So I Dyed My Hair Pink, Now What?

Changing your hair color can change your life more than you'd think.

So I Dyed My Hair Pink Now What

I dyed my hair pink the way you fall asleep...slowly, then all at once.

Since I was a preteen I had wanted to experiment with pink hair, but I never really took the plunge until a year ago, bleaching the ends of my locks and dying them hot pink with an $8 kit from the drugstore. But about half a year into having dip-dyed strands, the colorful ‘do just wasn’t drastic enough, and I went all the way, spending hours at a salon bleaching and toning my naturally strawberry blonde hair to make it the perfect shade of cool-toned light pink. And as it happens, just a few (or many) hours spent with your hair in foils can do a lot to change your life.

1. People see you differently.

The first obvious change that comes with dying your hair pink (or any unnatural color) is that people begin to perceive you differently—not just friends and acquaintances, but also people you’ve never met. The moment I left the salon with my cotton candy-colored strands, I felt incredibly more aware of strangers looking at me. Living in New York City, colorful or crazy hair is not too uncommon, so dying your tresses doesn’t make you an instant spectacle. People tend not to stare too excessively, but I’ve found that I receive compliments more often from women on the street and cute reactions from kids on the subway. However, catcalls have also become more direct—it can feel harder to dodge an undesired comment when the catcaller is specifically calling out your hair color. Still, having fairy-like hair can make you stand out in the best way possible.

2. Upkeep is demanding.

It is a truth universally acknowledged that pastel hair must be touched up pretty much every time you wash it. Bleaching your hair will dry it out significantly—which may not be the best thing, but it also means that you can go longer without washing your hair. Keep your mane manageable by using plenty of dry shampoo in-between washings and limit your actual shampoo usage to two to three washes a week. When you do wash your hair, mix in a tiny bit of dye with your conditioner to keep your color constantly refreshed.

Maintaining color is one ordeal, but it’s also important to upkeep your hair health—especially if you’re interested in staying pastel for a while. Touch up your roots every six to eight weeks to keep your mane perfectly pink, but don’t forget to invest in some good conditioning treatments. Allow your hair to relax and rebuild once a week with the help of a quality hair mask, either store-bought or homemade.

3. Your wardrobe may change.

Before I started dip dyeing my hair, my wardrobe had already started to shrink and become devoid of any colors besides black, white, grey, and denim. My pink hair became my everyday accent accessory, so I started gravitating towards simpler black and white separates that today I consider a sartorial staple. However, everyone has their own way of styling pastel hair, whether they dress exclusively in light colors or indulge in plenty of patterns. Pink hair helped me to define my signature style, which I’m confident I’ll maintain even if I attempt other hair colors.

4. Your self-perception alters.

Change your hair, change your life—it’s a cheesy sentiment, but it holds true. Dying your hair a color that you’ve always wanted to dye it puts you in charge of your own life, even if it may be on a small, superficial level. Having control of your own appearance can be extremely empowering and it helps you to feel good about yourself. You’re in control of your own good hair days, and you’re also in charge of your own destiny.

5. You feel more adventurous.

There’s nothing quite like the rush of adrenaline you get from seeing your untouched, virgin hair turn bright yellow before transitioning into its final, perfectly pastel color. While dyeing your hair unusual colors, has gotten increasingly common, it’s still an exhilarating process, especially for someone who’s never strayed from her natural color. Dyeing my hair made other people call me “brave” for taking such a beauty risk—and as a result, it’s made me feel a whole lot more badass.