It’s Only Hair…Until It’s My Kid’s Hair!

The current trend is colorful hair. Hues of blue, green, purple, and so many others appear on heads all around us. Go to the grocery store or your local coffee shop and you will see various colors. From the young male cashier to the elderly lady at the movies, the colorful hair trend has reached quite a lot of different people. I see it and think, What great colors! Sometimes I think someone was brave; other times I think, Hey, I could pull that off! As many times as I’ve thought the latter, it didn’t occur to me that my kids might be thinking the same thing.

Both of my kids, one a teen and the other still in elementary, recently approached me and asked to color their hair. Apparently they had discussed it together and had decided that (1) I am the weak link; and (2) a united front would cause me to cave. They were correct on one count. Their father would NEVER agree if they’d approached him. I listened to their reasoning and asked a few questions. My son wanted to add blond highlights to his black curly hair. My daughter wanted to add a bright blue color to the ends of her dark, wavy locks.

I might be the weaker link, but I was not about to agree quickly. I myself have been coloring my hair for years. I know that it doesn’t always go as planned and that not all colorings are created equal. I started coloring my hair in my 20s, to add drama and change my look; now I color my hair for those same reasons and to cover my grays. Along with some great results at times, I have also regretted some of my color decisions. So I wanted to let my kids know about the options and the pros and cons before I made a decision.

We found pictures of the looks they decided they wanted. I took them to a salon to find out the cost and what the process would entail. Of course, they were shocked at how much coloring their hair would cost, how long the process would take, and how long it would last. My son insisted that his friends had done it “themselves.” That opened the door to go to Sally’s Beauty Supply. Those patient ladies at Sally’s were immensely helpful! We asked questions and peered at lots of bottles. Reading those labels and directions gave my kids another level of understanding and fear of the complexity of “Color 101.” Thanks to that field trip, we discovered several other options in addition to permanent hair dyeing: semi-permanent products, one-time color applications that wash out after a single shampoo, sprays and hair chalk. Whew! The three of us were saturated in color facts!

After all this research, we took a moment to think about the pros and cons of each option. My husband said, “Have you told them ‘no’ yet?” I laughed because I knew he would let me handle the decision whether or not he liked the idea of the kids coloring their hair. I wasn’t too thrilled about the idea myself, but I also know that “it’s only hair.” I also enjoyed watching my kids mull over all the information that we had learned. The kids knew that they would be paying for the majority of the cost of whichever option they ultimately chose. Both have their savings from birthday money and chore money. Also, there was the question of which option would be most appropriate given their individual hair types. My daughter has dark hair, and some of the options we learned about would probably not work for her. However, permanent color damages hair to some degree. My son’s curly hair might make it difficult for him to achieve the look he was going for.

My kids thought it over for a couple of days, and then we got together again to discuss their decisions. I told my daughter that I did not want her to use permanent hair color. She had already decided that this was not the option she wanted. Yes! She decided to try a wash-out hair color that would last only a few days. (Thanks to Sally’s for having that product.) My son decided against coloring his hair at all. Whew! He said that he might revisit the idea later, but for now, he didn’t want to bother with “all that.”

I reported the decisions to my husband, and we high-fived. I know that this is one of many trends that will entice my kids. I’m sure that some of their choices may make my stomach clench, but we will take those one at a time. Their choices won’t always end in my favor, and they may not even approach me beforehand about some. My husband and I may not agree on the degree of ridiculousness of what they think is “cool.” But we will be there together to advise, help, laugh, or cry. For today, I am glad it was only hair!