Stella Cander

Life can be pretty rough when you’re feeling down in the dumps. Maybe it starts because school is stressing you out, or you get into an argument with your best friend, or your big crush rejects you. Or maybe your life is actually going okay, but for some reason your mind keeps taking a turn down some pretty dark paths. I’ll admit that in my own lowest moments, I’ve often felt like no one would really care if I dyed my hair.

There have even been a few times when I’ve thought about doing it.

Maybe that sounds extreme, but when I’m in a really bad place, it’s hard to escape the thought that I could go platinum blond without the people around me so much as batting an eye. Sure, everyone at school would talk about it—they’d pretend they cared about what I’d done—but after a day or two, they’d all just go on with their lives as if it never happened.

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People ask why I would contemplate something so drastic without stopping to consider how my friends and family might feel about it. They tell me I should be thankful for the thick, healthy hair I already have. What they don’t understand is what it’s like to feel that you could take a razor and cut it all to shreds and no one would even miss it.

But you know what? A lot of my idols, like Kurt Cobain and Marilyn Monroe, understood how it feels. They were on top of the world, and they still felt the need to take matters into their own hands so they could finally escape the burden of their natural hair color. I know it sounds morbid, but when you look at the way those people are remembered today, you have to admit there’s something kind of glamorous about dyeing your hair at a young age.

Imagine the looks on the faces of everyone who has ever mocked me if they heard I actually went through with it!

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It really wouldn’t be that hard to do, either. Sure, there would be some discomfort while I waited for it to soak into my roots, but then, boom—it’d all be over. There’s so much online about how to do it, and I admit I’ve given some thought to how I’d want to dye mine. I’ve heard some girls even make a pact and do it together. Honestly, the only thing stopping me is my mother. I know it would be hard on her to walk into the bathroom and see the Revlon box, the plastic gloves, the applicator, the wet mess splattered all over the tile. Her precious baby—the kid she brought into this world—gone blond.

I also worry about botching it, since I know that could end ugly.

Then again, it’s not like it’s anything my mom hasn’t seen before. My aunt dyed her hair, and I know one of grandmas did, too, after she got divorced. Maybe it’s selfish, but how can you blame me for considering it when I look at myself in the mirror every day, hating what I see? A boring, unattractive medium-brown mop incapable of being loved by anyone. Everyone who says they like my hair is clearly just doing it out of politeness or pity.

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I realize this is something I should probably see a professional about. I’ve heard they can help. For a long time, I’ve been reluctant to go to one, but maybe I should give it a try. If I don’t, then I’m worried I might wind up doing something horrible and permanent.