walk up to me and ask me questions (usually about my hair), even when I was clearly not the person to be asking. For instance, while walking with my cousin around a college campus for a tour, we noticed some other visitors were trailing us. They later admitted they had been following us because my bright hair made us an easy marker to follow.

My hair seemed to be a magnet drawing attention to me; making me appear more approachable. People would walk up, start a conversation with me, as if my hair was somehow an invitation to a discussion.

And don't get me wrong, I'm a rather extroverted person, so I enjoy a good conversation while waiting in the check-out line at Food Lion. My main issue was that these conversations tended to have little to do with how I felt about my hair. Instead, they centered on how they felt about my hair. No matter what I said, everyone else would give me their two cents on what having dyed hair meant to them.

 Close-up of my hair color

Close-up of my hair color

My hair being dyed teal had had almost no affect on how I acted, but a large affect on how people acted towards me.

People became either friendlier or more skeptical. They felt so passionate towards my hair that they didn't want me to get rid of it, even if they said they would never dye theirs. My hair became a beacon for them to look at and feel they understood me better. It seems that having teal hair made me easier to stereotype and place in a box than someone with brown hair.

It didn't matter what I did: talk a lot or a little, agree or disagree, etc. people would draw their own conclusions about me based on their assumptions from my hair color.

But the crazy thing is, its just hair.

Its a fuzzy hat that you wear around everyday, like a favorite shirt. It shouldn't have any affect on how people act towards you and yet the difference between a Star Wars graphic tee and a white button down can be the difference between a lot of things. Even if it shouldn't be.

(Again, this was all based on my short, few months of having colorful hair, so there are bound to be some differences between my experience and other peoples'.)

What has been your experience with colored hair? Would you ever color your hair if you haven't?

Until next time,

Caitlin