unveiling the HAIRevolution: confessions & revelations of a hair-dye addict

I first thought of this project ages ago. Like September or October, a few months after the first time I’d cut my hair “short” in years. (I say “short” because, to my buzzcut-like head now, it seems pretty long!)

But like all great ideas, it took some time to bubble & meld– to grow (much like we humans do). & now I’m finally unveiling it!

It’s much simpler than it sounds, really.

The HAIRevolution is a project, or guest post series, or (what will be) a compendium of posts written by you on hair!

But not just any hair. Your hair. Your personal relationship with your hair, & the relationship between your hair & your body image, sexuality, gender identity/performance. (Or the relationship between your hair & your relationships, religion, school, etc. That works too!)

And not just the hair on your head, either.

The hair on your thighs. The hair on your crotch. The hair on your back. The hair on your arms. (Or lackthereof.)

I’m inviting YOU to share with us the story of your hair. Your hair evolution. Your hair revolution.

If you’d like to submit a post, please email hello at sui-solitaire dot com with the subject “HAIRevolution Guest Post.” Please include pictures, too, if you’re writing about the hair on your head– so we can see what it looks like!

All genders and hairstyles welcome! If you have any questions, leave a comment.

I’ll be featuring a HAIRevolution post every week or so from now on. If you’d like to bring this project to your blog & post your story there instead, feel free– please just mention cynosure & link back to this post at http://s.rvxn.org/HAIRevolution. You can also use the Twitter hashtag HAIRvxn! :]

BONUS: I’ve already asked some of my favorite writers & friends to kick off the project! Today’s post is written by the lovely Ellie Di of Apples and Porsches. Enjoy, & may it enlighten & inspire you (perhaps to write one of your own?  )!

 

Confessions and Revelations of a Hair-Dye Addict

My hair and I have a long, torrid history. It’s been long, short, shaved; it’s been thick, thin, frizzy, smooth, stretchy, brittle; it’s been blonde, auburn, brown, white, black, red, orange, green, blue, purple. For years, I felt the only hair color that looked bad on me was the dirty-blonde at my roots. I also experimented wildly with the cut, ranging from barely there to spiky-in-the-back, long-in-the-front to the dreaded mullet. My first foray into crazy hair was razored and turquoise at 17, and people consistently praised my bravery and beauty, which does wonders for a girl’s self-esteem when she’s still figuring herself out.

So when I decided to stop dicking with my hair in late 2009, it was harder than I expected. Having non-natural hair had insinuated itself into my personality; what started out as
fun had turned into a linchpin of my self-esteem
. All kinds of emotional walls sprang up, throwing themselves protectively between my hair and my ego.

“What will become of you with ‘boring’ hair? Who will you be? Will you still be a punk-rock princess? How will you deal with being ‘normal’? Will you still be sexy to your husband? To yourself? Won’t you look like a dude? Will you feel too girly once it’s long? Why are you doing this in the first place?

After weeks of tortured self-questioning, answers came in the form of a revelation of character. And it’s a pretty obvious one. So obvious, I’m a little ashamed to tell you.

“I’m doing this because I’ve evolved; I’ve ready to move forward.”

Duh, Ellie.

Of course I’m still me without my neon pixie hair. Of course I’m still a punk-rock princess. Of course I’m still sexy. All of these things are within me – they’re not determined by the cut, colour, or even presence of my hair. Once I realized that, the walls
crumbled, and I hit the salon.

 

That’s me right after I shaved my head on December 2nd and vowed not to cut it for a whole year, promising that I would give my sorely damaged hair and scalp all the lovin’ it needed to get healthy again.

I’ll admit there were some tears during that year, particularly when I got called “sir” early on. (I don’t have the most feminine of body shapes, so I expected this, but it still stung.) But I hadn’t seen my natural hair colour in nearly 10 years, and, as it started to grow, I was startled by how pretty the stuff is. Where I was tow-headed as a child, as an adult I’m dark blonde with multi-faceted strands of red and blonde that shine in the sun. It’s
a weird feeling to be in the gym and staring at your own hair in the mirror because it’s just so interesting.

That’s me today, upholding my no-cut, no-colour promise to my hair a year and a half later. I’ve always maintained that my brother (with his sexy, thick, Italian waves) got the best hair between us, but now I’m seeing those shapes emerge in my own. It’s thin, but there’s a lot of it, and it can be seriously unruly. But when I look in the mirror, freshly washed and air-dried, it curls up big and fierce around my face. Like a lion’s mane.

Does my long(er) hair make me feel sexy and feminine? You betcha. But in retrospect so did my ultraviolet punk hair. And my blonde peachfuzz. And my white fauxhawk. Perpetually experimenting with my hair allowed me to free myself from feeling too attached to the crippling tie between having “good hair” and “being a woman”. Every iteration made me feel like myself, whether that’s girly or boy-y or something in between.

Today, my hair has zero bearing on my personal conception of my Self, my gender or my sexuality. Short or long, natural or neon, my hair is an accessory, meant to enhance rather than define.

Ellie Di is a headologist, life investigator, and quasi-professional pompom shaker. She writes her days away at Apples and Porsches and is considered an “epic Twitterer”.

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