#1 You feel the same but others don’t.
Essentially I am still the same person with the same moral ideals, work and character traits, political views, religion ideals, and food and people preferences. I still adore babies and animals, and I still love my Aik Cheong coffee.
However, people around you look at you differently like they felt I have become “wild”, attention-seeking or that something negative must have happened to make me change my hair colour.
Chill, yo. It's just hair.
#2 You get a lot of stares on the street.
Right after my colour session, I got my first part-shocked, part-disapproving stare from a female passerby on Orchard Road. That was new to me. No one ever looked at me differently before, and I felt sad that people with bright-coloured hair are discriminated. This is not news obviously but to experience such ignorance personally is annoying.
And I just want to add that women are the ones who tend to judge.
You can tell instantly whether they approve of your hair, and if they are deciding in that few seconds whether they like it or not. Maybe those were wondering if they would ever try a bright hair colour. I hoped I inspired you.
Most men couldn't care less, the male strangers usually just give pleasantly-surprised looks.
#3 You forget that you coloured your hair.
This may sound odd but I don’t think about my hair colour after I coloured it as I go on with my day. I forgot that it is pink-blonde until I get a judgy stare.
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#4 Credit card sales reps think you have no money.
I used to get approached by credit card sales people ALL THE TIME (probably because I have this approachable look: Respectable-looking spectacles, trusting eyes, great smile and classic dark brown bob hair.)
Now, they don't ever walk towards me. Not even a step in my direction. They don't try to catch my eye either. I thought it was just me being all sensitive so I walked so close to them (every now and then), hoping to be acknowledged. Nothing. WTH. Give me a brochure lah!
Don’t they know that it is expensive to bleach and colour hair, and to maintain coloured hair? But it's fine, I don't need another card anyway.
#5 Toddlers think you are amazing.
Okay this is an assumption. But you could definitely tell they think it’s interesting in a good way because they smile a lot and play with your hair. (Okay, I am talking about my son here. haha)
#6 Everyone you know will comment on your hair.
Receiving comments can be either pleasing or annoying (duh). Pleasing when you get comments like: “It looks good on you!”, “Mad love!”, “I love it!” etc. I mean who doesn't enjoy a compliment? (Unless it is not sincere.)
The most annoying one I received (after I tried to explain specific colours in my hair) was:
“Are you sure? I think you have been cheated! Haha!”
(Bitch, I want to slap your face. #sorrynotsorry) Although I was cursing at this woman in my mind, I responded calmly and gave a polite, nervous laugh as I wasn't about to start a fight at my workplace. If I were Bruce Lee, I would have given her a shadowless kick (because it is shadowless and she wouldn't know what hit her).
Anyway I want to keep my job.
And obviously this poor woman has no EQ. So.
Just smile. Be tolerant.
Hello there! Yes, yes, my hair ya-da-ya-da, ya-da-ya-da.
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#7 You exchange “knowing” looks with other bright-haired people.
These are my people. Only they know what I am going through. I love y'all. XOXOOOOOO
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#8 Your hair looks dry even after you did everything there is to do.
Coloured hair looks dry in general even when you condition it daily, use hair masks twice a week, and apply leave-in treatment.
Thanks to our humidity, everyone's hair looks dry and/or frizzy to some degree. It just looks drier on bright coloured ones because it is too light not to notice.
Don't believe pictures that showcase glossy, smooth as satin coloured hair. These are just pictures to inspire.
Don't get depressed if your hair looks dry. Your hair colour is gorgeous.
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#9 You get people telling you your hair looks dry.
I am short-sighted but I am not blind. On the up side, I guess I should thank you for your concern.
#10 People tend to highlight to you that you have damaged your hair.
I not stupid. Obviously, bleaching and colouring damage hair. (I am a beauty editor for goodness' sake!)
And I am happy to inform you that bleach treatments have improved very much for the past decade. When my hair was getting bleached, there was no burning sensation at my scalp, and my eyes didn't sting at all. I actually fell asleep (I am a working mum who sleeps every chance I get.)
And now, there's Olaplex, a pre-treatment that strengthens hair structure before bleaching begins. Life is beautiful.
