The Psychology Behind Wanting To Color Your Hair

Taylor Terminate, a Youtuber, looking really awesome with white hair.

Why do people choose to dye their hair colors such as bright red, vibrant purple, or attention-grabbing pink? Where does this desire to have unnatural colored hair come from? What is the reason behind a yearning for a shocking mint color? Is there science behind such a desire? Dying one’s hair a different color – especially rainbow hair – has slowly become a trend, with celebrities like Rihanna, Kesha, Kylie Jenner, and Hilary Duff dyeing their hair.  But using bleach and harsh coloring can leave nasty affects to hair, so why are people willing to make this sacrifice just to join in on a trend?

MTV News conducted an interview with a psychologist and celebrity colorist to find out some reasons. As it turns out, those who dye their hair latch onto a simple concept of wanting to stand out in order to fit in. Crazy dye jobs are becoming more and more normal – worn by celebrities and everyday people – and with the human urge to conform, we dye our hair.

Daniel Moon, a celebrity stylist, said, “A color explosion has happened and now is being molded to our lifestyle….” So, this new trend is spreading like wildfire and is becoming part of the way people live, the way people express themselves, and shows, with a bang, how they feel about themselves and the world. 

Nicole, a senior at Village, currently has her hair teal and purple.

On social media outlets such as Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter, individuals post pictures with interesting and creatively-colored hair,  further popularizing the interest in the trend. Individuals may create trends in our society, but technology helps to push these trends into the mainstream– we spread pictures of ourselves and images of what we are doing through hashtags, and when enough people do the same thing, a  trend hits its ‘tipping point’ and becomes less ‘alternative’ and more accepted or expected. 

Students here at Village have dyed their hair wild colors, affirming that the trend is alive and well. Nicole, a senior, first dyed her hair pink when she was sixteen years old. It then faded to an orangish color when she purposely didn’t touch it up. When asked why she wanted to dye her hair, she said she simply didn’t like her hair in its natural brunette state. She has dyed her hair nine different colors since and now does all of her dye jobs herself; she hasn’t gone to a hair salon in a very long time.

The author, Britt, with ‘Purple Rain’ hair dye.

I recently bleached my naturally dark brown hair a total of three times to prep for purple hair dye. I’ve wanted to dye my hair purple (and later ½ black, ½ white, etc.)  for a long time as I just like to change up my style sometimes, and hair color is a great way to do that. I get tired of the same old thing, and I’m not someone who needs every day to be so routine, so experimenting with hair color is a way to change things up.  I’ve been particularly inspired to attempt to rock colors different colors by my favorite YouTuber, Taylor Terminate.

So, while dyeing one’s hair comes from a paradoxical urge to both stand out and fit in, I hope it’s a cultural trend that sticks around for a while. 

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