A Life Lesson I Learned From Changing My Hair Colour

2015-06-23

It’s common knowledge that it’s impossible to please everyone. Nonetheless we try to do so day in, day out and are left frustrated when it doesn’t work out.

For years I thought that colourful hair was pretty cool but I never had the courage to have it myself. Partly because it involves bleaching my hair, partly because I didn’t want to stand out from the crowd .

This year, I was away from my usual environment, rather isolated in Germany, and had no friends, classmates, teachers, acquaintances etc. around who could judge me. They were far away in Switzerland and I didn’t give thought to the people in Germany because I would be leaving anyway.

So I changed my hair colour without thinking of how people would react and it was definitely better that way. Of course it provoked many reactions and I would have thought twice if I had known that before because I don’t like to attract attention.

 

My hair colour polarises. People either hate it or love it. I had to listen to many very negative comments. People were disgusted, thought I was being childish, were critical. Kids on the street made nasty comments while I was still within earshot.

On the other hand, I also got many compliments, partly from people who took me by surprise. My gym instructor said it looked cool and he’d like to have it himself, a girl approached me on the street and said “excuse me, you’ve got beautiful blue hair”.

Others interpreted that I’m having a rebellious phase or that I’m trying to find myself (oh my, I just liked it and wanted to try it, period).

At the beginning, I was very anxious about leaving my apartment and getting weird looks, very sensitive about comments I’d get.

Luckily, I had my boyfriend and a good friend’s support.

No matter what others said, they encouraged me and helped me to stand by myself. I didn’t need anyone else’s approval. It didn’t matter what others think. It’s my hair and others should bother their own business.

After a while, I realised something. This applies to everything in life. If I have learnt something from changing my hair colour to an unusual colour, then the fact that I should just do my own thing more often.

There will always be people who encourage me and people who are critical or hate what I’m doing. And it’s okay. I don’t need everybody’s approval.

The only one who has to be okay with my decisions is me.

53 Comments
    1. I think you took a very good lesson from all of this, and I think that’s something some people struggle to do. I think it’s hard to remember that really the only person who has to be okay with our decisions is ourselves because we have to live with them. There will always be people who will have something negative to say, and there will always be people who try to see the positive side of things. If only there were more positive people than negative! I think your hair looks beautiful either color, and I admire choice to change it up. Have a great day!

      1. Thank you for your comment and your kind words, Mindy! :) I totally agree with you. Too often we want other people to be okay with our decisions or are afraid of making a choice because of the reactions it could cause. At the end we might regret all the choices we missed because of that fear or end up disappointing people anyway. I hope you succeed in doing what you want to do :)

        Have a great day/good night too! :)

    1. I think your hair looks great. I would change my haircolour too, but I’m going to live one year in the USA and I don’t how my hostparents would react if I arrive with blue hair ;D
      But I planned to do it when I come back next year.
      You don’t have to listen to things other people say about you, a lot of them maybe are even jealous because they don’t have enough courage to do something like you did.
      Stay strong <3

      Your Simone

      1. Thank you, Simone! :) I think it’s great you wanna do that too!
        haha the Uruguayans aren’t pleased with it either so yeah, better do it after your exchange year :P though it’s kinda sad that something as simple as a hair colour can totally change people’s perception about you.
        Aww, those are very kind words, thank you! :)

        <3 take care!

    1. I love both colors :) and since you are a wonderful person I don’t care what color your hairs has <3

      1. aww thank you, girl!! <3 I totally agree, the hair colour shouldn't matter at all! You too are wonderful! I hope I'll see you soon :) have a great day <3

    1. Ein richtig schöner Post :) Ich finde deine Haarfarbe klasse :* Ich erinnere mich aber noch gut an die Reaktionen bei uns auf Arbeit :D

      1. Danke, Mara! <3 oh ja, vor denen musste ich mich echt wappnen, aber rückblickend waren alle Kommentare erträglich (und voraussehbar :D), ich durfte mir in letzter Zeit noch verletzendere Dinge anhören v.v

        Halt mich bitte auf dem Laufenden, was dein "Dilemma" angeht! <3

    1. I like the lesson you have learned from simply changing your hair color :) However, I do get that you were skeptical about the looks and the people judging you. Especially, if you don’t like to be the center of attention. And I mean, it is quite an unusual hair-color ;) I agree, though, the only one who should be ok with it is you. And you know, people will always have their own opinion. The thing is, you can never really know for sure what they are thinking. The weird looks probably just mean that those people never have had the courage to change their own hair-color. You’ll never know…so, why should you care ;) What I have found out is that whenever I start thinking about what others might think of me…I am wrong in most of the cases anyway :) Sooo, this comment turned out to be longer than I intended it to be. What I actually wanted to say…nice post! I like it very much ;)

      1. Thank you for taking your time and sharing your thoughts on this, Dennis :) I actually learned even more from it but I wanted to leave it for another post haha. Standing out suddenly when you were inconspicuous before and how dealing with it changes your personality is very interesting.

