Last Friday, I got a haircut.
Not that anyone will notice, as it was just a trim (she took 3 inches off) and an aggressive thinning out of my super-thick mane.
Really, there was nothing notable about the cut–it’s basically the same cut I’ve been getting for over 3 years now, with the exception that I no longer ask her to cut bangs (like before).
What WAS exceptional?
The fact that I didn’t have her dye it, highlight it, balayage it, etc. etc.
Folks, I haven’t dyed a strand of my hair for over a YEAR.
This is a Big Deal.
I started dying my hair when I was 14, I think—my sisters had all started going to the beauty school a few towns over to get their hair done on the cheap, and as they were all the epitome of cool and beautiful (and still are), I wanted to do just like they did.
So I saved my money from babysitting and cleaning my grandma’s house for weeks, and I got my first highlights.
From then on, I became addicted to the process, for two reasons:
1) Often, once you dye your hair, it’s hard to STOP dying your hair, just because your roots start to show, and it starts to look funky, etc. etc.
2) Once you’ve experienced the thrill that comes from being able to voluntarily alter a part of your appearance drastically (and see how it affects everything from your makeup choices to even how people respond to you), it’s hard to give that up (especially when you tend to get bored easily when things stay the same for too long, like I do).
So why, after almost 18 years of dying my hair, did I decide to give it up cold turkey?
Well, the first reason was largely financial—though I only go to get my hair done/cut twice a year (I know), adding color still added an extra $60-70 onto the price every time. As we’ve had to live a lot more frugally since buying our house last summer, certain sacrifices had to be made.
Second, I discovered an interesting truth—I rarely love a new haircolor the first week or even two that I have it. Rather, I usually prefer the color it slightly fades to, which I now realize WAS ACTUALLY PRETTY CLOSE TO MY NATURAL HAIRCOLOR. Sure, I might prefer my strands a *little* darker than they are naturally, but was it worth the cash to go just a shade or two darker than what I was born with?
I decided that for now, no.
(Plus there’s the major perk of me not actually having to sit through the coloring process. While I totally love my stylist and enjoy talking to her, I have a really hard time sitting still for so long, and because I have so much hair, my color/cut appointments would take anywhere from 2.5 – 4 hours on average (with one memorable session taking SIX full hours, though not with my current hairstylist.)
I think the thing that’s surprised me the most about finally knowing my natural haircolor again is how dark it is. I’d always considered myself to have somewhat mousy and lighter brown hair (which translated to “boring” in my book), but I’ve been pleased to find out now as an adult that my natural haircolor is actually fairly dark on its own.
Do I sometimes miss the more dramatic and slightly darker haircolors of the past (like here)?
But it feels pretty darn good to say that at 31 years old, I’m finally embracing my natural hair again.
At least for the time being.