In a sea of brunettes and blondes, junior Celeste Dixon’s eccentric hairdo is what immediately draws the eye. Dixon sports a half black, half bleached white, pixie cut that she pairs with sparkly pink sunglasses.
This new style is a major change from Dixon’s previous rainbow buzzcut, but hair transformations are no big deal for Dixon and other students who have dramatically switched up their hair.
“I like changing things up, and cutting and dying my hair makes me happy,” Dixon said.
Usually, a new style is a momentous occasion that takes up weeks of planning and relentless back and forth on whether this is a good decision. During this period of contemplation, parental consent or supervision is present, providing advice or even putting a stop to the whole operation.
Yet, for sophomore Jailyn Yankeloff, parents were no challenge on her quest to get bangs. Despite her parents’ disapproval, Yankeloff went ahead with the plan, going so far as to cut her own hair.
“I kept telling them I was going to do it and eventually I did, and they actually liked it. My parents were surprised, but most of my friends really liked them,” Yankeloff said.
Yankeloff cut her bangs during the summer, using various videos for reference and inspiration. While she had thought about getting bangs for months, cutting her own hair was on impulse.
“I had been wanting them and just finally decided to commit. It was really impulsive. I did not really learn to cut it, I honestly just watched some YouTube videos,” Yankeloff said.
For inspiration, students use a wide variety of social media platforms. Dixon primarily uses Pinterest and Instagram, but occasionally takes interest in the different looks around her in real life. While she does not look for anything specific, Dixon resonates with colors and haircuts that radiate positivity.
“I am not really expressing anything specific with my hair, but I hope it shows people that I try to be happy and colorful most of the time,” Dixon said.
She learned from her older sister how to bleach and cut her hair and tries to have a plan for what she wants. Dixon is also mindful of price, and the amount of time it takes to complete the change, as well as the work it will take to maintain her hair after the change.
Maintenance is often overlooked when making a big hair change and it can be a hassle for some students, like junior Logan Irving.
Irving, who had shoulder length, curly hair for his freshman and sophomore years, cut it the summer before junior year to donate toward cancer organizations.
Getting 13 inches of hair removed served to be a massive relief for Irving, as the upkeep and maintenance was exhausting. He had to continuously trim and condition the ends of his hair, and it would take hours for his hair to dry after a shower.
“I had to keep it healthy, trim the dead ends and use conditioners on it. Showering took me 45 minutes and I would air dry my hair afterward for like six hours to get it fully dry,” Irving said.
Big changes to hair can be nerve-wracking, seeing as it is a semi-permanent process. Some hair dye doesn’t easily wash out, and hair won’t grow back overnight. Other fears lie in what people say or how they will react. Despite these worries, students remain unfazed.
Irving knew his two hairstyles would garner a lot of attention from friends and family. Some would prefer his hair longer, while others preferred it shorter. However, Irving does not get too caught up in other people’s opinions, and looks forward to dying it purple in the coming months.
Similarly, Dixon isn’t afraid of what others think, even though her hairstyles can be quite different than her peers.
“I think it is obvious that I look different than some other people in my classes, but I do not think it makes me stand out a lot. Everyone at Hagerty is pretty unique and accepting of each other and I think that makes me comfortable to do whatever I want with how I look,” said Dixon.
This story was originally published on Hagerty Journalism Today on September 5, 2019.