By Jessie Quinn
What began as one writer's quest to go back to her natural hair color turned into an experience that forced me to uproot my identity.
Keep reading to learn more about Jessie’s journey.
Four years ago, I decided to grow out my natural hair color.
I loved how dark hair added a sense of mystery to my typically open-book and talkative personality type. Others would compliment me all the time. I now see how I so easily felt seen, validated, and worthy through those compliments, causing me to ground myself in my dark hair identity further.
Growing out your natural color can be an emotional and patience-testing process. When I first decided to grow out my natural hair, my strands were super dark with layers of both box and professional hair dye.
I hated my hair during the grow-out process. And, even if I couldn’t stand looking at my strands in the mirror, the grow-out experience helped me shed many of my attachments to my hair and identity.
I was able to approach chopping my strands in a “nothing to lose” manner. And, when I did finally chop my strands off, I loved the bob cut. [...} I had recently come to realize throughout the process, it was just hair.
After the final chop, I was left with the light brown hair of my childhood. This moment felt symbolic — not just because it had taken almost 2 years, but because I was also working with my therapist to heal my inner child, and now there she was, staring back at me.
For over a decade, I used black hair dye to express my personal style & cover up myself. It had become so intertwined with my identity that I didn’t realize I was using it to mask my inner light. It was like a shield, protecting me from my authentic self.