When I was in the last year of primary school I, along with everyone else in the he class, was tasked with drawing ourselves in the future. A me now, a me at fourteen and a me at 21.
I’m not sure how accurate my predictions for my teenage self were, but I do recall that the drawing of 21 year old me had a pink streak in the hair.
My hair was notably also considerably longer than my mother would ever have permitted. It was breaking all the rules.
Real me at 21 most definitely didn’t have a pink streak. I probably should’ve, it might’ve done me some good.
As a child my relationship with hair dye was straightforward. I wasn’t allowed proper dye, therefore I wanted it more than anything else in the world. As an interim my mother would permit me in the holidays to use a Toner or Shader sachet of temporary dye. However, against my hair these pitiful little dues stood no chance. It didn’t matter which colour I bought the ginger won out.
The ginger, like anything that makes you different to your peers, didn’t help either. I didn’t specifically dislike my hair colour, but I couldn’t help but notice that there were only three of us gingers at school. And I’m going to say none of us really increased the coolness of being ginger. Three ginger nerds.
Eventually one summer, as I became a young-teen, my mother relented and permitted real hair dye. This was to be administered by a student of one her friends. Oddly given my feelings about standing out the colour I selected could best be described as super- ginger. I wanted to look like Scully from the X-Files. I sat in the chair waiting, hoping that my Scully red hair would be the first step to Mulder.
I sat there as they fiddled relentlessly. As teacher and student ummed, ahhed and finally concluded my hair actually wouldn’t take the dye. That they couldn’t make it porous enough without risking severe damage. I departed no more Scully than I had begun.
Before I reached the end of my teens I had a fantastic doctor who while didn’t manage to make my ears work any better, but he did tell me what an amazing hair colour I had. A real neutral adult who had no reason to lie was impressed with my hair and like all fickle teenagers this reduced my lust for hair dye.
The next time I attempted any kind of colouring was for a Comic Relief day at work when I sprayed my hair. It didn’t last long, and it wasn’t able to defend itself against my resistant hair. But it was pink.