The Many Hair Colors of Kiki

You saw my many faces, now you get to see my many colors.

In my early 20’s, I decided to break out of the norm and go wild. I needed to express myself and I did it through altering my appearance. I wore a lot of heavy make-up, mostly purple as it’s one of my favorite colors. Purple eyeshadow and purple lipstick were the norm (away from work; I didn’t wear make-up there). Black eye liner and black mascara. Sometimes I’d do glitter designs on my face. Before it was all done, I’d had my eyebrows pierced five times, including three times on the left side (the other two done on my right were done at two separate times because the first one ripped out) and had my nipple pierced (I’ve got a fun story about that, too, but some other time).

And then there was my hair. It was long then and I did a lot of things to it. I’d braid it in pig tails, braid it in tiny little braids and then put ribbons on the end, fashion spiky buns, give myself what one lady called “turkey feathers”, but mostly I wore it in a pony tail.

I was about 20 when I started coloring it. I eased into it, having a professional do it first, then I became the professional. I got really good at coloring my hair myself, bleaching it and then dying it with Manic Panic. I used gloves and a brush and ruined a couple of shirts and a bathroom rug. Sometimes my tub would be blue or purple or red for days. I dyed my friends’ hair. I became the go-t0 hair dye expert.

I worked at Wal-Mart at the time. A lot of customers would come in to see what color my hair was that day (I changed it every six weeks to two months). Only a few times did I get a negative comment. When our HR lady complained, my district manager gave me special permission to keep my hair any color I wanted. I don’t know if it was because I was good at my job or what, but I appreciated it.

Once I quite my job at Wal-Mart, the hair had to go back to normal so I could get a new job. I dyed it burgandy for a few months while I found and got a new job. Then I colored it with the goal of getting it back to my natural hair color. I’d wrecked my hair bad with all of the dying and bleaching and coloring and I wanted a break. That was over ten years ago. I haven’t colored my hair since.

So here are some (not all!) of my hair colors over that time period.

To get a feel for where I was and where I ended, this was my hair before I colored it. My natural color now is actually much darker and I love it.

This was my first color combo: black, purple, and blonde. The blonde and purple hues are very subtle as I had this professionally done and she didn’t get too wild.

I think this was my first go on my own. I ended up with blue, green, and black. Note the purple make-up and the glitter tears. I wasn’t kidding when I said I did that.

Red and black. I loved this combo. I also loved to wear my hair like this. And yes, I did wear this outfit out of my house to places like the mall and the movies. I still have the dress and the jacket.

I bleached my hair A LOT in between dying so the color would take better. I was never blonde for long, though, because I HATED being blonde. The longest I was ever blonde was a week and that’s because I had to have my hair a natural color because I was working at another store. Also, that’s my first rat I’m smooching, Zero. I’ve had a total of five of them.

This is what happens when you want to dye your hair, but don’t have enough dye to do one color. I used the leftovers. Not one of my favorite looks. It didn’t last long. You can also get a sense of how large my chest was. Pictures never really did it justice, though.

I loved the effect of this color combo with the blond bangs. It was really cool. But you can see the damage starting to take its toll on my hair.

Blue and purple. Another combo effect that I really liked with the blue bangs in contrast with the rest of my hair being purple.

My last wild color combo ever: pink, orange, and blonde. One of my co-workers called it Tequila Sunrise.

Hair colors not pictured: Purple and black; orange and yellow; pink and purple; blue and blonde.

I’m not going to lie when I saw I miss some of these hair colors and there are days when I wish I could dye my hair purple or red and black again. But looking back on that time I realize part of the reason why I did it. I was trying to find a way to be pretty. I knew then, with my wide ass and my huge, non-perky boobs and my extra weight that I had no chance to be conventionally pretty. But I still wanted to be pretty. So I made a different way to be pretty.

People have said that I did it for attention and you know, maybe I did a little. But my main goal was I wanted to be pretty, to feel pretty. I couldn’t compete with the little blonde things that men always drool over, but when my hair was green and my eyebrow was pierced, they couldn’t compete with me. I owned that look like they never could.

I was pretty on my own terms.

And I still am.

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