Come-a Come On (Hair Color) Chameleon

Hi, my name is Lauren and I have a problem: I’m addicted to changing my hair color.

It all started when I was 16 and discovered what my platinum blonde hair looked like chocolate brown. Well, let me rewind even farther back than that: you see, I lost my hair color virginity in the 7th grade. Yes, I know — I was a young’in but in a dire need to fit in. (Something that haunted me for the rest of my middle school and entire high school career) so thus, I received my first blonde highlights. My previous “dirty blonde” aka mousy blonde hair was enriched with white-blonde highlights — a color that was only previously achieved in the summertime with the use of Sun In and lemon juice.

However, when I was 16, it all changed. I decided to have my mom dye my hair chocolate brown and strip away all my “bimbo blonde” color. I was going through a traumatic time at this point and felt like I needed to take it out on my hair. I wanted a new identity — to be unrecognizable and to push myself farther down the dark hole I was falling into. Chocolate brown hair provided a temporary fix until I found a darker brown that was three steps away from being black.

By 17, I pulled myself out of the hole — which included an eating disorder, depression and overall self-hatred — and focused on being happy and healthy. Okay, I wasn’t totally healthy because I was 17, in my senior year and partied entirely too much. But to lighten up my post-darken attitude, I opted for the 2004 Kelly Clarkson hair color. Oh yes, ladies and gents — I did that one. It was pretty cool and matched well with my shedding of my pop persona and stepping into a more indie-girl look. But like the majority of reds will do, it quickly turned orange and I hated it.

My 18th birthday rolled around. What better way to celebrate legality than by changing my hair color yet again? This time, I went back to the platinum highlights, which stayed on and off through the first part of my college life. (I say on and off because I would add or subtract low lights here and there.)

Fast-forward through college and into graduation: My hair was a lighter brown with highlights. I went back to dark brown for my 22nd birthday, changing to blonde for my 23rd and back to dark brown last summer up until the winter of this year.

My hair is currently a really light/golden blonde. The last time I went to get my hair done, I tried the au naturale look by getting a color close to what I assume is my natural. That lasted for about a week and a half and the light blonde began to make its reappearance. Though I love my hair being lighter, I’ve decided to settle for a medium golden blonde, with golden highlights put in closer to the wedding.

What I’ve noticed from my vain addiction is that I have a tendency to change my hair not only for fashionable reasons or to prove a point but because of a tragedy. The times I’ve dyed my hair dark were when I was still in or coming out of a dark place. The lighter has sometimes been connected with being happier. Ironically the medium brown I’ve chosen this time doesn’t have to do with my mood at all but simply wanting something that I won’t hate in a week. Also, it’s connected with looking more professional and yes, I know there are tons of successful women out there with platinum blonde hair but truth be told, I won’t be one of them!


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