Hey guys, welcome back to TNTH.
This post was inspired by a YouTuber I follow on Twitter named Tasha Leelyn. Her YouTube channel boomed when she was the face of semi-permanent hair dyes and pastel hair; she had bleached and dyed her hair crazy, funky colors for the last three years and as of last year, she dyed it back to dark brown. For obvious reasons, her hair was extremely damaged from the constant bleach that even gave her chemical burn during one bleach job. Many of her old-time viewers began writing in her comments, “I miss Old Tasha!”, “I miss the pastel hair!”, and “I miss watching your hair videos!” On the outside, it’s easy to say that to a person without personally knowing them and it’s also very common for people to be subscribed to a person for a specific type of content and when that person doesn’t do it anymore, they ultimately unsubscribe. Watching her as “Dark Brown Hair Tasha” for the past year and looking back at her videos from her pastel days, I can see why she chose to change her hair color, and I can see just how doing something as simple as that could be the answer to true happiness. I experienced this for myself in the last 6 years.
The first major hair change I had was during my senior year in high-school. I went completely blonde after having dark-brown hair all my life. It gave me the attention and confidence that I thought was going to make me feel better. In a way, the blonde hair made people notice me. I was seen and people liked me better with my blonde hair. But, the blonde hair was a cover-up since the beginning. I only went completely blonde because I wanted to be unrecognizable. I wanted to be a completely different person because I hated who I was, and who I’ve become. Even with all of the compliments and people liking me with blonde hair, I wasn’t getting better. I wasn’t feeling better, and people didn’t notice that because my bright, blonde hair masked my depression.
People have this assumption that when women dye their hair darker (i.e from blonde to dark brown or black), that’s usually the sign to notice their depression or sadness going on in their lives. Dark hair usually blends in with the crowd; you don’t notice someone so quickly when most of the world is brunette or generally dark haired. Many of the people who’ve experimented with bright/pastel hair color can tell you that one of the main reasons they decided to do an unnatural hair color is to literally become different people. In a way, they want to reintroduce themselves as a new person, hence why they choose hair colors that are different and that stand-out.
I kept my hair blonde for months, despite it becoming brittle and damaged after touching up my roots once a month. Once I had to give up the blonde, my new addition was hair dye, both natural and unnatural, because I already knew that I was able to change myself after every bad event in my life. For most of 2012 and 2013, I constantly changed the color and cut off my hair whenever I got the chance to. People deemed me this hair goddess that could do no wrong to my hair, and my hair suddenly became my only source of identity. People called me eccentric and different, and I tried to hold on to that identity for as long as I could.
Every now and then, I will look back and notice how I would use my hair as a security blanket. My hair had to be long, my hair had to be some sort of blonde, whether all over or in an ombre, and my hair had to change frequently. I went through a lot of variations to find the color I felt like myself in, and that’s okay to go through that stage to find what hair color and hairstyle makes you feel the most like you. But with every change came a new thing that I wasn’t happy about in life. I knew as a young adult that life happens, but I couldn’t comprehend that changing my hair meant that those unresolved issues would just disappear. I just kept piling more and more baggage into my hair changes and at a certain point, the damage was irreversible.
On March 22nd, 2016, I decided that I was going to stop bleaching and coloring my hair to let my hair grow long and healthy. I picked up a box of black hair dye, a color that I ultimately avoided using knowing the difficulty of removing it from hair altogether, dyed my hair that night, and thus started almost two years of revelation.
While rocking this new black hair of mine, I started to realize that I was beginning to not rely on constantly changing the color whenever I needed to mask an issue I was having. I was forced to confront it in some way. I’m not going to lie and say that this urge to suddenly changed my hair disappeared after learning that you don’t need to do so to feel better about yourself. Most of last year, I fell back into the habit of bleaching and changing my hair back and forth from color to color and because of that most of my hair had to be cut off. If anything, having to have short and black hair has made me ultimately go into “Hair Rehab” as I like to call it. It’s also made me appreciate and learn more about myself as a person, not just “the girl who changes her hair a lot”. For a person who uses their hair as a security blanket, having my hair in its current state has challenged me to seek beauty in more ways than just one. Yeah, I have my moments were the comments of “I miss blonde/ombre Liz” get to me. I look back at old photos and I tell myself how pretty my hair was before. But every time I do look at these photos, I see these words on them. I see myself in that time of my life. I tell myself that I don’t want to have that hair again because I don’t want to be a depiction of who I was. And I wish that people and those around me were able to see those words in these pictures when they say, “oh my God, I like you with this hair color.” But they can’t, and so what if they don’t? I see them, and they give me the reason why I am where I am today.
Personally, my dark, black hair just fits me. It’s close to my natural hair color, and it makes me look healthy. I feel like with blonde/other colored hair, I look very pale and not healthy-looking in the face. Surprisingly, my black hair puts color on my face and suits me better than any color I ever had.
This is my signature color, and it’s the reason why every time I try to lighten my hair I feel a little weird and not myself. Life with my black hair has made me the happiest I’ve been in a really long time. My hair color, my style, and my mentality are now my own and I felt more like me than I ever did in the recent years.