The stain of an identity

The trend of dyed hair correlates to how junior, Madison Almodovar perceives herself and  brings her to question her own identity. The result is wearing various hair colors.

Elie Cajes

The trend of dyed hair correlates to how junior, Madison Almodovar perceives herself and brings her to question her own identity. The result is wearing various hair colors.

When I was in middle school, I wanted to dye my dark hair a light blonde color to change my appearance. My mom advised me that I wouldn’t look as good as I thought with blonde hair because it simply didn’t fit my aesthetic.

Hearing those words frustrated me because changing my hair meant that I could control how I expressed myself to people. In simpler words, the ability to change my hair the way I’d want to would boost my confidence tenfold. However, I felt unhappy whenever I went out, until the day I bleached my hair at home.

Not long after, I bought pink hair dye. For a couple weeks, I sported pink hair and during that time, the compliments I received from people around me reflected how I felt: excited and content with this change.

The pink faded back to blonde pretty quickly, but the leftover hair dyes I had lying around the house were enough for me to use. I transformed my hair into a plethora of colors, including light purple and  blue; once my original dark hair started to make an appearance I reintroduced the blonde hair.

There seemed to be an increase in my lack of satisfaction with every fading hair color. I would set out to find a new color that would express who I was on the inside at that time. Yet, each color I tried turned out to be too light, too uneven and not me. 

Aside from the compliments, people questioned how frequently I changed my hair and even suggested colors to try.

On top of pleasing myself, did it mean I had to please others, too? Find a color that suited me, but also the tastes of others?”

— Madison Almodovar

I asked my cousin, a professional hairstylist, to help me. I settled on purple, a dark enough color to cover the unevenness yet colorful enough to express my creativity. In the end, I loved how it turned out. 

I went out on the first day of school with my new hair, paired with my new outfit and took each step with a bounce of confidence. Genuine pride continued to swell through me as the day passed. 

During my first day, I noticed that others walked around with streaks of color or fully dyed hair. In each person, I saw a little of myself and the internal debates I had about which color would fit me the most and the relief I felt when I saw myself in the mirror after finding the color I wanted. I wondered if others experienced the same. 

It took some time and a couple tries, but achieving the look that made me feel like myself made it easy to recognize that others were only trying to find themselves just as I was. I turned to hair dye to leave the stain of my old identity behind.