I grew up in a very hair color-positive household. Hair color upkeep was serious business. My mom had a giant brown crayon for her roots in case she got caught between hair appointments, and every few weeks those roots required a touch up. I used to sit at the salon and watch the women with their heads covered in foil wraps — or even more old school, highlights applied with that weird plastic cap with the holes in it. I used to want that freedom of choice and self expression for myself.
I got my first highlights at age 13 and it began a lifelong love affair with hair color. My first highlights were subtle and warm blonde, and I remember being asked about them repeatedly. I was hooked. Soon I was doing foolish hair experiments, using kite paper, lemon juice and harsh sprays that promise to lighten your hair in the sun to try to dye it the desired color. Left alone with my wacky, fun, probably-too-creative hairstylist, we experimented with highlights and temporary hair color until my ‘do was DONE.
When I went natural, I decided to stop using chemicals or heat to alter my hair’s texture, but I still had a thing for color. In fact, I’m looking for fun summer hair color ideas right now, because a few well placed highlights make my curls pop. Some folks like to judge hair color lovers. Here’s my defense for those of us who love to switch it up now and then.