How Alternative Hair Has Been My Self Care [CC]

How Alternative Hair Has Been My Self Care [CC]


I’m gonna be real with you all, without my
glasses, I can’t tell if I’m in focus on the LCD screen and I feel like my eyes get a little
cross. They probably do. [Buzz] [Light switch click] Hello, hello! It’s #LetsTalkTuesday so let’s
talk about how personal aesthetics can be self care! I am on my last lap of Project:
Rainbow Year, I’m not sure how long it’ll be before I get my hair cut short, but I have
been itching, ITCHING to this hair off my head for a months now. So this past year I started Project: Rainbow
Year, which is as simple as it sounds, I wanted to spend a year dying my hair alternative
colors, like the rainbow. Being sick and mostly home bound seemed like the best opportunity
to do so. I had been thinking about how many sick and
disabled folks I know who on a regular basis dye their hair alternative colors, and uh… last
week Vicky posted a video about how her dying her hair is a form of self care, so there
it was! Now, I’m not gonna speak for anyone but myself,
dying my hair was definitely self care for me. When my condition began to progress to
the point where I could no longer walk past a minute or so… that was.. and IS an adjustment.
It feels like I’m losing parts of myself, and I am, I am losing abilities and privileges
that I had grown accustomed to having. In these times, the clothes I wear and the
colors in my hair are just one of the little things I can do to make myself feel like myself,
to feel good! Creating a fun and colorful aesthetic for myself, or sometimes even not
so colorful, my closet is like half rainbow, half darkness! But it’s authentic to who
I am, it’s authentic to how I want to express myself, and when I look in the mirror I want
to FEEL good, and comfortable, and powerful. Colored hair is something I’ve wanted to
do since I was a teenager, at least, and being sick was the thing that made me finally make me go,
well, why not? I do it myself, it’s just 5$ a bottle and they last me a really long
time, and… I like it! It’s fun! My natural black hair might feel pretty dull once this
project is done, but, we’ll see. The good thing is I got to explore this year and I
got to play! I coped with pain and isolation by treating myself like the canvas that I
am and treating myself to a pleasure that I had been putting off for far too long! Let me know if you can maybe relate to personal
aesthetics being self care, or maybe if there’s something you’ve always wanted to do but
you’ve always found one reason or another to hesitate and not do it. We’ll talk about
it in the comments! And I’ll see you all eventually, bye! [OUTRO MUSIC]

31 thoughts on “How Alternative Hair Has Been My Self Care [CC]

  1. I have bipolar disorder and I have found that coloring my hair is a huge part of what makes me feel like "me". I'm so glad someone addressed this.

  2. I still have old jars of manic panic that have been calling my name. I used to dye my hair various colors in the 90's. At times rather haphazardly which was just lovely freedom. I stopped doing it because I started working but I bought the jars of manic panic to remind me to do it at some point. I just need to work up the nerve to bleach my hair. I noticed that my hair IS thinning a bit on top (yay hormones lol) so I am a bit concerned how that impact the situation on top and do I want to grow my hair, chop it all off etc. But it's on the list.

    I totally agree and can relate to fashion and beauty being a form of self care. I've been working on getting clothes that are comfortable for my disability and easy to put on BUT also funky and that's been lovely. To know even on my bad days, I still look in the artsy way that I would look if I had more spoons

  3. I've always wanted to cut my hair really short. Now, my hair's like, really long, ends at the half of my back, and I'm just getting bored with it, I guess? I cut my hair when I had a flare so it was shoulder length to make it easier to take care of but, now, I just want to do something fun. And, honestly, I have no idea why I'm scared. Because I am. I feel like the first few days after the cut are going to be great but, then, I'll be sad because I cut it. I don't know how to explain it, maybe it's the fact that I've always had longer hair and I'm used to it. But, now, I'm bored with it. I want to change something. I want to do something fun. And I have no idea how to let all those worries go and do it.

  4. I can TOTALLY relate to this! I'm also physically disabled and my activities can be limited at times. I make sure to do lots of self care by coloring my hair, seeing my favorite bands and petting dogs. Whatever I love I do it as much as possible! You're so pretty and cool. 🙂

  5. I usually dye my hair when I hit a low, I like my hair coloured at other times but don't have an interest in taking the effort to keep it coloured. One of the first things I found when I dyed my hair was that I got far less anxious in public: suddenly I felt that people looking at me could see that it was my personal choice in style rather than 'lack of fashion sense' or whatever I perceived them to be thinking before.

