Originally published on Medium in Spring 2019. Republished in honor of having another summer with bright hair.

Flipping through the hair color samples, luscious lavender, sunburst, electric blue, my hands gravitated Mystic Magenta. That was the color we, my friend and I, decided would kickoff my summer look. Nevermind that the grey cool first days of May don’t feel very summery at all. It’s never to early to get started on your summer hair, mine would be very magenta.

I can’t say how many years it’s been since I’ve had my hair colored a truly bright color. In college and my early twenties, I loved having bright colors in my hair. This isn’t my first rodeo with a bright magenta.

For many of the past several years, bright colors haven’t been part of my hair life. It wasn’t so much that I didn’t want them. But for some reason, it seemed I had moved on. I had highlights, ombre, low-key reds, and more put in my hair. Nothing bright and bold until now. My friend, who styles my hair, had been sending me pictures of pink, purple, and copper hairstyles for the past few weeks. I took the hint. It was time to put some color into my hair.

When you start working, there is a feeling that you must be ‘professional’. Ultra-bright hair colors didn’t go with ‘professional woman’. Growing up it seemed like there were so many rules for what ‘not to do’ or ‘wear’ once you were in a professional job, once you were an ‘adult’. When you were ‘older’ it seemed like your hair had to become subdued, neutral. In a word, your hair had to be boring.

These so-called rules have very little to do with style. If they did light blue button-downs and ill-fitting khakis would be banned from all offices along with polo shirts. It’s more about maintaining the status quo. Something I’ve never been that good at doing.

Lucky for me I work remotely and in more creative fields. Even if I didn’t I would hope that I could dye my hair any color I choose. Despite this seeming confidence, I wondered how I would feel having such bright hair when not being a college student. See, those outdated social mores were still affecting me, just a tiny bit. It’s time for them to go out the window. Bright colors are making a comeback these days. And I want to be apart of it. They aren’t just for high school or college kids. Anyone, any age can brighten up their world with ultra-bright hair dye. I for one plan on forgetting those rules and flaunting my magenta hair.