I dyed my hair in quarantine

Self-isolation amid this pandemic has taken a gigantic toll on my mental sanity. Increased hours of boredom and no contact with the human population led me to explore things I never had the chance to do while I was still a school-attending-sociable 16 year old. 

A few nights ago, the genius idea crossed my mind that I needed to dye my hair. There was no way on earth that I was going to come out of the weekend with the same, boring brown color in my hair. That 2 a.m. thought eventually turned into a dreadful, horrific reality.

Mere seconds after I had washed the coloring out of my hair, I instantly regretted what I had just done. I was hesitant to look at myself in the mirror, not wanting to confront the horrifying monster that was my freshly dyed hair. 

Eyes closed and hands shaking, I slowly inched up to the mirror in my bathroom as though I was a wolf stalking down its prey. My heartbeat was racing so fast that it almost felt like the whole organ was about to dislodge and fly full speed out of my throat. 

As I concluded what felt like an 80-hour-200-mile journey through the scorching desert from my bathtub to the mirror, I reluctantly opened my eyes, only to let out a blood curdling scream. My prized possession, my pride and joy had transformed into an orange Creamsicle. My beautiful and healthy locks were obliterated by a $6.79 box of platinum hair dye.

I cried as I examined what in the world I just did. I took extra precautions when dying my hair to cover every spot and crevice, yet the color still came out in unflattering splotches. The pieces of hair framing my face had been fried to a brassy yellow, and the surrounding areas either blindingly orange or dark brown. Envision Eminem’s bleached buzz cut circa the early 2000s and that was me, unevenness and all.

By the middle of my mental breakdown, the whole family crowded into my tiny bathroom. Perched on the toilet, my sister laughed maniacally as I cried over my destroyed mane. My parents frantically combed through my hair in a pitiful attempt to rescue what was already peroxided. Even though she clearly knew there was no way to salvage the eyesore, my mom was adamant in reassuring me that everything would be fine.

After my distressed crying and finicking with the dyed hair was put to an end, I immediately looked up how to even out a dye and get rid of orange tinting. Through occasional tears and bursts of frustration, I spent hours reading WikiHows and watching YouTube videos of girls who went through the exact traumatic hair coloring experience. With careful consideration, a slew of pros and cons lists and the input of my friends, I concluded that there was no choice but to go back to brown. My dream of supporting perfectly silver tresses pummeled to the ground. 

Less than 24 hours after the hair dying crisis, my botched head and face-masked self ventured to HEB with the sole mission of finding a dark enough color to cover up the disaster. Right when I walked into the store, I knew I was getting funny looks from the people shopping around me. I would be just as perplexed if I saw a kid alone in an aisle, hair completely hidden in the hood of her sweater and sunglasses covering 90% of her face, madly rustling through boxes of every brown hair  shade possible.

The second round of hair dying luckily went according to plan, and my orange Creamsicle hair reverted as much as it could back to its original brown hue. Partly still lighter in some areas, the overall look is something I eventually will have to grow to love. 

Looking in the mirror after the second dye gave me an unshakable sense of self and a burst of confidence I had not felt in a while. Staring back at me was the reflection of someone who was learning to accept themselves despite the insecurities and flaws. 

I believe that having a bad hair dying experience is a rite of passage for all teenagers. If you want to dye your hair, go for it. The only person truly stopping you from taking this risk is yourself.