Students show their true colors

Photo obtained through Creative Commons.

Photo obtained through Creative Commons.

Kaitlyn Hammond

Sophomore Amanda Lavery walks into school with blue hair after having pink hair the day before. It’s just a normal day at Communications High School.

For some students like Lavery of Marlboro, having an unconventional hair color is a key part of their identity. In the last four months, Lavery has changed her hair color twice and is currently deciding what color to dye it next.

“It’s fun and creative. It makes me stand out as a person,” Lavery said.

Like Lavery, sophomore Merina Spaltro of Allentown frequently modifies her hair color. She said the process of dying her hair is a hassle, but she still enjoys the individuality her colorful locks bring.

“It makes you feel like you’re different,” Spaltro said.

Since the summer before her freshman year, Spaltro has had eight different hair colors, with purple being her favorite. Her hair typically garners positive reactions, but Lavery has received mixed reviews that mainly vary by age.

“Old people are horrified. Little kids love it, and teens like it,” Lavery said.

Some students without dyed hair, like freshman Sawyer Barth of West Long Branch, are less eager to change the color.

“I probably wouldn’t do it again, unless it was for a part and I needed to dye it for a movie,” Barth said, adding that his perception of a person isn’t affected by dyed hair.

“If someone dyes their hair blue or something, I wouldn’t classify them a certain way just by that,” Barth said.

For many, the overall support of others and the sense of uniqueness are what drive them to dye their hair, but having an unusual hair color has its downsides. Both Spaltro and Lavery agree that having dye come out is the biggest disadvantage.

“Color comes out so it can get on things … my skin basically had a blue tint for a week,” Lavery said.

Those with dyed hair have to keep dying it because of fading. Lavery said that dying her hair so often has dried it out, and it isn’t as nice as her original hair.

Spaltro added that while frequently dying is a hassle, it has not had a negative effect on her hair.

“It doesn’t kill your hair at all, as long as you take care of it,” Spaltro said.

While the attention that comes with having colored hair can be positive for some, it is not always wanted.  Spaltro said that people stare at her a lot because of her unconventional hair color.

“I don’t know why I dye my hair.  It looks cool, but it’s hard to manage,” Spaltro said.

Despite the downsides of having dyed hair, both Spaltro and Lavery say that they will continue to alter their hair color.  For them, being different and standing out outweigh the negative aspects.

“It’s a hassle, but it’s worth it,” Spaltro said.