It was in my family when I was growing up, but it wasn’t directly addressed out loud like makeup was. Lipstick, eyeliner and blush were definite hard “NOs,” but it was kinda implied that hair dye was too.

Not that I really wanted to dye my hair when I was a kid. The curiosity kicked in later when I was in college, and that’s when I started experimenting with box dyes and at-home highlighting kits… Mind you, I wasn’t good at any of it, and I’m 100% sure my hair color looked terrible because I’d always leave the color in too long, or the hair color in the back would be applied hella patchy.

Girl, I was a mess!

I see kids in elementary school and middle school now with vibrant hair colors like blue, purple or pink and think, “Wow, your mom must be a cool mom!” — ’cause that wouldn’t have flown in our conservative house.

My brother was actually the one who was more curious about it than I was! He’s always been a rock ‘n’ roller, and when he was in sixth grade he managed to scrape together enough to buy some Jolene cream bleach. (Ya know, the one used for upper lip hair? I used it and rocked an orange mustache pretty hard back in the day, LOL!) He used it on his head for some terrible DIY orange streaks. Funny thing is, my parents didn’t notice for months. I’m talking at least half the school year. I was in college at the time, and when they finally figured it out, my brother left a cryptic four-word message on our shared landline voicemail (!) — “The jig is up.”

I immediately knew he was talking about the hair dye.

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,

Karen