I feel like my hair has always been one of my defining features. I often change my hair style or color when big things happen to me, and it’s more important for me to have a good hair day than a good makeup day. I’ve never done anything particularly crazy to my hair, but I’ve always been ultra-aware of the way it looks.
From the day I was born, I had a full head of hair (or at least as full as a baby’s head can be). By my first birthday, you could already tell I would have thick locks of medium brown hair.
You know how most babies have their “first haircut”? To my knowledge, I never had one of those. I mean obviously I had a few trims, but my first real haircut was in first grade. I cut off my long locks for some that just hit my shoulder. I don’t have the photo of that particular day, but I do have a picture of me looking fly in a pink and black outfit. This would’ve been taken the summer after 2nd grade, I believe.
Oddly, my color aesthetic was the same then as it is now.
I kept my hair roughly this length for the remainder of elementary school. It was super thick at this point and I would always have troubles with it because no 4th grader really wants to spend 500 hours on her hair every day. I rocked many a half-up hairstyle during this stage of my life. Around 4th or 5th grade is when my mom first allowed me to put highlights in my hair. I was bored to death of medium brown and wanted something more special. I mean, you could hardly tell I even got highlights because the caramel color was so close to my natural color, but I was happy. My hair was cooler that way.
I didn’t start growing my hair out again until the end of 7th grade. I wanted to dye it red at this point because I was mad into Harry Potter (still am), and was convinced I wanted to be a Weasley. My mom said no, but continued to allow me to get highlights and box dye my hair a single shade darker. I’ll spare you most of the photos because they’re painfully awkward, but here’s my freshman year yearbook photo.
Me feat. box dye + caramel highlights. Also wearing a burnout shirt from Maurice’s lolz
Note the straight hair. Mine is naturally wavy but since it was 2010, I straightened it every single day. But guys, from here I just let it grow. I was able to get it up into those big sock buns that were popular in 2012, and I quite frequently rocked the Katniss Everdeen-esque side braid. Oh, how simple times were back then. Also something worth noting is that my mom finally let me dye my hair an actual different color my senior year. I got a dark brown with burgundy undertones, and I was crazy about it! I was also crazy in love with how long and thick my hair was. A real life quote from 18-year-old me: “I want to keep my hair as long as I can for as long as I can.”
Big cheesy grin bc finally done with high school
Then came college. I was pretty lazy my first semester so I didn’t really do much to my hair. The color from it faded and I let it do its own thing. I dyed it again over Christmas break, but by March it was looking pretty blah again. I was growing tired of a lot of things that were going on at that time in my life, including my relationship. I started to really focus on my dreams and decided to get a new hairstyle to represent that. Thus, I chopped off my hair and finally dyed it the red I had been wanting for years.
This was also the time I started my blog. It was pretty amateur back then, but everyone has to start somewhere, right? Anyway, my new hair made me happier than I can even express. Even looking back through the photos is making me tear up a little bit because this was the point where I finally took charge of my life. Things were getting good.
Y’all know that I pretty much had that same haircut ever since. Yes, the shades of red varied. Sometimes there were layers, sometimes there weren’t. But ultimately, it’s been the same. A few times during this stage I kind of missed my long hair, but I always preferred my current style.
As per my rule of changing my hair for a big life moment: I chopped even more off right before I started my internship this summer. Instead of my classic straight across cut, I opted for a diagonal lob.
Yes, that is my senior picture staring you down in the background.
I loved this style for the first couple weeks. Then…not so much. Last week I looked in the mirror and straight up started crying because I hate the state my hair is in right now. It thinned out so much over the past few years, lost its wavy texture, and takes way too much work just to make it look mediocre at best.
If you watch my Instagram stories, you know that I made the decision to grow it out. I’m not completely sure how long I want it, and I’m also not sure if I’m going to keep the red. I love my red hair, but I also know that most hair dye is thinning. My family has a history of thin hair, and I’m not trying to speed up that process.
So here I am at a point of ambivalence. I’m not quite sure how to move forward from here, and I would like your advice. Have you gone through this before? What’s worked for you? I’m opening up the comments for you to share your tips, opinions, and your own hair journey! Let’s have a conversation.
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