My love affair with hair colour started in grade six. One Sunday night I used my sister’s just-bought hair dye to tint one of my pigtails bright purple. Even though I was teased by the other kids at school, that was the beginning of a wonderful, long term relationship between myself and hair dye that’s still going strong some 20+ years later.
I went on to experiment with different cool-toned hues like mint green and baby blue and rocked silvery hair for several years, but avoided pink (I thought it wouldn’t complement my warm, already rosy complexion). But when model Fernanda Ly hit the Louis Vuitton Fall 2015 runway with the most glorious cotton candy mane I’d ever seen, it forced me to rethink pink. As a beauty and fashion editor, I’ve always had an I’ll-try-anything-once approach to beauty, so I figured the time was right for me to go pink. A few months later, when I was in for my typical root touch-up with my hairdresser, I just went for it.
Little did I know that when I went pastel pink, I was about to find my feels-so-right hair hue. Despite my initial fears of the colour making me look too flushed against my naturally rosy complexion, my new candy-coloured mane actually made my skin look surprisingly good. After colouring my hair for over 10 years, I’d grown so used to being inundated with questions about my non-traditional look that I carried my old hairdresser’s cards with me to hand out to people who always asked me if my hair was “real”. But my newfound blush bob prompted even more fascination and even more questions. Instead of asking me if my locks were au naturel, though, now I was getting asked how I got the colour, what my natural shade was, how I maintain it, the list goes on.
From what I’ve experienced so far having pink hair, not only does it boost my mood, it seems to have that effect on other people as well. Last week when I was walking through an art gallery, I noticed a man and woman smiling at me while having a coffee. I smiled back and the man looked at me and said, “I love your hair, the colour is incredible. Can I take a picture of it?” The woman snapped a quick shot of just my hair and I have to say, this is not the first (or last) time that’s happened.
The only thing that’s not so rosy about having this hair colour? It requires regular trips to the salon for root touch-ups and toning—(I visit my hairdresser every six to eight weeks)—as well as frequent at-home maintenance to keep the colour fresh. I’ve used every DIY pastel pink hair dye on the market, and there are a few that I swear by: Manic Panic Semi-Permanent Hair Colour Cream diluted with a white conditioner works like a dream on dry hair; L’Oréal Paris Colorista is another one that I reach for regularly (I mix the soft pink and peach shades together) as the colour always turns out beautifully; while Overtone’s Pastel Pink Daily Conditioner has made at-home touch-ups a cinch.
I’ve had soft chin-length pink strands for almost a year now and I don’t plan on changing up my colour any time soon. It’s a lot of upkeep for sure, but the short answer for why I dye my hair is because it makes me feel good. Bold hair colours have kind of become synonymous with my identity, and I see my hair as an accessory that I work into every outfit and every makeup look I apply (I have a blush pink winter coat that’s a perfect match to my hair). Tbh, it feels like such an integral part of me that sometimes I forget I even have it.
I truly don’t want to think about the amount of money I’ve spent on my hair over the years (and will continue to spend), but I wouldn’t have it any other way. This just might be my haircolour for life.