With college comes freedom, and with freedom comes experimentation. Many students at the University of Texas at Austin use their freedom to find new ways of self-expression, and for some this starts with a little hair dye and a little confidence.
Story by Alex Puente
Photos by Hailey Hess
For physics sophomore Ryan Brock, his experimentation with hair dye started right before leaving for college. “I knew some people who had dyed their hair before and thought it looked nice, so I wanted to try it myself,” Brock says. “I had it dyed pink, but I didn’t know that my parents would freak out, so I had it removed.”
Despite the initial obstacles, Brock continues to sport his colorful hair around campus. “A few months into college, I decided to dye it purple and I have dyed my hair various colors since,” Brock says.
Women and Gender Studies sophomore Cal Goulet found that hair dyeing was a good way to get out their impulses. Coming from a family that didn’t encourage certain forms of self-expression, they found that college was the place to do so. “I do it impulsively, but I see it as a good way to express myself,” Goulet says. “It’s something that makes me, me."
Communication Sciences and Disorders senior Jannah McMahen’s experience with hair dye was a recent one. McMahen dyed her hair because she loved the way other people looked with different colored hair, and decided to claim that look for herself. “It was my first time ever dyeing it, and it didn't come out perfectly, but I still think it's cute and I'm proud of it,” McMahen says.
To McMahen, her hair color is also a way to feel closer to her partner. “My girlfriend has pink hair, and mine is blue, so we make cotton candy.”
Advertising sophomore Shorna Haque is always up for trying new things with her hair. She recently decided to bleach and dye all of her hair, having wanted a pink/peach style for a long time. “One of the main reasons I dyed my hair was because I had never bleached my hair before and I had never had my entire head an unnatural hair color before,” Haque says. “Since I am a cosplayer and I adore collecting wigs, especially pink ones, I feel as if pink hair just suits me as a person as a whole.”