        You’re definitely right about not knowing what people are thinking. Fortunately I’m surrounded by many people who don’t hesitate to share their opinion – be it positive or negative. It was only at the beginning that I was afraid of the weird looks (when I still had my mousy person instincts), my skin has become quite thick after several times of being told that my hair colour is ugly :P

        well, I hope you’re wrong because people think even better of you than you thought! :) and thank you for your kind words :) have a beautiful day :)

        1. Thank you Monika, that’s really nice of you to say :)

          Yeahh, to have people around you who are honest with you is actually very nice.

          I get that the weird looks made you feel uncomfortable in the beginning. But you are right…it makes you stronger with time, I guess :)

          You know, I am glad that you’ve decided to make another post about your learnings. Now I have something, I can look forward to.

          1. You know, I always think that those people in suits judge me for looking ‘weird’ and think they’re superior to me so I feel rather uncomfortable around them but since I know you I think I may had some prejudices (or you’re not like the rest) haha
            thank you for your kind words and have a great weekend! :)

            1. Haha I am definitely different from the rest, for better or for worse :D But all of my economist friends and other suit wearing colleagues are very nice, that’s for sure. I hope you’ll get the chance to meet some nice suit wearing people some day. Danke, ich wünsche dir au no ganz es schöns Wuchenänd ;)

              1. I’m not surprise to hear that :P how would you describe the “typical” suit-wearing person? My dad is one of them so I guess that had a great influence of how I perceive people in suits haha

                haha dankeschön, dir einen guten Start morgen ;D

                1. Fortunately, in reality there is no “typical” suit wearing person. But of course, when I think of them I have this typical image of those cheesy, “it’s all about money”, Swiss bankers :D Luckily, the Swiss bankers I know are pretty harmless and very nice people ;)

                  1. haha I guess I really have to get rid of my prejudices :P good to know they’re kind and normal people like the more mundane rest of us :D

    1. Toller Post. :) Es ist wirklich so egal, was andere denken. Vor allem, wenn es dann auch noch blöde, beleidigende Kommentare sind, die man sich anhören muss. Es gibt eben immer Leute, die meckern müssen/wollen. Aber hauptsache man mag sich selber und fühlt sich wohl, dann ist man schön, egal welche Haarfarbe man hat! :)
      Mir gefallen übrigens sowieso beide Farben. ;D
      Viele Grüße ans andere Ende der Welt :D

      1. Danke für deinen lieben und bestärkenden Kommentar, Elli! :) und für das Kompliment, hihi. Tut immer gut, so was zu hören :)
        Alles Liebe aus Uruguay! <3

    1. This is wonderful! Congratulations for trying something and sticking to it and not letting the rude people get to you. I can totally relate to not wanting to try something, because of how the other people in my life will react. It sucks, but kudos to you for going out on that limb. I have always wondered what I would look like as a brunette, but my mom would disown me if I did anything to change my “beautiful, unique” hair color. This was inspiring though! :)

      1. Thank you very much, Lauren! :) some weren’t even rude but just hated it and told me so in an appropriate way. This experience definitely helped me with caring less about what people expect from me. I hope you can do your own thing too!
        I don’t wanna be a bad influence but maybe you could try one of those colours that wash out after washing your hair a couple of times? Maybe your mum could be okay with that. Your natural hair colour is really cool though :)
        thanks <3

    1. Monikaaa! This is such a wonderful post! I loved it! In my opinion, there’s never a bad thing about trying out something new and doing something you haven’t done before. I adore people who aren’t afraid to be different and to stand out from the crowd. I adore people who don’t care what other people think of them. I adore people who would rather do something new and learn from it than just being just comfortable and never finding out how things could have been more amazing. And most especially, I adore you. I adore your personality, your good character and your beauty.

      Three months ago, I went back to Hong Kong and stayed almost every night at my best friend’s place. She was the one who actually picked me up at the airport since she was so excited to see me…and also eager for me to dye her hair. She wanted to dye her hair purple and so, on my first night, I did it on her hair. Her hair was already bleached a week prior to that. After dyeing her hair, instead of it turning purple, it became hot pink. We had a dye that was dark raspberry. She was very disappointed with the result but I kept telling her that she looked great. I liked her hair but she didn’t like it. I felt so bad because I was the one who dyed her hair, and if we could trade places, I would have had her pink hair.

