Colored Hair: The Dilemma

Should I?


Maybe not this ^ hairstyle per say, it is a bit too bold for me, but damn if I’m not super jealous when I see someone with colorful hair.


For years I have debated whether or not I should dye my hair. As far back as 5th grade, I can recall drawing myself with a light green streak in my hair. In later years I drew myself with a full head of blue curly hair.

That was my early years: dreaming of colors and boldness and being unique, searching for my identity so that I could fit in. My second year of college, I chopped off a ton of my hair, straightened it into an asymmetrical bob that would make anime fans proud, and added a clip on blue hair extension that did not match the texture of my hair at all. I don’t know why I thought that was a good idea, but we all do dumb things when we are young.

I never got around to dying my hair for some reason. SO many friends were doing it. I wanted to jump on the bandwagon, but never did. Ah, peer pressure, you couldn’t keep up with my need for professionalism… and laziness.

I figure other reasons I never dyed my hair when I was young was because at the time of my high school years, the administration forbade unnatural hair colors, so that nixed high school. In college I was too busy with homework, working multiple jobs, and surviving various relationships; I barely had time to take care of myself let alone cared what I looked like.

At some point I was living on my own. I moved past the flurry and chaos of my first years of college, and decided to take time to focus on myself. Independence fostered, I began working at a job that paid the bills enough, and my managers at that job did not care if their employees had crazy colored hair. The desire to be bold came back.

That’s when the “mermaid” trend was introduced.

Welp, those are some of my favorite colors. So I looked into getting my hair done up like a damn turquoise fish lady.

I’m terrified of big commitments like that (which explains a lot of my life, but let’s not open that can of worms!!) I was mostly fearful of going to bright and it making my face redder than it already is. Some days are better than others, where the flush of my face isn’t so discernible.

To compromise with my fear, I thought, why not so bright, but go for a more muted or darker dye?


10-year-old Chelsea would be happy, adult Chelsea would be happy, colors all around!

And then I found out that no matter what, I would have to bleach my hair.

That prompted a very quick and very loud “NO!” while I smacked the chemicals out of the hair stylist’s hands. (That last part didn’t actually happen.)

So no awesome turquoise magic mermaid locks for Chell-bell.

I don’t like having long hair anyway. Too sweaty.

Years have passed since that time. I have “matured,” I guess… Well at least so far in hair care. I’m much more lax about styling my hair. I have embraced my wavy hair and prefer to not have to do a lot of maintenance. I hardly ever blow dry, never straighten, and maybe once in a while I’ll throw in some curl-boosting mousse. I don’t own a hair straightener, and have to borrow a hair dryer from my sisters if I care to blow-dry my hair; and I don’t care to blow-dry my hair.

I’m very lazy.

All this, and I still haven’t taken the plunge to dye my hair.

Despite this reality, I have made a pact to myself that when I’m old and gone silver-haired, I will become RAINBOW-HAIRED GRANNY and will be known throughout all the lands as the “eccentric” lady who uses a T-Rex grabber claw to menace and reach for soup, and frolic about the neighborhood with colorful locks on her head singing vintage Disney songs. I want to change my hair color whenever I want and I figured by that time, I’ll have a great base to do so. I’d just let my hair grow out a bit, close my eyes and pick a color at random, and tada! RAINBOW-HAIRED GRANNY. And when I want a new doo, I just shave it off to make room for a new hue.

This is a fact. It’s happening. You’ll see. In 40 to 50 years. Be on the lookout for Rainbow-Haired Granny, coming soon to your ‘hood.

In the meantime, the urge to dye my hair a crazy color still persists, with all the doubts ringing in my head as strong as ever.

Why not neutral or more natural colors though, Chelsea? Why go for color at all if you are so fearful?

Because, dear random person I made up in my head to talk to: if I’m going to dye my hair, causing unavoidable damage in the process–those chemicals fry your hair–as well as investing a lot of time and upkeep that requires special shampoos and touch-up treatments for fading and roots, then I might as well do something bold and daring to make me feel like the physical and fiscal torture was all worth it.

