Love & Sex

Tools of Attraction: Dyed Hair

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Three New Yorkers on their unique plumage.

Catherine, 20 

How long have you been dyeing your hair?
Since the eight grade — bright colors since last year. 

Oh, really? Well what was the starting color palette? 
I started bleaching it — doing real bright blonde colors just for fun when I was bored. 

What was the catalyst to change to pink?
It was actually purple first. I put too much bleach in one time and I was like, "This is kind of purple. I'm just going to go for it." I ended up dyeing my whole head and loving it. 

How long has it been pink? 
Probably six months. On and off. 

Do people hit on you using your hair color as a pick-up line?
Definitely. Walking around, I stop if people say in a full sentence, "I like your hair," but if people just yell "pink," like, "Hey pink!" I don't stop. It makes me crazy.

They just yell out the colors? 
Yeah, they yell "Hey pink," or, "What up, pinkie?"

Would you ever date anyone who requested you let your natural color grow back in?
No. I respect other people's  opinions, but if that was like a determining factor, that would be a definite no. That would be like if I had blond hair and someone said they'd need me have brown hair in order to date me. I'd say "Fuck you". 

Would you date a guy with dyed hair? 
Definitely. If it looked good on them. 

Dyeing your hair requires a lot of diligence… are you equally diligent in your relationships?
I guess you could say that. I don't really compare them, but I suppose. 

Do people ever ask you if the carpet matches the drapes? 
Actually, no. 

So… they… don't match?
That would be nice. I was thinking about purple recently, but it never happened.

Purple pubes?
Yeah. In the end it seemed like a waste of good hair dye.

So no plans for a special night — perhaps your partner's favorite color?
Maybe — that could happen. I'd have to see upon request.  

Indigo Blue, "Over 21"

How long have you been dyeing your hair?
I think I first dyed my hair probably twenty years ago. I just really wanted to do something different. I also dyed my little sister's hair at the time. 

How old was your little sister?
At the time, she was fourteen. 

Did you give her the same color as a sort of bonding experience? 
No — I think hers was hot pink, and I've never done anything in the red tones.

How long have you had blue for?
I've had my hair blue probably for the last six years. Five or six years.

Did you have the burlesque name first?
Yes — the burlesque name first, hair color second. 

Are you going to go to a more natural shade after that? 
Well, my hair in wig colors is a number two, so I've always thought it would be really fun to dye all of my hair a number two and see what that would actually look like — just one consistent color. 

Do people try to use your hair color as a pickup line?
That's never happened to me. I think people are so generally intimidated by me that they don't try to pick me up anyway. 

Because of the hair color or other attributed qualities?
I can't say exactly what intimidates them. It might be my piercing gaze. 

If someone did try to use your hair color as a pickup line, would you be turned off? 
I think it would really depend on the actual content of the statement. So, for example, if someone was like, "Wow, your hair color is really green and janky. When was the last time you re-did it?" that probably wouldn't work too well with me.

Is that even a pickup line? Is that one of those "negging" techniques?
Yeah, right? I think if someone was like, "Woah, your indigo blue hair color really makes my loins throb," I might be interested in something that compelling. 

So they also need to know the precise hair color? 

Would you date someone else with dyed hair? 
Yes. I don't see hair color as an inhibitor to attraction. So if someone had their hair dyed, it certainly wouldn't be detrimental to my interest. Although I do have a little bit of a fondness for salt-and-pepper hair and red heads, it's true. 

Silver foxes?
Silver fox… *emphatically* Silver fox. 

Thoughts on Anderson Cooper?
Not my type — but when Matt Damon gets a little older, he'll be right up my alley. And if you could just get Queen Latifah to dye her head amber, I would just be all over her. 

What about Dame Judy Dench?
She's fabulous — fabulous! But again, not exactly my type. 

What are your thoughts on pubic hair? Vin Diesel or Bob Ross? Or somewhere in between? 
I personally like an artistic prune job that captures a person's individuality. 

Shaina, 27

How long have you been dyeing your hair?
Off and on since college — so maybe like ten years? Something like that?

Do you normally do a solid color, or a blend?
I have a friend who's a hairstylist, so he just kind of does whatever he wants to me.

So you're like his little hairstyle gerbil? 
His guinea pig, for sure. 

That's the animal I was going for. 
Yeah, gerbil, guinea pig… some kind of rodent. 

So the first time you dyed your hair was in college. What color was it?
Well, I'm a natural blonde. I was sick of being blond — a color that "people pay for," as my mom says — so I went from there to like a crayon red. I was bored. I'm from Texas, so everybody's blond. And I don't tan, so I couldn't be a tan blonde.

So instead of big hair you went for loud hair. 
Yeah, loud-colored hair. Exactly. My hair's fine so I couldn't really tease it.

Has anyone tried to use your hair-color as a pickup line? 
Besides right now?

Yes, besides me right now. 
Um… no. Not really, surprisingly. But my boyfriend looks kind of scary, so… 

Why do you say that?
He just does. He's tattooed from head to toe and all that. Guys won't usually approach me when I'm with him. 

Do you think your penchant for dyed hair attracted him to you? Do you have a similar distaste for traditional standards of beauty? 
We're bucking the trends [laughs]. No, no. 

Is it hard to match with your hair? Are there some outfits you can't wear anymore? 
No. I like to be as obnoxious as possible. It's totally fine with me. 

No wonder we're getting along so well. Do you get different reactions from people based on the color you're rocking?
Yeah, I get my stares. I can see people looking at me. I don't know; I feel more confident when I have something a little less traditional, I guess.

Is there a look you hate on men that's popular right now? 
Super short shorts on a guy are kind of weird and offensive to me. 

You don't want to see that ball-bulge? 
Not really — it's all that leg hair. Especially when you're sitting on the train and their legs are at eye-level. It kind of grosses me out. It just happened yesterday. It's fresh in the mind and a little painful.

It's a scar. 
Open wound — it's an open wound right now.