  6. This is similar to my feelings of when I got my tattoo. A lot of the time when I look at my body and the scars I have, I feel a lack of control over it. Since I never really had a choice in what was done to my body or even how my body began to look with the clawing of my feet. But when I decided on my tattoo, I felt extremely happy. I made the choice to get my body altered in a way I liked, I felt happier. I look at my tattoo now and I still feel that happiness and I can't wait for my next one. So I view that as my self care in looking at my body as my own.

    Btw, my closet is almost exactly the same. haha

  7. Project Rainbow is such a cool project! Now I kinda want to dye my hair again. I did get my first ever wig in the mail recently (it's blue, purple, and pink) and it's honestly made me feel really good about myself. I love its transformative effect, and how playful and fun it is. So I definitely get how changing your hair can be an act of self-care.

  8. Tattooing helped me feel so much more at home in my body. I have BDD as well chronic joint pain and just being able to feel more at home in my body by making it what I want it to be helped me relate so much better to my body. It also gives me positive things to focus on about myself.

  9. I, without a doubt, can relate to this. I didn't color my hair, but I did cut it and still do pretty regularly. I started because I didn't have the dexterity to do my own hair, but along the way. I realized that it was one of the only things that made me feel comfortable, especially because I have depression and being in a chair can occasionally add to that so every time I feel not so great, I cut it off again.

  10. Totally get it. I wanted to wear boy-style clothes ever since a kid, did it more or less, and felt really comfortable. Now I do it more often and I just feel like myself (i do like girls' clothing too). As for the hair, it used to be very long, but after a while it got too much, so I had it cut when I was a teenager. It feels liberating, even now. My mom hates it, a few other folks hate it, but I wouldn't have it any other way.

  11. Wow I never thought of it that way! I've always pierced and re-pierced most parts of my body, something about controlling where I place the metal pieces on my body, definitely makes me feel I have control (unlike in life and my mental health). And when I repeatedly buzzcut and hack my hair short, I always feel happy and confident (much to the dismay of my conservative family).

  12. I've tried dying my hair recently, it's always something I've wanted to do since I was in middle school and I figured, since I'm usually stuck in the house, I might as well. My problem is I'm always sooooo exhausted after dying it, and if I need to dye it again (if it didn't come out like I wanted or whatever) I physically can't do it until after I rest a while. Do you run into this problem? How do you deal with that? I would love to participate in a Rainbow Year, myself, I just worry I'll tire of dying it and it'll put me off from ever doing it again. Also, I have trichotillomania and I feel super self conscious about my hair, so that's another obstacle I face. :/

  13. Your hair looks gorgeous!
    I have a small laugh at how you say "wanting to cut it short" – my hair is now past my butt so your length would definitely be short in my books! (though I also used to have a pixie and your hair length I considered long back then, so I understand it's all relative ^_^)

    I totally agree though – growing my long, dying it red and whatever I do next do it definitely counts as self care for me too ^_^

  14. I can totally relate! I feel like whenever I'm feeling particularly down or having a hard time with my mental illness, my instinct is to do something fun and expressive with my hair. I'm currently rocking a purple buzzcut as evidence 😉 also makeup is a huge coping mechanism for me, even if I'm not going out which lets be honest is most of the time lol.

  15. EEE! I clicked on this video so fast 😍 feeling all the warm, fuzzy feelings that you referred back to my vid <3 I specifically love that you actually called it Project Rainbow Year & used the metaphor of being a canvas, so much yes, so much 👐 & the comment about your wardrobe being part rainbow part darkness 😂 respect 💪 -Vicky x

  16. My hair and aesthetic are extremely tied to my disabled and queer identities. Unfortunately when I need to use a mobility aid (which is extremely infrequent now, thankfully) I get really self conscious that people will think it's a prop, just part of my look that's not taken seriously.

