August 18, 2022


An Ode to Dyeing Your Hair When You're Queer

The act of dyeing your hair is a typical mode of self-expression. In case you’re a queer particular person particularly, hair colour can tackle a deeper that means. It may be an opportunity to discover inside our identification, to get in contact with our true genuine selves.

In late 2018, I used to be confused about my gender identification and needed to experiment with the best way I regarded. I used to be exhausted from the mundane sample of my pure curly black hair, rising it out till it was time for the bimonthly haircut. So I motivated myself to interrupt out of my consolation zone and dye my hair for the primary time. As a result of I used to be a novice to all issues magnificence, I requested my sister Nia — who was an knowledgeable on the apply, for she virtually dyed her hair each colour of the rainbow herself — to information me by means of the steps over the telephone.


My try to realize a lighter brown colour ended up a darkish pink. I preferred the best way I regarded for a short second and saved it for a couple of months up till I got here out as nonbinary in March 2019. Realizing the intended-brown-turned-red wasn’t for me, I buzzed it off and went again to my black curls for the remainder of that 12 months and thru the pandemic.

Then, just lately, like many queer individuals earlier than making a significant hair change, I had a nervous breakdown. Summer time was in full swing and I used to be nonetheless recovering from the lack of my father final March, only a few days earlier than my birthday. I used to be having a tough time grieving. I had been out as a nonbinary particular person for 3 years, however I felt stifled by my service-industry job and uncontrolled of my life and who I actually was.

I hoped my blond period would give me the ability to take management of my life once more and push me ahead.

I made a decision to dye my hair a extra dramatic colour, this time vibrant blond. To me, the shade outlined confidence and independence. Within the vein of Riz Ahmed in “Sound of Metallic” and Reese Witherspoon in “Legally Blonde,” I hoped my blond period would give me the ability to take management of my life once more and push me ahead.

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I known as up Nia at 1 a.m. and requested if she may dye my hair for me as an alternative of guiding me by means of. She agreed however warned I might be her “first topic.” The following day, I FaceTimed her whereas I used to be at a magnificence store shopping for all of the supplies. She advised me to get fast blue bleach, 30 quantity developer, and purple shampoo. As a result of I’m nonetheless a noob, the state of affairs was the equal of Patrick searching for the lid.

For the following a number of hours, Nia terraformed my curls, dyeing each strand from black to blond together with her small palms. Initially, I used to be aiming for a buttery shade, however I solely had an hour earlier than I needed to be at my sister Shavon’s commencement, so Nia rinsed out my hair and let a darkish blond take form.


For the primary time in a very long time, I felt a way of freedom. Within the second the place I felt components of myself decaying, consumed by a joyless life-style, the act of giving my hair a brand new coat of paint introduced me some colour. The blond hair was my method of resetting myself, wrangling again the life I did not acknowledge. After I regarded within the mirror, I noticed myself. After all, you see your reflection — that is how mirrors work — however I noticed all of me, the actual Rendy. It was like a weight off my shoulders.

Due to that, I felt a brand new chapter of my life was incoming. A couple of days later, I took a significant leap of religion and stop my service-industry job. A couple of days after that, I lastly received to take part in my commencement ceremony. In the present day, I’m taking possibilities on myself and rediscovering myself as a queer journalist, and I’ve by no means been happier.

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Coloring my hair allowed me to get in tune with my physique and soul. After I was dropping sight of my identification, going blond gave me the push I wanted to lastly put myself first. Now I really feel extra assured in my pores and skin and am prepared for no matter lies forward — so long as I’ve received my associates, my household, and a field of hair dye, as wanted.

Picture Supply: Rendy Jones