Although I never considered it prior to this year, I made a change in style over J-Term.
By Melissa Farthing, Copy Editor
Over J-Term, I made a decision that I am still quite shocked by: I dyed my hair green.
Up until now, I’ve never wanted to dye my hair. In fact, I’ve always been somewhat repulsed by the idea. The color doesn’t last long, plus the harsh chemicals in the dye completely ruin any strand of hair they touch. In other words, the short reward is not worth the risk of having semi-permanent dry, dead hair.
This mindset somehow changed over the past few months. I call this shift in thinking my Quarter-Life Crisis (partially inspired by the musically gifted Judah and the Lion). I felt like I needed a temporary makeover to mix up my look and further solidify my identity. I didn’t want to get a tattoo or piercing (too expensive and not appealing in my eyes), so the next time I was in Walmart, I coughed up ten dollars and snagged a Splat Midnight Jade Thirty Wash Hair Color Kit from the beauty department. I chose this brand because I liked that I didn’t have to bleach my dark-ish brunette hair for the dye to have an effect (at least according to the box). Plus, the color on the model’s hair was stunningly gorgeous.
My mother (bless her heart) helped me throughout this entire process because there was no way I could do something this intricate (and messy) alone. We started by covering the whole kitchen with a plastic tarp because the kit warns you in fifty-seven different places that the dye will stain EVERYTHING. I put on an old black sweatshirt and my mom wore gloves and long sleeves. Now, it was time for the real fun to begin.
My mom doused my hair with the dye, which took about ten minutes. The dye looked more blu-ish than green on the gloves, but as long as my hair was going to look like the ocean, I would be pleased. Once that step was completed, I let my hair sit for about two hours, then returned to the kitchen to rinse it with cold water. Thankfully, we have a stainless steel sink so that the dye couldn’t stain anything. We washed my hair with a sulfate-free shampoo (important for retaining color), rinsed it again and then applied a special conditioner that came with the kit. That sat on my hair for another twenty minutes. At this point, I was antsy to see the final result. I was excited yet terrified that I would hate it.
When we finished flushing out the conditioner, we walked over to the bathroom, where my mom dried my hair with a blow dryer. I’ll admit that it didn’t look exactly how I had pictured it. Instead of being solely green, it appeared that the dye darkened my hair to an almost black color and added turquoise-colored streaks and highlights throughout it. Even though the outcome took me by surprise, it was the best kind of surprise. I loved my new ‘do!
So far, taking care of my hair hasn’t been exceedingly difficult. The color has lasted longer than I anticipated it would. I use a special sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner per the dye instructions’ recommendation, which seems to help keep the color vibrant. I’m sure when I dye my hair again, the color will look even better than it does currently.
For anyone thinking of dying their hair who has never done it before, I would do some research before diving in. It shouldn’t be a quick, spontaneous weekend decision. Be aware that even if you choose a non-permanent dye option, you will still be adding chemicals to your hair, and you have to decide if you are comfortable with that.
If you’ve thought through all of this and you still want to make a colorful change to your hair, I’d say go for it! There are plenty of dye options out there for a variety of hair shades and types. There are even bleach-free options (like the brand I used) and dyes that last anywhere from one wash to thirty washes or longer.
Whatever you decide to do, make sure it’s what you feel is the best choice for your hair. There are plenty of ways to personalize your style, and dye doesn’t have to be one of them if you don’t want it to be.
You are beautiful, colored hair or not!