Why did the hipster burn his tongue on the pizza?
…Because he ate it before it was cool.
As much as I try to avoid hipsterdom (which is fairly easy thanks to my dislike of skinny jeans) , there’s one trend that I will claim to have done before it was cool: pink tips.
In high school, I went through about six months of dyeing my hair a different color every few weeks. Red, blue, purple, pink…even blond for a few days in between colors. It was so much fun, and I loved keeping everyone guessing what color hair I’d show up with next.
But after a while, it got to be too expensive, too much of a time-suck, and too damaging to my hair. So I decided to start dyeing just the tips. It was so easy–you bleach them once, dye them, and then touch up the color every two weeks or so. No roots! No re-bleaching, until you get a haircut and start again. Mostly, I stuck with hot pink, although I did other colors occasionally.
It became a part of my identity, my “natural” hair color.
I frequently wore it up in a half-ponytail-half-bun poof, which reminded my mom of a mimosa tree.
Freshman year of college, my volleyball teacher couldn’t remember my name, so she called me Pinkie. It didn’t stick, but it was the closest thing I’ve ever had to a nickname.
I added highlights, black streaks in front: the typical experimentation that happens when you put together a floor of 18-year old girls and a few boxes of hair dye. But I kept the pink.
All in all, I had pink tips for a good part of high school and college (excepting the time when I dyed the rest of my hair reddish, got it cut, and then tried unsuccessfully to re-bleach the tips). As graduation approached, I dyed my hair back to brown.
I hated to give up my tips. But I felt like I had no choice.
A few years ago, while working a temporary but long-term office job, I took a chance and dyed my tips pink again. I’d been there long enough that I figured first impressions were long past, and people knew the quality of my work.
Indeed, once my coworkers realized that the new pinkness was actually my hair, rather than a flower or feather, they were cool with it.
But that job ended too. Since then, I haven’t had a job situation that was conductive to re-pinkifying.
I wish we lived in a world where people weren’t judged on the color of their hair–or, for that matter, their piercings or tattoos or other style choices. Until that world becomes a reality, I will just have to wait for another job with cool people and a flexible dress code.
I miss my pink. I know I will have it again someday.
If nothing else, I’m totally going to be a pink-haired little old lady.
(Yes, that’s a felt mustache! One of my friends brought them to her birthday party for everyone to wear.)