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What I Learned About Confidence After Returning To My Natural Hair Color

I always felt like I was a very forgettable individual, growing up I didn’t feel like there was anything about me that made was distinguishable or special. I was (and still am) short, which meant that people would often literally overlook me. I had no boobs, no ass, and no curves. I wore glasses over my boring brown eyes and my boring brown hair sat slightly wavy on my head. I felt invisible and I hated it. I couldn’t control a lot of those things at sixteen but what I could control was my hair, so after my quinceanera, my sister took me to get my hair dyed. We started very basic with just an ombre to blonde but little did we know that this would lead to a ten-year love affair with trying to change me.

I spent a couple of years after that first change experimenting, but always trying to stick close to my natural color. In my mind, I always chose subtle and authentic colors. Then I moved to Los Angeles.

I decided when I went to college to dye my hair back to my natural color, knowing I wouldn’t have the money to maintain anything else. But then went on to experiment with some black, some streaks, and some light browns again with the help of my roommate. Again, all very authentic in my mind, and while I was still trying to find a way to make myself noticeable I never felt like it was attached to me. My hair was just my hair, something fun to experiment with to try and express myself.

But then in 2016 things changed. I got a job as a personal trainer and looking back on it, I’ve realized it was one of the worst things that I did for myself. So many of my confidence issues stem from that job, I developed my eating disorder because of that job. And a big reason for that was that it was my job to sell myself, to sell my body as an example of what I could give my clients. All around me were pretty, skinny, rich, blonde women and I started to internalize that I had to look just like them to be successful. So in 2017, I dyed my hair blonde, really blonde like I spent $400 in an Equinox salon for a full highlight session and got to platinum blonde blonde. I spent four years being blonde after that. Four years of bleaching my hair and spending almost $200 every three months to maintain the color I associated so closely with my personal worth.

In 2021 I started to model. I had such a mix of emotions while I was modeling, there was a part of me that felt absolutely beautiful, while the other part of me felt stupid. I felt like everyone was laughing because there was no way I was a model, I wasn’t skinny enough or tall enough and it was obvious my blonde wasn’t real and all of the other million thoughts that I put in my own head.

Ironically enough, making the decision to model is what prompted me to stop dyeing my hair. I started to become obsessed with my looks in a way that was severely hurting my self-esteem. I couldn’t allow my roots to show even the tiniest bit, I had to have my nails done every two weeks in case they showed up in a photo, and I zoomed in on every photo taken of me, obsessing over every minor imperfection. I hated everything about myself and I hated that more than anything. So I decided to challenge myself at the start of 2022 and I made “no dyeing my hair or getting fake nails” one of my new years’ resolutions. It’s also the only resolution I actually stuck to last year.

I’m surprised to say that it wasn’t as hard of a transition as I thought it would be. I guess I just told myself for so long that my natural hair color was ugly that I never questioned differently. But when I actually made the transition I realized I didn’t mind it. It was a little bit of an adjustment period but I would look in the mirror and feel like I looked more like me than before. I also found that I didn’t feel pressured to do my hair as much. With my blonde hair, I only found it pretty if it was freshly dyed and curled, but with my brown hair, I could do nothing to it and feel like it still looked good. That could partially be because it was healthier but I think it also made me feel like myself. Without the blonde I no longer felt like I was playing a part, I wasn’t comparing myself to the people I was trying so hard to look like.

Dyeing my hair back to my natural color made me love myself for who I am not for who I was trying to be. I’m not modeling as much with my new hair color but I think that has more to do with not needing external validation than not feeling pretty. I try to post online now for my blog, looking at my Instagram as an extension of my business instead of a place to get likes and comments to feed my ego.

It’s not perfect, I still compare myself to others and have days where I feel horrible about myself but in the general scheme of things I’m happier with myself. I may go back to the blonde one day but if I do it'll be because I want to do it and not because I'm trying to look like someone else. I want to give myself some more time to develop this new confidence, there are still parts of myself that I still feel insecure about and I don't want to lose the confidence I've built within myself just because I've had these realizations. But because I've made so much progress in this regard I'm excited to start raising my confidence in other areas as well.

Scroll through some of my hair journey below starting with my natural hair color to now.


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