I’ve wanted colorful hair my entire life. When I was a little kid, I used to hoard those Halloween colored-hair-spray-in-a-can contraptions that would turn your whole head (and your brush, bathroom, clothes, and lungs) hot pink. Arguably, the best time to experiment with wild hair color would have been high school or college, but I didn’t have a normal or easy experience with either of those due to one thing or another. Then I got my first corporate job where there was a strict dress code, so my dream of fun hair was put on hold – perhaps indefinitely.
But something has been happening to me and my mind lately…and it’s that my 30th birthday is looming. It’s got me feeling as old as the crypt keeper and also more confident in my own skin than I think I’ve ever been.
I didn’t have an easy childhood, so college should have been a blessing for me. I got away from the small town I grew up in and had a chance to start over, make my own name worth something. I worked my butt off and didn’t have nearly as much fun as I could have, because I didn’t really know how to – survival mode and all that.
And then…I got sick.
I was 20 when I was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease; 23 when I started my first full-time professional job and had my first chemotherapy infusion (the same week…don’t know how I ever did that); 24 when Russ and I got married and I was able to stop taking chemo treatments (woot!); 27 when I started my current job and then had my gallbladder out a week later (wow, what is it with me and starting jobs?!)…you get the picture.
My roaring 20s had nothing to do with finding myself, soul-searching, traveling the world, or anything else you’ll read about in self-help books and on lifestyle blogs – no, my 20s roared for entirely different, much more traumatizing reasons.
But I’m ok with that. Because I’m healthy now, and damn it, I’m not going to let a big birthday stop me from having a little bit of fun. Which is why I decided to finally take the plunge and have purple highlights placed in my very dark hair:
I also had my stylist add bronzy/auburn, natural-toned peekaboo highlights throughout my hair to add more dimension. The purple streaks are only under my top layer of hair, allowing the color to peek through but not always be seen. I like the combined contrast of the purple and bronze – in some places, it looks like I have slightly pink highlights, too.
I was at the salon for about 5 1/2 hours total, to have my hair bleached, washed, dried, toned with the bronze dye, toned with the purple dye, then washed (3 more times), dried, and styled. I have very dark, very thick, very course hair that takes a long time to process and dry, period, so your time in the chair will mostly likely be different. It was worth it for me. I love it!
Most of the pictures on Pinterest of purple highlighted hair are photoshopped. I wanted to show the fresh color in its un-edited form so anyone else out there can see real results. It’s hell for my poor stylist to have someone like me, with black hair, walk in asking for a pastel lavender that can only be achieved if I make my hair Elsa-levels of white first, thus destroying it in the process. The color looks vibrant and sparkly in natural sunlight, but you can barely see the purple when I’m indoors. It’s the exact kind of subtle I wanted – fun underneath for the weekends, but what I believe to still be professional enough for work.
I truly love it and feel that…maybe if my 20s weren’t the greatest, my 30s could be even better. I know it’s silly and maybe a little immature, but I’m not sure that I care. I wanted to do this for so long and I love the results. My hair turned out prettier than I ever thought it could, and I feel pretty with it.
Thank you to my stylist Alayna, who has always made my hair come out looking better than I could ever imagine, and to Be.Salon for making my sunset hair dreams come true. Thank you for helping me to feel…proud and happy to be me. I love my hair, and I like me. That’s a pretty cool thing to feel before 30. 🙂