I’ve been either blonde or brunette since I was 13 years old. Today I am sharing with you my hair story and why I decided to go back to my origins.
When I was born, my hair was a dark blonde and then it lightened to a platinum blonde and it stayed that way until I was four or five years old. It then started getting darker, and redder. By the time I was 11 years old, my hair was a dark strawberry blonde. There were two big factors that made me want to change my hair to blonde. One was my family’s comments and the other was my school mates.
WANTING TO FIT IN
When my hair started getting darker, my family would always reminisce about the times when it was blonde. About how “cute” and “angelic” I used to look. The little blonde princess with the perfect white blonde hair. How I used to have such beautiful blonde hair. Once I was with an aunt and someone said I had gorgeous hair and asked who in the family was a redhead. She answered “My father. Horrible person, he had red hair and a temper to match it”.
I never forgot that sentence. And although I didn’t realize it at the time, what stuck to my mind was: red hair = bad. I felt was that I wasn’t good enough anymore and part of it was because I was no longer blonde.
In school things were different. I used to be teased and bullied for various reasons – one of them being my hair. At the time I didn’t understand that I wasn’t the problem and those kids would have chosen anything to tease me about. But in my mind, everything would get better if I became a blonde. So I did.
DYEING TO BE BLONDE
A few days after I turned 13, I went to a hairdresser and got highlights with part of the money I had gotten for my birthday. When I came out of the salon I was officially a blonde (again). When I went to Summer camp a few weeks later, I instantly made a lot of friends and for the first time in my life I didn’t feel awkward or like I didn’t belong. What I hadn’t realized: the color of my hair hadn’t changed who I was, it just made me more confident and that transpired in the way I acted and came across.
But things with my family stayed the same. While before everyone kept talking about how beautiful my hair used to be when it was blonde, now they just criticized me for dyeing it. I went through a ton of different shades of yellow “blonde” and eventually found out about toners and purple shampoo. In 2012 I stopped dyeing my hair and using toners. It got its red tones back and was beautiful, but it only lasted untol the end of 2013.
BRANCHING MY HAIR OUT
When I moved to Austria, I wanted to be myself. My true self. I had wanted to have red hair for a very long time, but never had the courage to do it. I used a non-permanent dye a few months before my move and can still remember my mother’s disapproving sighs while she helped me apply it. After a while in Vienna, I dyed my hair dark brown. It looked good, made me look like Snow White with my pale skin and dark hair and it made the green in my eyes pop out. But it wasn’t me.
When I visited Portugal in June of 2015, I caved and went dark blonde again. Ever since changing my hair to red and then dark, I had continuously heard from everyone in my family how they liked my previous color better. How blonde looked better on me. They didn’t realize I had been using purple shampoos and toners for years to take the red tones out. What they thought was my natural hair color, wasn’t natural at all.
BACK TO MY ORIGINS
When I last visited my parents, I found a picture of me at around 9 years old where my hair was a beautiful auburn shade. I brought it with me and kept secretly wanting to be brave enough to go back to that color. We got engaged, planned a wedding and I didn’t feel good in my skin. I felt dull, I looked sickly and I was tired of looking tired. I wanted to look like myself on my wedding day. And even though I knew it wouldn’t look exactly like it, I took the picture with me to the hairdressers and got my hair red.
It was the best decision I have ever made! This is how my hair looks now. I know my family does not approve of my red hair because it isn’t what they would choose. But it doesn’t matter anymore. I need to do what feels good to ME and not what others want me to do. My life is mine and I am going to live it for myself!