Welcome to Untangled! This site has been years in the making and I'm so glad you finally get to see what it's all about.
It all started back in 2014, when I decided to bleach my naturally dark brown hair the whitest shade of blonde. It was something I'd always wanted to do, and boy, am I glad I did.
Accompanied by a couple friends and a very small video crew -- I was documenting the process for a story for a former client -- I spent about six hours in the salon. In that time, my hair went from dark brown to pee yellow to, finally, an ashy silver blonde. To say I was shocked when I looked in the mirror for the first time would be an understatement. But I couldn't stop smiling (or touching my hair). Somehow, I felt more like myself than I did with my natural hair color.
For reference, here's a little comparison (the inset is before):
(Photo by Amy Buck // inset via Facebook // Photo at top also by Amy Buck)
To my surprise the photo of a blonde me garnered more likes on Facebook than any other I'd posted. Was this a sign that people liked me better with blonde hair? Or were people just really excited I tried something ~daring~? I'd be lying if I said I didn't like the amplified interest in my looks. I had never been someone who craved attention, but when it came, I soaked it all in.
The first day I went to work with my new hair, the positive reactions kept coming, boosting my confidence even more. At work-related events, people began remembering me. When I was a brunette, I found I had to continually re-introduce myself. But when I was blonde, there was no re-introduction needed.
After a few months and at least two root touch-ups, I decided to try out a new color: purple. (I told myself prior to bleaching that I'd try something even more fun before going back to my natural color.) The idea of parting with my blond hair and the newfound confidence that came with it scared me. I had come to love it, and was nervous about trying a new color.
But I went for it, and as it turned out, ended up loving the purple even more than the blonde. I think my friends and colleagues felt the same way. Not only did I get positive reviews at work, my friends couldn't stop talking to me about it and everyone I met had something (generally positive) to say about it. Even the elderly women who used to visit the store I worked at on weekends were feeling it. One once asked me how I did it so she could try it herself!
(Photo by Amy Buck)
When I was a brunette, I never, ever got this kind of attention. No one cared about my hair. I was just another face in the crowd (at least, that's how I saw myself). As stupid as it may sound, I contemplated the future of my hair -- would I have to keep it purple for the rest of my life just so people will remember who I am? Would it help me break into the world of fashion? Would it become my signature hairstyle, a la Grace Coddington or Anna Wintour? Did I even want to be known for my hair? Shouldn't I just let my work speak for itself?
These were questions I would've never asked myself before the changes, but at the time, they were all I could think about.
Eventually, though, I knew I had to go back to my natural color. Getting my roots done on the regular just wasn't financially wise, and, quite frankly, I was too low maintenance for the upkeep anyway.
After a week in the Costa Rican sun and saltwater, my purple dye had almost completely washed out, which I took as a sign that it was time to go back to brown. Once again, I was scared to part with the hairstyle I (and so many others) found "cool." I didn't want to go back to being plain old me, but I really couldn't afford to stay blonde or purple.
So I called my friend and hair stylist Jasmine (hey girl!), who helped bring my dried, faded hair back to life. When we were done, I could tell she sensed my uncertainty. As superficial as it is, I was sad that I'd no longer be "the girl with the purple hair." (I liked her.)
Now that I was back to my unnatural-natural self, I felt boring. "WHO AM I NOW?" I thought to myself. I felt like I was losing myself and the confidence I had gained. But I realized I was still me, just with different hair. (I am aware this is an obvious realization, but hair changes are like makeovers -- they change you!) I could still be cool and wear whatever I wanted and no one could stop me.
It took me going through some drastic looks-based changes to make me realize that none of it, no matter how fun it was, really mattered. Was it nice to be remembered and recognized by people I saw at events? Sure. But that's not what it's all about. Changing yourself should never be for others, it should be for you. Over the course of about a year and a half, I finally learned that lesson.
I also learned so much about myself, which prompted me to start talking to other people about their hair. Chances were, they'd have stories like mine to share.
And there began a beautiful journey. One that led me (and you!) here. I hope you follow along as we try to uncover some of life's knots, one story at a time.