(#Rant) Did you know that hair is technically dead? Damaged dead hair is dead protein hanging from your scalp. Healthy dead hair will grow out. Life will go on. (#rantover)
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#11 You may stop using DIY hair colours.
I used DIY hair colour kits all my life because I have a lot of white hair (my first when I was 12), and I didn’t want to spent all my money at hair salons.
I went pink-blonde because white hair gets concealed and lost in my blond do. And because DIY hair colour kits were part of my life over the last 10 years, it took two appointments of five bleaching sessions over 12 hours to get the dark pigments out. And they are not completely out yet.
It is a bit scary what DIY hair colour kits can do so I am skipping them for now.
#12 You get personal questions.
Like: “What does your husband think?” Seriously, why do you care what he thinks?
For the record, he loves it.
#13 A lot of people wants to know where you did it.
I am not sure why but I think there are three reasons:
1) They love your hair and theywant to colour theirs at your hair salon someday.
2) They hate your hair, and they never ever want to colour their hair at your salon.
3) They don't like to give compliments or insults, but they strongly feel that they need to say something neutral about your hair colour. Of course, it could be a harmless question. Just making conversation. But when you get comments all day, you get sceptical and make wild accusations. My advice for you is to meditate and do more yoga.
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#14 You need specific hair care.
No matter the colour, it will fade, little by little every time you shampoo. Depending on your colour, you will need specific hair care products to help upkeep those beautiful hues.
Sam Chok, my hairstylist of 10 years, is a senior Redken Expert who has worked at mass-appeal and prestigious hair salons, advised that I use the Davines Alchemic Shampoo For Natural and Coloured Hair in Red on most days, and on other days, Redken Color Extend Magnetics Sulfate-free Shampoo (also because the Davines one cost $65 for a smallish bottle, and I can't spend all my baby's diaper fund on my hair.)
You need to condition it every day too. If you have time, you can also use leave-in treatment products for smoother, glossier locks.
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Here’s what I also use:
- Aveda Damage Remedy Intensive Restructuring Treatment
- L’Oreal Paris Extraordinary Oil Merveille de Paris
And you will find yourself (at least for me) trying different conditioners to find the perfect one.
Having bleached hair requires patience and commitment.
Tell that to potential employers.
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#15 Skip shampoo for a day and still look fine.
For a healthly scalp, you should wash your hair twice every day - think of all the dirt, pollutants and chemical residue from hair products that are already on your scalp and hair.
I am just saying that your hair will look fine, even if your scalp is the oily type because any excessive sebum will simply coat your dry hair and make it look conditioned.
I know because I did that once. Life happens and I was late for work.
#16 You have to bear with cold showers.
Or rather just for your head and hair. Heat from hot showers further damages your hair, and fades colour too.
#17 You should use minimal heat styling to protect hair colour.
If you blow-dry your hair every morning, reduce the heat setting and use a heat-protecting spray on towel-dried hair before you blow-dry.
You could also wake up earlier so you can use the non-heat setting to dry your tresses.
I use the Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer that dries hair in half the time (read our review here.) I kid you not.
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#18 People want to know why you crazy-coloured your hair.
(Above: That's me by the way.)
Because I love the way pink hair looks? Because I looked damn chio in pink? Because it suits my skin tone? Give me a break, man.
Okay, I do apologise. That's enough ranting.
(By the way, you would rant quite a bit when you first crazy-colour your tresses. You will then go back to the zen-you in a few weeks' time. Promise.)
People will never stop asking. Curious, they are I guess. Anyway, my reason was mentioned in #9, it camouflages my white hair. I am also relieved that I can because I work in an industry that celebrates creativity and strangeness.
Personally, I get excited when random people ask me this question as it gives me an opportunity to say outrageous things and get away with it because “she has pink hair, obviously siao”.
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Here are my responses so far:
1) “I am going through a mid-life crisis.” (Hahaha)
2) “I wanted to try something different” (Okay I was bored.)
3) “It was a dare."
4) “Because I have money” (I would say this in Mandarin because it sounds way better. Hahaha)
5) “It is my fengshui colour.” (I want to live long and prosper.)
6) “I just want to shine bright like a diamond.” (Damn straight.)
Any other suggestions? :P
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