Photo of Avneet with reddish-purple hair.

What I Learned From Attempting to Dye My Hair Blue

Picture of Avneet
I also started wearing floral shirts more often, but that's a story for another day. Source: Shania Perera.

Sometimes, things don’t turn out the way you expect. That’s one thing you can count on. I re-learned this lesson the hard way: by impulsively deciding to dye my hair blue and subsequently failing to do so.

I had just finished a long day of work and was running errands at the Shoppers Drug Mart at Bloor and Bedford (fun fact: it’s the closest one to campus). While waiting on a prescription, I stumbled into the hair dye aisle and found navy blue hair dye. I had always wanted to dye my hair but was never allowed, but now here I was: financially independent(ish?) and running an errand at Shoppers with access to blue hair dye.

So I purchased the pack of blue hair dye and a bleaching kit, intent on dying my hair that night. Needless to say, dying my hair by myself for the first time didn’t turn out well. Bleaching my hair turned out just fine, which is ironic because there are more horror stories about bleaching hair. It was actually the dye job that I screwed up.

Because I started with my natural jet black hair, the navy blue hair dye did not turn out well. It just looked like black again. Furthermore, I messed up applying the hair dye, so there were still patches of copper blonde hair. Over the next few days, my blue hair faded. It no longer looked like black and the copper blonde hair started to tint purple as a result.

Photo of Avneet with reddish-purple hair.
Well... I tried.

I used to struggle with a bad case of perfectionism. If I didn’t do something absolutely right, or to the “best of my abilities”, it wasn't good enough. This is a habit I took with me to U of T. I wish I had dropped it sooner, because it would have made the transition much easier.

From my experience, university is a time of trial-and-error. It’s a time where people might be discovering themselves, taking risks, or figuring out what they are passionate about.

Things don’t always turn out the way you expect it do. I first came to U of T with an extremely romanticized notion of academia. Like Rory Gilmore, I was excited to learn and was extremely nerdy about it. Like in high school, I expected to excel in every English class. Long story short: I didn’t. In fact, I was struggling a bit in my English courses.

I realized that I was doing a lot better in some of my other classes. No, I wasn't acing an essay on the complete works of Jane Austen, but I did do well on a Media Studies paper analyzing The X-Files.

Additionally, I was actually invested in a essay for my Cinema Studies class on one of my favourite movies, Hannah and Her Sisters. I was actually supposed to analyze a different movie chosen by the professor, but I felt like Hannah and Her Sisters was relevant to the essay topic and wanted to write about that instead. Though I didn’t expect anything to come of it, I emailed my professor asking for special permission to do my paper on Hannah and Her Sisters. It turned out that he approved my request and was “looking forward” to reading my paper.

So maybe I wasn’t exactly Rory Gilmore, and maybe I won’t be excelling in the study of English literature any time soon, but I was doing something right. Sometimes you’ll want to colour your hair blue, only for it to end up as a shade of reddish-purple. But that’s okay. At the end of the day, I liked the way my hair turned out.

Things didn't turn out the way I expected, but that’s something that makes life interesting.

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