Greetings from beautiful Hong Kong! It is currently Saturday, July 30, 6:52 a.m. I am sitting at the hotel desk with Victoria Harbor in full view. I have a towel wrapped around my freshly washed magenta curly hair.
Wait, what?!?! You heard me right- my hair is now curly and the color of beet root. Wild.
My transformation took place yesterday afternoon. Going into the salon, I didn’t have a coherent plan of what I’d do with my hair. I knew I wanted to try curly hair for a change, but I was pretty lost in terms of color. During the days leading up to my transformation, I would look closely at women’s hairstyles while roaming the streets, trying to garner inspiration. A rising trend is that of gray hair. It actually has the potential of looking cool and flashy- if you can pull it off. I briefly considered dying my hair gray, but my mom was vehemently opposed to the idea. Plus, I didn’t want to risk looking like a grandmother.
Eventually, I settled on dying it a shade of maroon. The hairdresser, Sue, showed me a selection of shades to choose from. I decided on the brightest shade of maroon- a dark magenta color- because I wanted the difference to be noticeable on my black hair.
They did the curly perm first, following a strict 7-step process to ensure hair safety. I immediately fell in love with my new beach-wave curls. After briefly reveling in my fresh curls, it was time to move on to the magenta hair. When I saw how bright the color looked when it was painted on my hair, I was a little scared- was it too bright? What if it ends up looking too crazy? Turns out, the color always appears bolder when it is first painted on. Once you do the first washing, the color softens out.
During the long transformation process, I finished the handy book 1001 Things Every College Student Needs to Know. I got the book as a graduation present, and it is a must-read for all incoming college freshmen. I also started the movie Bride Wars, starring Anne Hathaway and Kate Hudson.
4.5 hours later, my transformation was complete. When presented with the final product- freshly blow-dried, curly magenta hair- I was shocked at how different I looked. The magenta was quite strong, although, after a few days, the color will soften. While the magenta will take some getting used to, I really love the overall look. My new hairstyle really jives with my personality: bright, bubbly, fearless, and standing out from the crowd. It was a $200 well-spent!
One thing about hair transformations that I feel is not talked about often enough is the importance of taking into consideration how others will see you. Now, I am all for freedom of expression and doing what you please with your hair. It is, after all, your hair, and you shouldn’t allow other people’s opinions to hinder you from following your heart’s desires. But, from a professional standpoint, take into consideration what your interviewer may think if you walk in with a bright orange mohawk. The power of first impression, especially in our image-obsessed society, must not be understated. Employers, professors, and peers WILL judge you, at least in part, from your hairstyle. Now, it is completely up to you whether you want to listen to such judgment or not. At the end of the day, the only opinion that matters is your own. However, note that, if you make the decision of shaving off half your head, or dying it bright pink, you are opening yourself up to the judgment of others, and you must be ready to live with whatever consequences such vulnerability brings.