I started dyeing my hair different colours over ten years ago, when it was a lot less common. Reactions to it have changed over time, especially when I moved from Cornwall to Leeds, but the core reasons I love picking new colours have stayed the same.
As well as being a lot of fun, changing my hair so often and opting for such eye-catching colours has actually taught me a lot about myself and other people. I don't think I'll ever grow out of the love of changing my hair - even if I'm currently keeping it a natural auburn - and here are just some of the reasons why:
When you've got bright hair, you can spend less time doing your makeup and picking out your outfit. Your hair does all the talking, which means that even when you aren't feeling your look, other people will.
I'm a nightmare for makeup and won't leave the house without it, but I always felt much more confident about wearing less makeup when my hair is super bright. It also helped me to feel happier about breaking the makeup norms, so I would team bold lipstick with pink or blue hair and not care what people thought.
I don't know what it is about brightly coloured hair that makes people happier to talk to you , but it definitely does. People tend to comment on your hair in a positive way and when you take it well and are polite back to them, they are happy to continue with the conversation.
Kids absolutely love bright hair - I adore how many children would ask me if I was a fairy or a mermaid on a regular basis - but the biggest fan of brightly coloured hair seems to be older women. In my experience, they seem amazed that I'm happy to walk around with bold hair, with many of them saying they wish they had done it when they were younger - a regret I'm happy I'll never have.
It goes without saying that when you have purple hair, people are going to look at you. Sometimes it will be in a positive way and sometimes it won't be. However, none of that matters because you know look fierce and you start to feel so much more confident.
The more I started to experiment with my hair colour, the less I cared about what other people thought of me and how I looked. This was a huge step for me, as the fact that I am plus size has always affected my confidence and self-esteem.
However, I always feel beautiful with bright hair, no matter the colour, so I am able to hold my head high and think 'I've got this'. It's perhaps this reason that I decided to get married with my signature bright pink hair. I have never felt more beautiful or confident than I did on my wedding day.
Our society puts such store in how your hair looks and healthy, long and shiny hair is so closely associated with the typical ideals of beauty. However, hair is just that, hair. It grows, it changes and you can cut it all off.
I got so sick of people telling me that dying my hair so much is going to damage it, that my natural colour is so beautiful why would I want to change it and that I'm going to regret doing so much to it. The funny thing is, once you've had to cut all your hair off once due to a bleaching disaster, it becomes a lot less precious.
I've cut, grown, bleach, dyed had enough disasters that I am happy to say that hair is just hair and it can be repaired. If I lose all my hair due to all the crap I've done to it, then you better believe I'll have an epic collection of wigs so I can carry on expressing myself with bright colours.
I have been told by several people that seeing my ever-changing hair has inspired them to do something different with their own. For me, this is amazing as you end up inspiring someone to be brave and to step out of their comfort zone.
It may only seem like a small thing, but if someone has never done something out there before, it is so lovely to hear that you are the person who has inspired them to step out of the norm.
It is also great that you can help someone enjoy all the benefits that come with brightly-coloured hair, which could help their confidence grow too. You may not think that adding a splash or green or red to your tresses really makes a difference, but until you do it, you can't really understand.
So if you've been tempted to go bright with your hair colour but haven't felt brave enough to do it, just go for it. You'll regret it more if you don't.