      In the morning, her dad was so mad at the two of us and kept calling her names. He was like…”Is that what you like? Do you want people to look at you every time you are outside? You look like a punk or a rebel of sorts for **** sake.” But her mom, (God bless her mom) she was so optimistic about it. She said, “You look like a mermaid and a fairy in one. You shouldn’t let anyone’s negative criticism destroy you. Who cares if your hair is pink? Who cares what other people think about it? As long as you feel good about yourself, there’s nothing wrong about you.” I was nodding all the time she was saying that to her. I mean, what you are and how you look reflects your personality and your whole being but how people perceive you will not always be the same. You’ve got great hair and you’re rocking it so well. That’s more important.

      I wish I had said that to my best friend tho, a day after I left HK, she had her hair dyed back to brown. It kinda upset me so I cut my long hair to get over it. :D

      1. wow thank you so much for taking your time to write this comment, Diana! I really appreciate it!

        You know, I think there are people who like to be in the spotlight and those who want to blend in. I’ve always been part of the latter, I didn’t like people’s attention, so doing something like that was a huge challenge to me. But then I had enough of those “what ifs” and being to afraid of doing something. I don’t want my fear to dictate my life!

        Oh you’re so sweet, I adore your writing, personality, kindness, style and self-confidence too! <3

        haha I also had a friend bleach my hair :D it's sad that your friend didn't like the result, but I'm 100% it wasn't your fault! you have nothing to do with the chemicals and her hair structure.. I do get that you felt bad. You know, my hair isn't unicolor at all. The bleach turned out patchy and so there are several irregular colours in my hair. I think it's okay (and not my friend's fault at all since it's MY hair that's acting weird). Anyway, I don't really care anymore haha.

        Anyway, back to your story. I'm so sorry her dad reacted that way, that's horrible. Many people in my environment (family, friends, …) didn't say it as explicitly but it's obvious they thought exactly the same. And I decided to use this opportunity to challenge them. Having a different hair colour doesn't change me. Now I make an effort to be specially nice to people on the street so nobody can think all people with weird colours are crazy unfriendly punks/rebels.

        Her mum's so cute! We need more people like her, we have to be people like her (just like you are) :) What a pity your friend didn't listen to her.

        I'm sorry you had to get over it in the first place, I really don't think it was your fault! <3

    1. Dein Artikel erinnert mich an meine eigenen Erfahrungen “weit weg” von zuhause…. Ich habe zwar nicht meine Haarfarbe geändert, aber sonst ein paar Dinge, die ich mich zuhause so nicht getraut hätte. Kann das also gut nachvollziehen und finde, dass dir die Farbe super steht! :-)

      1. Danke für deinen Kommentar, Nicole :) Echt cool, dass es dir genauso erging! Das mit der Haarfarbe war auch nur ein Beispiel, ich hatte auch das Gefühl, dass ich erst durchs Wegziehen mich so richtig entfalten konnte, aber keiner konnte so richtig nachvollziehen, was ich meinte – schön, dass du weisst, wovon ich spreche :) und danke für das Kompliment :) schönes Wochenende!

        1. Ja, ich konnte es wirklich total nachvollziehen :-) aber ich glaube, man kann immer nur das wirklich verstehen, was man selbst erlebt hat…
          Dir ebenfalls ein schönes WE, liebe Monika!

    1. That is a great story and pretty much the same conclusion I came to. After months of thinking about what I could do that was “just for me and no one else,” I decided to dye my hair blue as I had always wanted to. It felt wonderful. I’m sorry you’ve gotten negative comments about yours, though. I have only received those from my sister. Otherwise I’m stopped in the streets and told how beautiful it is. Little girls ask me if I’m a fairy princess when it’s pink. I’m always waiting, though, for that negativity to come after me for it. But if you can handle it and keep on going then that makes me think I can too. :)

      1. When did you dye your hair? I was really surprised when I saw that you had colourful hair too (I assumed your profile pic here was just artistic and not depicting the reality)!

        Those comments of the little girls are so cute! I’m glad you’ve (almost) only got positive feedback! :) I hope it’ll stay that way (and if not, think of all the positive comments and cute little girls). Maybe it’s a cultural thing, I mean that it’s more accepted in the US?

        1. I dyed it blue for the first time about a year and a half ago. Since then it’s only been weird colours. But I’ve been dying it ‘normal’ colours for 10 years. I don’t even know what it’s supposed to be anymore haha. Was the turquoise blue your first time dying your hair at all? And where do you get your dye, anyway?

