This is me in one of my very earliest moments of learning to be experimental with my hair. As you can see, my mom is rolling my bangs in sponge curlers. Or perhaps, taking my bangs OUT of sponge curlers, which was the first step before the back-ratting and then the hair-spraying. From these, my formative years, I learned that the hair on top of your head was for fun. It was for experimentation and self-expression, and was never ever to be taken too seriously, or too permanently. Step with me, for a moment, into my time machine, for a brief history of hair and also of wearing pink on picture day. First stop: 1994.
Fast forward to 7th grade and we can see that middle school is kind to no one. But here’s the thing. I loved the way I looked in this very picture at that very moment. Look at the painstaking efforts that I put into my hair that morning. I had no make-up at my disposal, and my teeth were covered in braces, but I DID have my hair. You can see the comb marks left where I had brushed it back and secured it tightly, leaving a little bit of hair out to deliberately drape over the top of my head. And then the Nancy Drew flip, topped off with, I don’t know, 18 spritzes of hair spray. I mean, I knew it was picture day, and this was ME.
THEN I discovered blonde. Or more accurately, I discovered roots. And that no matter what you do, light brown roots are neverrr gonna look good coming in against dark brown hair. Blonde on the other hand…. I could be a little bit more lazy with blonde. And for some reason, I also felt that I could more easily embrace my natural wavy texture with lighter strands.
And this, as we know, is what my hair color looks like now. My reddish pregnancy hair went away so I grew my cool-toned roots out and bayalaged the ends. It's a look I think I'm going to keep around until I'm AT LEAST 70. It feels like me. Plus I've got two kids and no time for roots, but always time for a little blonde!
Dove Hair recently put out this really great video (which you can watch here) in an attempt to broaden the definition of beautiful hair, break down beauty standards, and encourage the idea that nobody but you decides what makes you feel beautiful.
To spread the love across social media, they’ve started #Loveyourhair so that everyone can participate with photos of their own beautiful hair and break down these expectations/barriers together. Dove Hair also launched a community board on Pinterest as a place to gather diversity and inspire each other.
While delving back into my personal hair archives, at times I feel tempted to cringe. Maybe it’s just me or maybe that’s a natural reaction to going back and reliving your own evolution. Or maybe it’s just middle school. But I’m also hit with huge waves of nostalgia and fond memories. For every time I cut, colored, permed, and experimented with my hair, I was being myself in that moment. I have a fully documented series of me’s, with each look representative of a very specific time in my life. I appreciate being given that freedom to experiment at a relatively young age, and now, over a decade of hair experimentation later, I feel happy and weirdly grounded to have settled on a color that feels like it’s going to stick around for a looooong time.
This post has been in partnership with Dove Hair and the #LoveYourHair campaign. To learn more, visit here!