So I’ve found a middle-ground.



I’ve always wanted to go darker, maybe not black, but at least darker browns. Because I have a pink-toned face with some yellows, I know that if I go lighter, my face will look redder, which I do not like. I once stopped going to a particular hair stylist because they suggested I go blonde.

Never again. >:l

Darker sounds better because I believe that it will draw out a natural contrast with my light blue eyes. (Yes, I have really light blue eyes, go look at my About Me page for proof. That’s an untouched photo.) I’m not one to wear makeup as I have combination skin that feels like it’s drowning under a single layer of face mousse foundation, hence the desire to draw away from the days that I have a pinker face.

With oil slick hair, there is less emphasis on big areas of bright colors, so dying the hair requires less bleach. Less bleach means less damaged hair. The Tricoci University of Beauty Culture gave these pointers about oil slick hair dying, and it was definitely promising. (Be warned, their site has an automatic live chat function, I was not expecting that to pop up, but hey, it was first on the Google list and I can’t argue with credentials of beauty schools because I know nothing about them, whatevs.)

I like the idea that the base of an oil slick hair dye is the requirement for a cool brown or cool black. This will combat my warm-colored face! Also, cool colors recede while warm colors advance, that’s why reds, yellows, and oranges all pop out first in a picture, and why red cars get pulled over more often. Because we can see them. Fun fact: red is the first color we perceive after we are born, assuming the baby is not born with a diagnosis of protanomaly colorblindness.

If all else fails, I can just go for sectional hair color. The 10-year-old me from 5th grade, drawing herself with a stripe of green hair is a little more possible.

I really am going to do something, soon. Hopefully for my birthday. How often do we get to fulfill a childhood fantasy??


Collecting Children’s Books

I have a couple different collections. Metal souvenir lapel pins from places I’ve visited, various vases and planter pots, artwork. But the one thing that I’ve always questioned was my collection of children’s illustrated books.

The reason I’m questioning myself over this collection is that I do not know if I want kids.

I have always been on the fence, leaning one way one day, and the other way the next. I have always been told I would be a great mom, and I enjoy children, especially teaching them art. People frequently ask me if I have any kids and I always respond sheepishly that I only have a fur-baby (Winnie the corgi).

My indecision seems to stem, at least I hypothesize, from whatever partner I have at the time. I remember thinking that I would definitely want kids with a significant other, but then I would move on to another and think noooo waaaaay.

Now I imagine myself adopting some day, if I have my way. But I am a long ways away from it. Even still, my mind could change! I’m with a wonderful partner now and I have dreams of us being great parents, I continue to myself, “Nah, I don’t want kids. Yes, I do. No. Yes. No. What is wrong with me!?”

Nothing. Nothing is wrong with me.

I’m 25, going on 26 in 2016, and I don’t have to decide right now if I want children. Sure, my mother was my age when I was born, and my father even younger. But I am not my parents, this is a new generation with people having children at older ages after they have established jobs and homes.

If I ever have kids, I’m sure I’ll be happy. Just like if I never have kids, I won’t regret the decision and will be equally happy. For now, I simply wonder why I have children’s books.

And the real reason is…:

Because they are beautiful.


Saint George & the Dragon, by Margaret Hodges and illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman


My favorite illustrator is Trina Schart Hyman and I’m trying to collect most of the books she has done. Saint George and the Dragon was, by far, my favorite book while in grade school. Every week I would check a new book out and I would check this one out with it.


Zak’s Lunch, by Margie Palatini and illustrated by Howard Fine51TGBCK817L

Super funny and extravagant. And you will be starving to eat lunch after you read!


The Very Quiet Cricket, by Eric Carle


Most people know him for The Very Hungry Caterpillar, but this tale is my favorite of his children’s stories. I especially love the ending, and the illustration of a Lunar Moth.