          I feel lucky to have gotten almost all positive feedback, so that’s good. I don’t know if it’s more accepted here, really. In some places (big cities), you’ll find a lot of people with weird-coloured hair (by a lot, I mean that if you spend a whole day out you may see one or two other people) but in small towns it’s not even sort of common. That being said, in this little tiny town that I’ve moved to, I have already seen three other people with weird-coloured hair. What about the places you go? Do you see others at all?

          1. That’s so cool! I’ve also been dying my hair since my early teenage years. Last year was actually the first time I had my natural hair colour (and liked it) for years and then I ruined it by bleaching my hair, haha. What’s your natural hair colour?
            I got the colourful dye from “Directions” and ordered it online. What about you? And what ‘crazy’ colours did you have so far?

            What’s a “big city” for you? haha one or two other people isn’t that much. It surprises me people are so open towards your hair colour even though it’s so unusual to them.
            I’ve seen three or four people with colourful hair in Montevideo so far and I think I saw two in the German town I lived. I guess it could be less. I think it’s not that unusual in Switzerland/Germany but people with this hair colour often belong to some scene.

            1. Well, pictures of me before I dyed my hair tells me that I have dirty blonde hair, but it seems to grow back darker nowadays. What about you? Bleaching is always a nightmare but it must be done to get the awesome colours. I have bleached my hair so many times it’s sad.

              I’ve heard of Directions, mine is Manic Panic which I also have to get online now that I live in a small town. It’s totally vegan so that’s awesome. I’ve done everything except yellow and pastel colours. But blue is my favourite. Are you going to try mixing other colours?

              Haha big city would be anything with it’s own metro system, I say. I am still surprised about the reactions, too. I had a woman come up to me in the grocery store the other day and tell me that she and her girlfriends used to try and dye their hair to match the cars at the car shows in the 1940s but never got it as well as I did. So that was cool and unexpected.

              Three is a decent amount! It means you’re not the only one. I guess the world is becoming more accepting. Has anyone said anything about it since you’ve been there?

              1. So many people use negative words when they describe their blond hair! I’ve got dark brown hair. Does your hair look healthy anyway?

                I’ve heard of Manic Panic. Cool that it’s vegan! I guess I’ll check out if they send that to Switzerland since my former source only ships to Germany. Cool that you’ve tried so many colours! I’ve actually always have been mixing colours so far. I only brought blue though so I’ll see this week if it looks different.

                okay, your big cities are really big, haha. I really wonder why the reactions at your part of the world are so different! Aw the story with the woman in the grocery store is really cute! :D it’s cool that you get to hear interesting stories just because of your hair colour :))

                No strangers have talked to me here, I’ll take it as a good sign, haha.

                1. I know, no one likes their blonde hair it seems, but many people want it. It’s like people with straight hair wishing they had curly hair and vice-versa. My hair looks pretty healthy now, but I’ve had a few years of my life where it was like straw it was so damaged. I’ve worked hard to bring it back. But these funky colours are not nearly as damaging. Do you find that it’s the same for you?

                  Oh tell me how the straight blue came out. Is it darker? I had one blue that would get on absolutely everything. My pillows, my shirts, my shoulders. And that was weeks after I did it. I must have done something wrong that time.

                  Haha yeah we go big with our cities. But then again, we also go really small sometimes too. I thought it was cool of the old lady at the grocery store too. I’m sure you’ll get a nice reaction like that someday. Because blue hair looks really good on you.

                  1. haha yeah, but unfortunately many people go for the really light bleached hair that barely looks natural! I used to want curly hair until I realised that having straight hair isn’t a bad thing, haha.
                    I’m glad your hair looks healthy again!
                    I’m using keratin shampoo so my hair doesn’t feel that broken. When I dyed it only with the blue dye it still looked quite turquoise-greenish, the purple to “balance” the yellowish colour of my hair was missing. So the next time I mixed a lot of purple in it and it turned out dark blue-purple for a few days, now it’s back to how it looks on the picture.
                    Oh, I don’t think you did something wrong, I guess it was a bad dye!
                    Thank you for the compliment :) I am getting positive feedback too, they’re just not as cute as the ones you get haha

    1. Love the hair! I felt the same way about getting my nose pierced, but now it’s my favorite part about my look :)

      1. Thank you, Micah! Piercings are awesome! I’m glad it’s become your favourite part about your look :)

      1. Currently rather turquoise-greenish :D thank you very much, Angelica! :) have a great day!

    1. I had a similar experience when I first shaved my head (except that I was surrounded by family, friends, teachers, etc.). Being bald is also a polarizing look, and some people were definitely unhappy with my new look. But many other people were supportive; to the point where I’ve had complete strangers approach me on the street to compliment me. But I like the way I look, so everyone else can deal with it :P

      Also, I love the way your turquoise hair looks in the picture at the top of this page. To me it communicates confidence, which is a quality I admire.

