By Brian Brecker
Elm Staff Writer
You may have noticed the trend of young college students dying their hair every color of the rainbow. Moving from high school where often dress codes are strictly enforced to college can be jarring to say the least.
The casual attitude of the average college student and their pride in wearing whatever they please, in some ways, an act of liberation and rebellion.
According to one friend of mine, who had her hair dyed pink and then blue, this was much of the reasoning behind her decision. She also pointed out that hair dye is a fairly cheap means of expressing oneself, while tattoos and other forms of fashion that
diverge from norms of appearance, are far more expensive.
My cousin, who is a senior in high school, had her hair dyed aqua green for some time until her conservative choir director thought it would, “offend the masses” if his singers have “unnatural hair colors.”
For others, political aspects do not come into the decision. For some, it appears that dying their hair such colors is meant to draw attention and individualize them from the masses.
If I may speak personally, I got a strip of my hair dyed purple in an expression of my bisexuality. As pointed out in an article written by Robin Babb, many LGBT+ youth will experiment with different hair styles and colors to “kind of come out.”
Breaking with established norms, expressing oneself through their fashion choices, advancing their own personalized identity: these are all major themes of being a young adult or teenager in America.
To change one’s hair to a color obviously impossible to reach by any natural cause is to claw away at preconceptions of what is and is not allowed. It makes one vibrant and different, and while some may accuse such behavior of being attention-seeking or a desperate attempt to be different, there is a substantive case to be made for the meaning in the color of one’s hair.
If you are interested in dying your hair in Chestertown, you can visit Emily’s Salon and Tanning at 601 Washington Ave.. Although they do not offer many unnatural colors, some stylists will allow you to sign a release form and use your own store-bought dye. Mention this when you make your appointment.