From the beginning of my adolescence until now, I've always felt the need to alter my hair in some way.
I think it stemmed from the need to be accepted in junior high. All of the other guys I felt I needed approval from wore Abercrombie and Fitch, had blond or light brown hair, played lacrosse, and always were the first to be a part of a new trend. For whatever reason, I felt out of place or different. I was ethnic looking with dark features including my hair. This need to conform was so strong inside me. It was this never-ending cycle of pressure to be unnoticed. Like many other kids at that age, you want to just be like everyone else and have the least amount of attentive eyes on you. Thus begun the metamorphosis...
The beginning of my journey of learning started with a crew cut. I guess it was in style at the time because it seemed every guy was sporting it. I still had a chubbier face as all my baby fat wasn't quite all gone yet. Naturally, my face kind of looked to round for my hair cut. But, everybody else was doing so I continued on my journey. After the crew cut came the highlights. They were cool at the time, but in a way they were different than what everyone else had. While the other guys just put sun-in on their hair and made it turn different shades of gold, I had to go to salon and sit under those barbaric-looking heater things among middle-aged women at a salon with foils in my hair to get some caramel-colored locks. It felt as if I was forcing the issue and spending more time on my image than everyone else.
Later in my life, I started experimenting with other hairstyles like the shaggy side-swipe style that was popular for a while. Then I did the ultra-long-Rico-Suave look and that one was kind of mediocre. At a more rebellious point, I bleached my hair (eyebrows included) blond. I guess looking back it was something I felt I had to do to say I did it or experience it for what it was. I guess it wasn't the best idea because my hair was fried and thinning, and it earned me a lot of unwanted attention. It was a unique event in my life and I don't regret it. The bleaching ordeal was probably the most rash move on my hair journey I've made.
For a long period of time amidst all of this hair drama, I worked at Abercrombie and Fitch. They required all male employees to have no facial hair and that very clean cut look didn't flatter me very much. My eyebrows looked more caterpillar-like than ever.
If you've taken the time to listen to this rant, I guess what I've learned is that sometimes self-acceptance and less change is better than climbing mountains to be like or require other people's validation.
I look the best with my normal dark brown hair with a little bit of scuff on my face and my eyebrows as they are. It's so hard as a teenager to look at yourself and be satisfied with what you have. Sometimes, it takes some experimentation and mistakes to realize you were made the way you were for a reason. I'm never going to be a hairless, blond, pretty boy and I'm OK with that now.