Now Reading: Dyeing Your Hair Isn’t Always About Vanity


Dyeing Your Hair Isn’t Always About Vanity

August 19, 20173 min read

Tristan’s trembling hands grabbed the bottle of hair bleach. He was going from black to blonde. An impulse buy, which happened 30 minutes ago, was finally starting to hit him. He had brought a box of hair dye from the store, even though he only walked in to get a bag of potatoes.

“What the hell”  He whispered into the mirror. Tristan had been in an intense face-off with his reflection for a while now. He was looking for a way out. A way to justify succumbing to fear again. He never colored outside the lines, but lately, he’d been trying to stray as far outside of the black outlines as possible. Within the past couple of weeks, he had been discovering new parts of himself. Parts he had always known were there.

Five minutes into the staring contest with himself he decided, after many long sighs and deep groans, to move forward with the process. Tristan began to rub the solution on his head. He caressed his scalp, making sure to get the bleach in every follicle. Once he was sure no trace of his old self would survive the bleaching he sat on the toilet. Now I wait.

 A smile pushed its ways onto Tristan’s face. It was like waiting for the gunshot to sound at a track meet, he thought. Heavy tension clouded the air. His hair burned from the chemicals, but he just sat there silently.

The truth is he didn’t care much about the color. It didn’t concern him that maybe bleach blonde hair wouldn’t suit him well. This wasn’t about vanity. All that mattered about this current situation was the freedom he felt. This tremendous act of rebellion, wrapped into an off-brand bleach box. Tristan felt powerful and free, finally in control of something.   

Twenty-five minutes had passed, the hair bleach was washed out, and he had just got done shampooing his hair. Tristan hurriedly ran to the mirror and what he saw confused him. He wasn’t sure whether to be happy or sad, relieved or scared. He just stood there, his extremely bright yellow hair looking back at him. Tristan slowly walked to his room, still feeling confused.

As he laid in his bed, he began to feel defeated. Hiding under his blanket he began to ponder on the reason behind his feelings. He didn’t care about the color, or even about the taunting he was sure to endure. He was angry about his loss of control. All Tristan wanted was control. The glow of the moon glistened on his tv screen. Tristan lay there silently, once again without control.

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isaiah moses

Black, Queer, Writer.

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