Can a New Hair Color Change Your Life?


I was a shy and sensitive child. I survived two and a half decades with mousy brown hair in a five-foot-two frame. I was unremarkable, and felt that way. I was a chronic rule follower. Like any good New Englander, I picked out generic outfits at J. Crew with my dad’s voice reassuring me in my head: “Dress for the job you want.” I thought that meant blazers, neatly tailored trousers, and a completely forgettable hairdo tucked carefully off my face in a secure low bun.

By the time I turned 27, enough was becoming enough. I was bored with dressing the part, of playing it safe out of fear of what people might think about me. I never felt truly seen: When people got to know me, they’d often express surprise that I was funny or sassy or outspoken or opinionated. My banal appearance was actually misleading people to make assumptions about me—the very thing I had been trying to avoid by keeping myself in a box. I had always admired folks who took risks with artistic self-expression—watercolor tattoos, visible piercings, and outspoken hair and wardrobes—but for some reason I was convinced that could never be me. I felt I needed permission, and I’m not even sure from who, to express myself in that way.





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