  17. I absolutely list coloring my hair under a form of self care… In my current job, I can sometimes be creative but my heart wants to be creative everyday. But when you come home from work to tired to even adult like, make proper dinner or start laundry or put laundry/dishes away….creativity gets pushed to the backest back burner. At least it does with me. You know, so that I eat. Up until VidCon, there was no dress code that said anything about alternative hair but one went into effect a few weeks after and so my Purple & Pink for VidCon was my last hurrah… Because I work at a pool, it only made since to dye my hair alt-colors before a vacation or con in an economical sense. …but now that I know I can't, I was shocked to realized just how suffocated I feel. This was the first job that I had ever been allowed to alt-color my hair and now that I've had that permission redacted… I'm just really surprised how much I feel less allowed to self express. /ramble

  18. that's so cool. i use to dye my hair a lot and now i miss it. lately i've been talking about doing it again, so it's cool seeing that its a form of self-care for you. definitely makes me more eager to try. also can relate so much to fashion and beauty being a form of self-care. its really been therapeutic for me.

  19. I use makeup as self care. It's a great way for me to express myself & make myself feel good emotionally, when I'm not feeling good physically. Xx

  20. This is how it felt to cut my hair! Cause it felt like I had something I could control. I can't control my blood levels but I can control my decision to get the pixie cut. I really want to dye my hair, but unfortunately my job prohibits that

  21. I've been thinking of dying my hair a fun color now as well, because while tattoos are something that really accomplishes the personal-aesthetic-self-care thing for me, they're so expensive, and I haven't been able to work in a little over two years now. I only recently took a really big step (for me, anyway) and finally got a haircut I really love – I had been putting it off because I was afraid of being judged because it's "alternative"-ish, too. It was honestly a scary step for me to take, and I was really surprised by how empowering it was just to sit in the chair and say "I want you to do this to my hair," because before I'd always go with my mom and get coaxed into getting whatever she thought suited me. I walked out of there not only much happier with how I looked, but feeling like a stronger person, almost like I knew myself better. I definitely haven't been giving self-care the priority I should, so thank you for making this video and putting this spin on it! Since I got sick I mostly just wear sweats and stuff, but getting extra cute from time to time is good for the soul!

  22. I was given a link to one of your videos and I am so glad for it. I've watched multiple videos of yours and am now subscribed! Regarding this particular video, I can definitely relate to this cause I too dye my hair many shades of different colors and I do it cause I tend to get bored easily and I like to change it up but also cause it definitely is a self care move. I also have a couple tattos and piercings. I wanted the focus to be not just my chair.

  23. Altering my aesthetic was one of the really instinctive self care tools I developed when I first started experiencing chronic pain. My parents were really cool about it (I was 12-13 at the start) so within about 6 months of pain starting I'd died my hair a pretty vibrant purple. Over the years my hair was brown, various tones of red, purple, pink, blue, green and black.
    I also had my hair cut really short, I cycled from super short to shoulder length about every two years, then getting it chopped again.
    I guess I just felt that I needed something (anything) about my body that I could easily identify as a positive and good thing, changing my hair was a really great way of achieving that. I do it with clothes and accessories mostly now, my wardrobe is pretty eclectic and I have a massive collection of hair accessories.
    To some people it will seem shallow but really,when it is SOOO easy to start seeing your body as an entirely bad thing or as the enemy you need to take the positives where you can get them!

  24. I am often to lazy to do upkeep when I colour my hair, so haven't done it in years, which possibly shows my level of ability to care for myself.

  25. Definitely can relate despite being in a different life situation, I find experimenting with hair and clothing can be a form of self care, as well as a form of self expression as well as exploration of identity.

  26. I went through something so similar. Walking became difficult and I was saying your exact words just this morning: I don't feel like myself. I dyed my hair on impulse, one of those, I waited so long and I am old and now I feel old. It was me grasping for feeling free.

  27. I relate to this so much. You look great with glasses and your hair is always amazing. I think that will become my self-care, too! Thanks for the links! I also go to GoodWill a lot since I love a good bargain, I draw. God, the list goes on. I'm learning film since I love it. Gotta love what you do, right?

  28. I know this is an old video, but I just wanted to add my thoughts. I have mild autism, depression, OCD, and ADHD (innatentive type), and there are many days where I don't feel motivated to do much of anything. I found when I put on cute clothes it helps as an external motivator to get me out and feel a little confident in myself. I struggle with low self esteem and styling my hair and/or wearing cute things is a way I combat negative and intrusive thoughts.

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