I bet you thought this would be a hairytale

A heartfelt letter from the dye in the box

Man getting his hair dyed at a salon.
PHOTO: John Diez / Pexels

By: Mahla Rae, SFU student

You only remember me when you want a bright new hair colour to make you feel cool, or a touchup to your contrasting roots to hide your true look. I know what you think of me. The labels you all put on me — “temporary,” “one-use,” and “hair-dye.” I notice how you treat me, shoving me in the dark of your medicine cabinets until you decide I’m useful. You live your life until one day, you have an exam to study for, and suddenly you just need to change something, so you decide to take me out. You allow whatever sudden burst of boredom that comes along to dictate what happens to me. 

You think you can just use me when you want to, and throw me away when you’re done — that my sole purpose is your personal gain. I exist only to enhance your appearance. Well, I know two things you’ve never thought of: I won’t dye without a fight, and this red looks terrible with your cool undertones.

If you think you can just use me and wash me away with ease, then you’re living in black and white, and I vow to fill in the colour. You may choose to put me in your hair and watch me fade down the drain, but I will not be so “semi-permanent.” Anything your hair touches, I touch, and I will never let go. I will get my revenge if it is the only thing I do. 

You will never forget me. I will haunt you until you can afford new sheets. Become part of everything you own. Colour your towels, tint your bathtub, and dye your shirts. You want to use me so badly, so I will make myself useful. If you want your hair to look like me, then so will your fingernails, robe, and pillows. Let me fall on the floor or spill me in the sink, and I will become your new interior decor. I may be temporary in your hair, but I will be permanent in your life. Everywhere you look, you will think of me and remember your decision and how bad it looks on you. 

No matter how hard you try to use me, your true colours will always show through. You can wash me out of your hair, leaving yourself with unfortunate spotty, bleached, faded split-ends, but you cannot wash me out of your life. Your friends may lie and say you look good, “cool,” “unique,” or “alt,” but I will stay here forever to remind you that this colour never complemented you.

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