I was in Orange County visiting the Vietnamese community and this showed up in my inbox:
This made me feel a bit rebellious so I wanted to do something different. Kieu, my super cute-and-kind host, recommended a great place for a way overdue haircut and while I was there, I decided to dye my hair.
Dying my hair was one of the things I’d wanted to try for a long time but for various reasons never did. For one thing, I’ve heard that dying my hair could potentially damage it. For another, I’ve learned my entire life to be content with my original hair color so I was worried that dying my hair would only make it worse. However, the main reason was that it was expensive. Who pays $$$$ to style dead body cells when kids are starving in Vietnam?
But I decided to take a leap of faith and get my hair dyed. Overwhelmed by the number of options, I told Hung, the hairdresser, to surprise me. “I’m a nice girl desperate for social validation,” I told him, “so don’t choose any color you wouldn’t choose for your daughter.” My other condition was that the color had to be low-maintenance. I didn’t want to dye my hair every month as the new hair grew. On the hindsight, it might not have been the wisest course of action. However, the hairdresser seemed to be pleasantly surprised by my trust in him and I could tell that he dyed my hair with great care.
I was a bit disappointed when I saw my new hair color for the first time. It didn’t look that different from my original hair color — Kieu barely noticed the difference when she picked me up — but Hung told me that the color would show more after a few days. I felt like the scattering highlights would make me look just like any other Vietnamese girl in the US. Also, my butt was sore from almost 5 hours sitting.
A few days later, as I was driving along the Grand Canyon, I took a selfie and was pleased to see how the new hair color turned out. My trust in the hairdresser paid off. The sore butt was totally worth it.