The University of Vermont's Independent Voice Since 1883

The Vermont Cynic

Stereotypes about colorful hair dye are dying down

Libby Camp, Cynic Correspondant

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While colored hair is certainly not a new trend, it seems college campuses across the country have been seeing an influx of hued hairstyles.

“It seems like you can’t go anywhere on campus without seeing someone with crazy colored hair,” sophomore Emma King said.

For a long time, dying hair was seen as something that gray-haired women did to conceal their aging process. Even today, statistics regarding hair dye are typically about women wanting to cover up their gray.

However, Tish and Snooky of punk rock band Blondie began to produce the famous line of hair dyes Manic Panic starting in the 70’s.

According to their website, this was the beginning of the era of hair color being used as a fashion and personality piece.

At first, unnatural colors were seen as a marker of being a punk, or someone who wasn’t very respectable.

However, with the increase of ‘90s celebrities with brightly colored hair came an increase of crazy colors within the general public.

“The same people who laughed at the Manic Panic look in the ’70s began clamoring for it in the ’90s, as Tish and Snooky watched their hair dye worn proudly by high fashion models and celebrities of all kinds,” their website stated.

Nowadays, a lot of people are rocking newly colored ‘dos, especially on campus.

“College is a good time to experiment with your look,” sophomore Noah Schneidman said. He has dyed his hair white, pink and teal because he thought it would look cool and was feeling very impulsive, he said.

However, sometimes hair dye doesn’t go the way some people plan. It turns out having lilac hair like your favorite singer can be much harder than you think.

For sophomore Anna Moore, her hair-dying experiences started in eighth grade when the band Paramore was really big. She idolized Hayley Williams and loved her hair, so that was a big inspiration for her, she said.

“I always have trouble adjusting to new colors because it can be such a shock to see your physical appearance change.” Moore said. “Most recently, I dyed it purple and didn’t love it at first because it was so different, but I loved it once I got used to it.”

Schneidman attested to some downsides of rocking dyed hair. “Sometimes it looked cool, but it mostly looked silly and made my hair feel like steel wool,” he said.

While there is still a remaining stigma on dyed hair that appears in how employers judge applicants, how the elderly women at the salon look at you, or the speeches parents give their kids, both Schneidman and Moore said they haven’t had any bad experiences with people because of their hair.

“I didn’t notice anything really from the general public,” Schneidman said, “but I received many ‘Oh Gods’ from friends and family.”

“My friends and family all seem to think it suits my personality and style, and some people just don’t like non-natural colors – and that’s okay – but I don’t think anyone has made a negative comment directly to me,”  Moore said.

So it seems that whether or not stigmas exist, UVM students will continue to show their true colors. Just this time, it will be on their heads.

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The University of Vermont's Independent Voice Since 1883
Stereotypes about colorful hair dye are dying down