I just finished dying my hair, after 3 months of amusing experimentation with hot pink/red, it’s back to trusty ol’ black. I always enjoy that first time I see my hair completely pitch black when I take the towel off my head.
I was 10 years old when I decided I wanted my hair to be black. I don’t know why, perhaps it was Disney’s Snow White, or Morticia Addams, I really can’t say now – but I was very unsatisfied with my honey blonde hair. I thought it was horrible and refused to believe I would have to spend my life looking like that. My hair, was (and is) in my mind, a cruel mistake. I begged my Mother, over and over. She was steadfast and said no. She would tell me that I had to wait, that I would do it when I left home. If she let me do it what would I do when I did leave? I suppose she wasn’t looking for the answer: get a zillion tattoos and fill my face with piercings! I begged for two years (in that time she did let me put red food coloring in my hair to be Ginger Spice for Halloween) until one night at the dinner table, I casually asked my Father, “Dad, can I dye my hair black?”. He didn’t realize the trap and said yes. My Mother was angry – at him for being a push over and me for being manipulative. I was 12 years old, and my Mother very dutifully helped me dye my hair black.
I loved it, I loved everything about it. I loved the way it made my complexion look, my eyes, the way people reacted. I was in love. I continued to dye my hair all through school, sometimes I would flirt with reds or plums, occasionally have flings with bleach but would always find my way back to faithful black and NEVER EVER blonde. In college, I branched out; blue, pink, green, purple, orange, hot reds, turquoise and every combination you can imagine. I would always take advantage of my naturally pale hair and bleach it until it was nearly white. Zapping the life out of it, but making the brights all the brighter. At the end of the day, when there was a mistake (there were many), or if I got bored, it was always back to my first love.
I don’t think I’ll ever change it, I know I’ll never see a spot of gray – though I have contemplated arriving at an age where I might dye it a silvery color (my Mother’s hair is an amazing array of silvers and looks amazing.) I’ll probably never go back to blonde. I think about it sometimes, imagine what I would look like if I had that soft honey colored hair. Then I imagine how different I might have been growing up if I had of not had my artificial black hair. I realize I prefer it black.
Black hair is just so rock’n’roll. Think about it, would Elvis have been cool with blonde hair, or as a ginger? Would Joan Jett, Nikki Sixx, Alice Cooper or Keith Richards (granted, I like his graying hair a lot)? No, the answer is no. Of course, there have been some very rocking blondes (and others) but when it comes down to it, black comes out most bad ass.
The question of what is it about black hair that seems so much more daring, more exotic, more exciting than other hues pesters me a lot. From a technical perspective, it’s the hair color there’s no coming back from. It’s hard, nearly impossible to get out. It requires lots of very strong bleach, and always with unpredictable results and growing it out looks like a hot mess. If you happen to be of the nearly-transparent skin tone the obvious answer is contrast. It looks intense because it looks unnatural. I personally, celebrate how unnatural I often look.
The conundrum remains, however, because black hair looks awesome on everyone…