Growing up, I've always had a love-hate relationship with my hair. Actually, up until a few years ago, it was more of just a hate relationship. I've always had incredibly thick hair, something I was always told was a blessing. But as someone with an especially sensitive scalp, its constant tangling really didn't help. As a result of that, I had the same haircut for a lot of my life: about shoulder length, layers, and bangs. Each time I would go and get it cut, the hairdresser would always begin by saying (and still does), "Wow, you have the thickest hair I've ever cut! Did you know you have such thick hair?" and end it with, "And it's so healthy! I have clients who would pays hundreds for hair like yours." I quickly grew tired of this routine and wanted to do something different. When I was about thirteen, I grew out my bangs for the first time; unfortunately I then got my hair cut too short and hated my hair again. By 14, my short-lived goth/emo phase began, and I dyed my hair red and wanted one of those emo haircuts (I had this one printed out and hanging in my bedroom for a year). But because of my thick hair, I was told time and time again that my hair was too thick for the cut. My young, naive self simply didn't believe them; I must have gone to at least five different stylist who told me the same thing. One did give me a cut that was close, but I still hated it. I moved on from red by dying it nearly black with a streak of blue. I loved that blue streak (it was the most blue my mom would allow at the time, as I wanted my whole head to be blue) and was heartbroken when it washed out so quickly. However, when the blue washed out, my emo phase slowly washed away with it. About a year later, around the age of 16, I wanted to go blonde. My hair was nearly back to my natural shade of brown, so I went to go get it dyed. When I went to get it dyed, the woman wouldn't do it because her daughter destroyed her hair by dying it from brown to blonde and back to brown in a span of three months. She told me that I would get tired of blonde hair too quickly, and that my hair was too healthy to dye blonde. I'm sorry, but this woman didn't know me; she had no right to tell me where my mind will go. Frankly, she should have just taken my money and done it. Still, we went to another place where they implied something similar and instead gave me lots and lots of blonde highlights. It was alright, but still not what I wanted. Right before the start of my senior year, I decided I would just do it myself, so I could pick out the exact color I wanted. But that's the thing with boxed dyes, isn't it? It never really is the color it says it is. It turned out some strawberry color. Being who I am, I put on a smile and said I liked it, even though I knew I didn't. By the end of my senior year, I just wanted to be blonde. I had been wanting this for so long, I decided that if I was going blonde, then I might as well go platinum. When I announced my decision to the world, I heard the same thing from everyone:
"You're going to destroy your hair."
Still, I knew I had to do it. If my hair was as healthy as everyone said it was, then my hair should be able to take it. And you know what? I was right. After it was bleached, it was still soft. Sure, it's still a bit frizzy, but that's not the bleaching, that's just my hair. Even as I continue to bleach, it's still as strong as ever. When I got my hair redone just a few weeks ago, my stylist had to use four bowls of bleach and two bowls of toner. When he finished he felt my hair, looked a bit taken aback and said, "Your hair; it's still... alive." Bleaching my hair made me finally learn to appreciate my hair. As someone who's never been completely body confident, learning to love my hair has been a great step forward. Sure, there are still some days where I get really frustrated with my hair (it won't hold a curl or stay straight for more than two hours and absolutely hates being put up), but I just have to remind myself that I've never had a split end and it's still soft to touch.
What's the point of my story today? You may hate your hair; in fact, you may hate it for a really long time. And that's okay. It's so frustrating to not be able to have the hair you want. Learning to love it takes time, but one of these days, a new hair trend will start or you'll finally find your perfect haircut/color, and you'll realize that your hair was lovely all along.