Dyed Hair: An Identity Change


In Aug. 2021, Poppy Magee decided to dye her hair bright pink.

“I thought it would be a fun change during the pandemic and something fun to do,” she said.

Magee has a history of dying her hair and first started doing it when she was in elementary school.

“In fourth grade, I dyed the tips of my hair purple and it faded really badly,” Magee said. “So I basically just used [the] process of elimination and thought, pink.”

Magee is naturally a strawberry blonde, so she did not have to — nor wanted to — bleach her hair.

“The bleach would be very bad for my curl pattern,” Magee said. “I got it done with this lady that has been my mom’s hairdresser for a really long time and has known me since I was really little. So I got highlights and then pink dye over it. The highlights just make it really stand out in certain sections.”

Magee has become quite attached to her new hair and thinks it adds a new aspect to her look.

“Even when I’m just in my pajamas or whatever, when I look in the mirror I’m like ‘woah’,” Magee said. “It’s definitely going to be hard for me to go back to my natural color. I don’t think I ever will.”

When she first dyed her hair, it made her feel empowered, but at times, especially in new environments, the pink made her feel like she was sticking out.

“It is a little nerve-wracking because people will just like to look at you because of your hair because it’s a bright, neon color,” Magee said. “Right after I dyed it, like two days later, I went shopping and I was freaking out because all the colors in my closet that I normally wear looked really weird with my hair.”

Coming to Community, Magee was not as nervous about her hair as she has been in the past around new crowds.

“One thing I like about Community is that a lot of people here have dyed hair, so I feel like no one really bats an eye when you have bright pink hair,” she said. “I feel like a lot of the people that go to Community are super creative and fashionable so some of them just have really cool funky dyed hair.”

Another Community student who also has dyed their hair is Anna Tapley-Coll. They decided to cut and dye their hair in the spur of the moment.

Her parents had gone to Chicago, which was the first time Tapley-Coll was left home alone with just siblings. During this time alone, she cut about 18 inches of their hair off. A few weeks later, Tapley-Coll bleached and dyed his hair green.

Tapley-Coll likes the attention she receives from her hair. During their summer in Spain, the children knew him as the person with green hair. Standing out wasn’t unusual due to their outstanding style of fashion.

‘It’s intimidating, but also sometimes I would have that extra skip in my step,” Tapley-Coll said.

This attention to his hair made Tapley-Coll more confident and like they were strutting down the runway.

Tapley-Coll told a story of minding her business one day and anthis older lady with hair colored fuchsia-dyed hair approached her. They both had a conversation about how much they adored each other’s hair and were able to form a connection..

Dyed hair is not just cool, it also forms a community.