8 Things You Should Never Say to a Person With Bleached Hair

My colorful do is a conversation don’t.

jenny-jin-bleached-hair
Photo by Jenny Jin

Bold hair colors are nothing new, but for someone whose look (see first photo) has remained unchanged for the better half of a decade, this was uncharted territory for me—until last fall. The minute I saw women with silvery stands cropping up everywhere, I wanted to take the plunge. I was ready for the change, and the aftercare that would soon become necessary; I was not at all ready for the unsolicited comments that followed my dye job. Here, some gems that you should reconsider saying the next time you’re around someone with “non-traditional” hair color. And for the love of all that is holy, please refrain from reaching out and petting them. (It’s fragile, thanks.)



1. “Are you ok? Why did you do this to your hair?” Well, I was feeling a bit bored with my look and wanted to try something different. Don’t read into it any further. I’m not going through a traumatic break up or an identity crisis—I assure you. I simply needed a refresh.

2. “What does your boyfriend think of it?” He thinks that I’m capable of making my own decisions as it pertains to personal grooming. (Cooking, on the other hand, is a completely different story.)

3. “You’re so brave! I could never do something like that.” There are far more courageous things than dying your hair.

4. “That’s so interesting!” Thanks! You know what isn’t? The bewildered look on your face. You know that old adage about how if you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all? This is definitely applicable here. And if you just have to say something to fill the silence (you know who you are), a simple “cool hair!” will suffice.

5. “You look so different.“ That was sort of the point.

6. “Did it damage your hair?” My scalp burned during the process and all of the pigment was drained from it, so I wouldn’t exactly call it a nourishing treatment. Be warned: Bleaching will definitely dry out your hair, but it could also change your texture completely. That said, you are likely going to need a whole new regimen for washing and styling. (Stay tuned for a future post with tips on how to bring your hair back to life after bleaching.)

7. “Is it real?”...Is your question?!

8. “Do people come up to you all the time?” Yes, just like this. Can we talk about something else now?