I turned 30 in April and got a big girl haircut. A bob. I like it. It makes me feel professional and sassy. I’ve had layers for the past 18 or so years, and it was time for a change.
Along with saying goodbye to an old style, the cut marked the goodbye to dye.
When I was a teenie-bopper, my mom told me that my natural hair color was beautiful. She said I had the rest of my life to dye my hair if I decided to do so. Aside from a tragic July experiment with Sun In, my hair stayed au naturale.
Fast forward 8 years or so. I began this long process of dying it various shades of auburn or reddish or darker or highlighted. I did like it, for the most part. It was fun to change up my look. Somewhere in the past year, the feeling crept up on me. It felt like I couldn’t stop. And it was expensive. Inconvenient. Smelly.
As a teen, I always had this image of myself going gracefully gray… Of letting nature turn me beautiful as strands of silvery white interlaced with my own brown locks. And I realized, if I didn’t stop dying it, I would never know. As I approached my thirties, I wondered if this miracle of transformation would pass me by without my knowing.
I said to the stylist, “Can you help me dye it back to my natural color?”
"Oh, no… your natural color is lighter - you’d have to strip your hair to do that, and your hair is healthy."
So, this past year has been a journey. I got a new stylist. And I stopped the insanity. For a while I sported this reverse ombre look (very classy indeed). And slowly, it grew. My own brown emerged, somewhat more golden than I remembered, with traces of auburn reminiscent of what came from the bottle, tinged with ends of another color. Strangely, I even got compliments on the color of the bottom of my hair. “Thanks, I bought that…” How do you say, “I appreciate that you’re trying to be nice, but that’s not the real me?”
In April, I sat in the chair. I asked her for a new style - something that she thought might be professional and grown-up but still fun. She snipped away. She said, “I think we’ve finally gotten rid of the remains of the dye”. I smiled.
In a strange way that I’ve been unable to describe to anyone, my hair represents a lot of what I’ve gone through this year. It’s been a process of stripping away the falsehoods that I thought I needed and remembering the authentic me. God created me beautiful. I understand why people want to dye their hair or change up their look, but it isn’t me.
Brown is the new beautiful.