Creative Writing





My Hair History.

My hair colour changes in accordance to my mood. I also use the colour of my hair as a measurement of time; my memories are all connected to and associated with specific hair colours. It is the first thing that people notice, and in my world, the most indicative of the way that I am feeling. My hair colour represents certain periods of my life; it signifies struggle, contentment, anarchy, loss. In the midst of an identity crisis, I immediately change the colour of my hair to shift perspective, to feel close to myself again. 

I have dyed my hair more times than I can remember, and for this I partially blame my mother who is an avid hair-dyer (although her colour choices have been rather more appropriate); like mother, like daughter, they say. I thought it would be interesting to put together a ‘hair timeline’ to showcase all of the colours that I have dyed my hair. There are a few gaps due to not having photographed certain colours (they were too horrendous to document and I did not want them to exist anywhere on the universe).

A majority of the colours below are the results of experiments, of which many have been disastrous. However, it is just hair at the end of the day and it grows back. If it does go entirely wrong, I express my gratitude for the existence of hats. It's all about perspective, about embracing your mistakes (there is a life lesson in everything).

It all started with the picture on the top left. My natural hair colour is black, and this colour paired with my yellow-toned complexion and horrendous dark circles, has always made my skin appear sallow. This picture was taken on the day that I first dyed my hair. I was 18 years old. 

I used Schwarzkopf’s XXL Live Colour in ‘Red Passion’ and due to my natural colour being infinitely black, it merely tinted my hair. I continued this process for a few months until my hair was red enough to satisfy me. I soon realised that red hair required a lot of maintenance and I allowed it to fade to brown. Red undertones were still prevalent and so I used a darker brown to dissipate the colour.

Weeks later, my indecisive self began to miss the red hair and so I used a colour remover and learned that this was the devil. The colour remover turned my hair into an eccentric shade of orangey-blonde (I’m thankful for the lack of photographic evidence). I used a red dye over this and decided that I wanted to leave remnants of blonde through the ends.

Then came the beginning of my catastrophic streak. I purchased Schwarzkopf’s XXL Live Colour in ‘Platinum Blonde’ which inevitably transformed my hair into an atrocious shade of ginger. I immediately located a box of brown hair dye from my mother’s stash and attempted to rectify the situation. Although this somewhat disciplined the colour, I attended university the next day looking like a cross between Pikachu and Hayley from Paramore. By this point, I had already over-exhausted my hair and decided that it was wise to allow it to recover. 

I eventually used a brown dye to deepen the colour as pictured on the final row. I decided that my experimentation period was finally over. However, the brown lacked character, and so I reverted to red.

I was still using red box dyes to colour my hair, they always faded to an unflattering brown-orange shade. I then began to wear the hijab, and this meant that I could experiment with colours without dealing with the disastrous consequences of having to go out in public with atrocious-looking hair. Nobody knew what was going on beneath my scarf, it was like my own little secret. I would sometimes meet new people and they would have no idea that I had crazy coloured hair, it was exciting.

I decided to opt for a shade of cobalt blue; it was a disaster. I had to resort to using a colour remover which somehow gave me a khaki-green head. Days later, I used a lighter blue dye over the top and my hair turned into an amazing shade of seaweed green. 

Once this faded, I began to use Majicontrast's 'Red' dye mixed with varying volume developers, depending on how bright I wanted the colour. I maintained this for the remainder of the period that I wore the hijab (2 years) and the final picture on the second row was taken a few days after I made the decision to remove it. I continued to dye my hair red and the last picture is from my Masters graduation a few months later.

The red inevitably faded into a fiery-orange and I somehow became fixated with the idea of having a red and purple ombré. I used an ombré kit to attempt to lighten the ends of my hair and they turned orange. I looked like Kate Winslet in 'Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.' I then used a red on the top half of my hair and a shade of purple at the ends. The purple eventually faded into a magenta shade and it was beautiful. I then went brown, and having used the dye over red hair, it resulted in the colour pictured on the top right.

The previously ombréd ends eventually turned green. I returned to red in order to restore my hair. A few months later, I experimented with bleach again and a guy at work described my hair as looking like ‘dynamite on fire.’ I continued to lighten and tone the colour in order to eradicate the yellow tones. If it had not been for my black eyebrows, I would have retained the blonde for longer.

For some reason, I became obsessed with having mermaid green hair. I used Bleach London's Bleaching Kit to achieve a platinum blonde and then experimented with different shades of green dye. The second picture on the top row was taken on the day of an interview; I can still remember how many heads I turned as I walked through the office. I decided that this colour was not green enough, I combined a blue and green dye and continued this process for weeks before resting on a teal colour. It soon lost its appeal and thus I reconciled myself with bleach to look like Draco Malfoy.

I used Stargazer’s ‘Magenta’ dye to achieve the pink colour on the top left and this faded into a beautiful electric shade. Once I grew bored of this, I decided to augment the colour with streaks of purple at the roots.

When the colour had faded, I used a red dye over the top and this combined with the pink undertones turned my hair into the shade of MAC's Full Fuschia lipstick. I then became fixated with wanting to go lilac, so again I reunited myself with bleach.

I then applied a lilac hair dye but made the mistake of not purchasing enough to cover my entire head. This resulted in purple roots and platinum blonde ends. After deciding that I had failed, I resolved the situation by opting for an animated orange.

The orange soon faded and again I turned to my trusted brown shade, which in a strange way became a means of nurturing my hair. When I felt that my hair was back in good condition, I used a purple dye. I later added in pink to warm up the shade because I just wanted it to be the colour of Barney. The result is pictured on the top right.

This soon faded and in the midst of colouring my hair, I realised that I did not have enough purple dye to cover my head. I reached for a box of blue hair dye that was on my shelf and covered the remainder of my hair that the purple had not been able to reach. My hair looked like a million galaxies and it was magnificent. This gradually faded and the fun was over, my hair gave in and turned green.

I used purple again, however as pictured on the top left, the final result was too dark. After allowing this to fade, I bleached my hair and re-dyed it, combining shades of purple and pink. The result is shown on the second picture of the top row. Once this had faded, I used a fiery orange-red and experimented until I was content with being a redhead. 

A few months later, I added pink dye to achieve the coloured pictured on the bottom right.

The coloured faded and upon attempting to revert to red, my hair became a red-orange shade. I embraced this and intensified the orange tones because I wanted my hair to look like flames. Months later, I merged pink and purple and continued this until I became bored. 

Again, I used a magenta shade and retained this until my hair felt healthy enough. I then proceeded to combine red and pink dye and achieved the colour on the bottom left. This faded and I knew that it was time to nurture my hair.

And so, I went brown.

Brown hair made me feel like a stranger.

I bleached my hair and then used pink dye over the top. The colour was vivacious and thrilling. It made me feel like myself again.

I used a dark red dye to slightly dull the colour, and this picture above is the hair colour that I currently have.

As you can imagine, my hair has been through a lot and I’m currently in the process of giving it time to ‘rest.’ This final collage showcases all of my favourite colours and having looked through the pictures, I already miss having magenta hair. I tend to wear a lot of black and so my hair is my greatest accessory. It gives me something to be excited during the difficult times, and that is everything.

I hope that you enjoyed reading this post, and also feel free to leave a comment and let me know which colour is your favourite.

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