One Odd Old Owl, by Paul S. Adshead



Ask my parents and they will tell you, One Odd Old Owl was my absolute favorite book as a child. It was the first book I read out loud to my family, and it has a great puzzle with hidden messages in each page.


People, by Peter Spier


I laugh at the first page now because it talks about how there are 6 billion people in the world. Needless to say, this book is a little out of date, but the illustrations and the message it tells will never get old.


Pegasus, retold by Marianna Mayer and illustrated  by Kinuko Y. Craft


My favorite version of one of my favorite Greek/Roman mythological epics. The illustrations look like classic oil paintings, so soft, yet vibrant.


The Ship That Sailed to Mars, by William Timlin

 I personally have not read this one, but I desperately want to own it. Just from my research I can tell the magnificence of this book.
Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People’s Ears, by Verna Aardema and illustrated by Leo and Diane Dillon
Iconic and bright, a must for every shelf.
The Arrival, by Shaun Tan


I own another story by Shaun Tan and it is wonderfully illustrated, this one is much more detailed than the one I own, but just as wonderfilled.


Where the Wild Things Are, by Maurice Sendak
Everyone has to read Where the Wild Things Are. Has too. And if you haven’t seen the movie yet, it’s breathtaking.
Orion and the Dark, by Emma Yarlett
Great story to teach your child to not fear the dark. I kinda want to make a cute little plushie doll of the Dark character!
The Story of Paul Bunyan, retold by Barbara Emberley and illustrated by Ed Emberley


If you haven’t heard of Ed Emberley yet, go look up his name with “animals” and be amazed by the ingenuity that is Mr. Emberley. Not only has he created an art form that uses simple shapes that any child and adult can do, he also taught us to use more than just a pen and paper but our thumbprints, and now he show cases his masterful skill of woodcut printing.
The Little Prince, by Antoine de Saint-Exupery


Soon to be on the big screen. I have high hopes for the movie, the book is so beautiful and simple, I truly hope it can capture the minimalist nature.
Little Red Riding Hood, retold and illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman
 Here’s my favorite illustrator featured again. I have this book in my collection already so I can safely vouch for it’s collectability.
East of the Sun and West of the Moon: Old Tales from the North, illustrated by Kay Nielson


 The illustrations are simply gorgeous and speak a thousand words.


Weslandia, by Paul Fleischman and illustrated by Kevin Hawkes
Doing research for this list, I stumbled across this book and memories from my grade school years came flooding back. I remember reading this from the classroom library and making up our own summer garden.
The Dragon’s Cold, by John Talbot
 I was such a huge fan of dragons growing up, and this tale is so sweet, the town gets together to help a dragon with a cold!
Lenny & Lucy, by Philip C. Stead and illustrated by Erin E. Stead


Seems almost haunting, doesn’t it?

The Mitten, by Jan Brett


A great winter time story for the family.

The Lion & the Mouse, by Jerry Pinkney91eL4QpTjUL.jpg

THAT COVER!! No wonder it won so many awards, the cover is a work of art by itself!

3 Books by Aaron Becker: Journey, Quest, & Return

Fantastic adventures are just around the corner!

Chalk, by Bill Thomson


Maybe this book will inspire an afternoon of sidewalk chalk drawings!

Sidewalk Flowers, by JonArno Lawson and illustrated by Sydney Smith


A little girl makes a beautiful bouquet from flowers growing out of the cracks in the sidewalk. Shows how resilient plants can be, not even concrete will stop them!

Buster Catches a Cold, by Hisako Madokoro and illustrated by Ken Kuroi


Look at that fluffy fat puppy! Can you even resist!? No you can’t. I just want to hug Buster!

Ignis, by Gina Wilson and illustrated by P. J. Lynch


Another dragon tale! I love me some dragons. I actually bought this when I was in high school when I volunteered for a elementary book drive. The cover just called to me, and then the story reminded me of one I wrote in first grade about finding your spark.