      1. haha I’d never have thought that people who shave their head make similar experiences, but it makes perfectly sense. It’s great that you feel so confident about, I also think it suits you well! When did you decide to change your look and were there any reasons for it?

        Sadly I’m back to brown hair again because I was too lazy to dye them every two weeks (and ended up with mostly green hair which I didn’t want), but it was an experience that changed a lot for me and I don’t regret it at all.

        Thank you for sharing your experience and have a wonderful weekend! :)

        1. Thank you for your compliments :)

          I first decided to shave my head because I started losing my hair at a young age, and I eventually decided that there was no point in trying to hide it. So I just shaved it all off. I’m rather happy I did!

          I didn’t realize you had to dye your hair every two weeks. I imagine that would get annoying after a while, especially if it takes a long time. There’s nothing wrong with brown hair though!

          Have a good weekend too :)

    1. I truly empathize with you. Sometimes it’s even a more simple change to attract people’s attention. Some years ago I quit drinking any kind of alcoholic beverage and my friends went nuts. To them it was like I didn’t want to have fun with them anymore. They even tried to make me drink alcohol behind my back. The most affectionate among them asked me if I was sick, if suddenly I had grown allergic to it. They were concerned. They pitied me. Alcohol wasn’t the cement of our friendship or so I hoped, but it became difficult to see them after dinner, because they knew I wasn’t going to drink and if I was going to remain sober it couldn’t be funny having me around. I still don’t drink alcohol and I am still happy with my choice. My stomach, my liver and my head thank me and I still thank the friends who started to go to bakeries and tearooms with me. They still like to have me around but no, they still think it’s better to not have me around inside a bar o_O

      1. Dear Nina, thank you so much for your thoughtful comment. I’m sorry I haven’t answered earlier!

        I admire your decision to stop drinking alcohol (my boyfriend has never drunken alcohol so I can imagine a bit how it must have felt, though quitting sounds more difficult when it comes to other people’s reactions). It sounds like you had a very hard time afterwards, I’m sorry they weren’t more understanding. I understand both sides and I’m glad that you’ve found a solution with your friends that accompany you to other places, it’s awesome that you’ve found a new “tradition” – and that your body is feeling the positive effects of not drinking alcohol :) haha maybe you should try going to a bar with them, they might realise that they were being overdramatic :D

        have a great week and take care :)

        1. Thank you, Monika. You are very kind and maybe I used too deep colours to paint the picture of my quitting alcohol aftermath. At my last visit in Italy, last week, I found my friends attitude to be a lot more relaxed. One of them even brought me at a bar during the happy hour and alerted the waitress that I wanted a virgin cocktail :D

          1. Awesome that you were also in Italy during Easter :)) from which region are you? I’m glad to hear that your friends were a lot more relaxed and so cute that she even brought you to a bar and requested a virgin cocktail for you – it makes me happy to hear that things have changed :)

            1. I am from Lombardy, precisely from the Brixia county. But I lived in Milan for years. Where did spend your Italian holidays? 😊

              1. oh, awesome, that’s pretty close to Switzerland :) have you been here before?
                I had to change trains in Milan and went to Savona :))

                1. I have visited only Lausanne, during an epic trip by car from Southam (England) to Milan, and I found the city really beautiful. Meanwhile, the land we passed with the car between the French and the Switzerland borders is simply enchanting :)

                  1. haha wow, that sounds like an adventure! I agree, I think the region in the Alps are very beautiful – this includes the Italian-speaking part of Switzerland as well :D

    1. Personally, I love your hair.

      I’ve been dreaming of changing mine to purple for ages. I just wanted to grow it out first and also I’m a bit scared it would break. But I don’t care. I’m going to do it anyway. This year!

      You are right, it’s our lives to live and our decisions.

      1. Thank you, Cara! <3 but maybe you've seen in Facebook that I changed it again, it was too complicated (or I was too lazy) to maintain the colourful hair :/

        Oh, awesome!! I'm looking forward to seeing you with purple hair! <3 I'd like to tell you what I had to do so you're prepared - I had to bleach my hair three times to get it light enough (though once or twice would be fine if you're going for a darker shade). They don't look THAT damaged though, just the ends are really dead but it was worth it.

        <3 hugs

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