Three Singaporean youths share how dyeing their hair allows them to experiment and express themselves.
Ever since I was little, I’ve always wanted purple hair just like Plum Pudding from Strawberry Shortcake’s Berry Bitty Adventures had.
Although my dream hair is only a trip to the salon away, I’ve refrained from dyeing my hair as I’m afraid of the possible hair damage.
Instead, I live vicariously through my friends who seemingly change their hair colour every other month. Red, blue, purple, green; any colour you name, they’ve probably already had it on their heads!
Youth.SG spoke to three youths to find out why they change their hair colour often.
Like many others, Davian Chew first started dyeing his hair after completing his ‘O’ level exams.
Since then, he has dyed his hair light brown, red, ash grey, pink, green, blue and purple.
The 19-year-old shared that he has changed his hair colour every month after bleaching it for the first time last October.
“The longest I have gone was two months before changing my hair colour!” he said, adding that he does it so often because he just doesn’t black hair as much as his coloured hair.
“There’s something about dyed hair that just appeals to me a lot. It’s brighter and not as mundane as the typical black hair,” he explained.
Despite having dry hair from the constant dyeing, Davian still enjoys changing his hair colour frequently as he finds that it gives him a confidence booster.
“Changing my hair just brightens up my mood a lot and it makes me feel good about myself every time I look in the mirror. I think that’s the most important thing. Once you are confident in how you look, I believe that you will look good,” he said.
His hair dye adventures do not go unnoticed by his family and friends.
Davian shared that they always comment on his crazy hair colours: “My family sometimes thinks that the hair colours I choose are too loud and crazy. My friends also think I am too experimental but I don’t think it’s a bad thing! They are all pretty supportive of me.
“Even if I change my hair colour, my personality is still me. So I don’t really mind what people think about me changing my hair,” he said.
Mass communication student Elysia Tay changes her hair colour four times every six months.
The 20-year-old loves experimenting with different colours and seeing how they would turn out on her.
Whenever Elysia would dye her hair, she would also change her entire look and sometimes even match her outfits to her hair.
She likens changing her hair to starting anew.
“Every time I change my hair colour it feels like a new chapter of my life. Whenever I did something drastic to my hair, it symbolised a new phase I was entering, like starting polytechnic or my internship,” she said.
While others do not necessarily treat her any differently because of her hair colour, Elysia explains that it does attract some unnecessary, and unwarranted, attention.
“I was a little uncomfortable with being stared at at first. It made me not want to dye my hair ‘unusual’ colours anymore because I hated the attention I’d get,” she said.
“There was this one time I was at an event and a woman came up to me to tell me that my hair colour was unnatural. But I’ve come to accept that if I like the way my hair looks, then it doesn’t really matter what anybody else thinks.”
Elysia adds that it’s become somewhat of a routine to change her hair colour and her family and her friends are used to it. Her friends even recommend colours for her to try next.
Despite it becoming a routine, Elysia admits it’s still nerve-wracking trying out a new colour: “I get nervous because I never really know how the colours are going to turn out. You can go to the salon and ask for something but your hair might not turn out the way you envisioned it.”
Even so, the 20-year-old plans to dye her hair pink next.
17-year-old Ashley Chua is another youth who doesn’t consider changing her hair colour a major life-changing decision.
Instead, dyeing her hair is an outlet for Ashley to shake things up when she gets bored with how she looks, try out the different styles she likes or express her mood at a particular time.
“I usually dye my hair when I’m craving a dramatic change in my appearance. I’m not too precious with my hair so I don’t mind experimenting with whatever I feel like trying out at that moment,” she shared.
Although a lot can go wrong without a professional hairdresser’s help, Ashley uses box dyes to colour her hair by herself as it gives her the affordability to change her hair colour as and when she pleases.
Since the box dye fades easily, Ashley colours her hair every two months or when her hair roots start to show.
The 17-year-old has dyed her hair a myriad of colours like red, ash brown, navy blue, green, black, and even back to its natural dark brown colour before.
Ashley would typically do research to make sure her next colour choice complements her skin tone before dyeing her hair.
Even if her hair colour doesn’t turn out the way she wants it to be after dyeing, Ashley doesn’t mind.
“It’s not a big deal to me. Hair always grows back, dyes fade and you can always go back to your original hair colour if you don’t like the final product,” she said.
One thing Ashley realised about having an unnatural hair colour is that people tend to strike up conversations with her, which she enjoys a lot.
Ultimately, changing hair colours means different things for everyone. If you’re considering changing up your look, I hope you can learn a thing or two from their experiences.
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