That Time I Dyed My Hair Purple (For Charity!)

Hello, internet friends! Tuesdays are usually Amanda Reads days, but I wanted to take a moment to do a wrap up post from the Dare my Hair challenge I participated in for March.

This year was the inaugural year of She’s the First‘s fundraising effort, Dare My Hair. The premise of the challenge is that you ask your friends and family to “dare” some kind of change to your hair (whether temporary or permanent). The “dare” part is that they donate towards your fundraising goal and, if you meet it, you do the thing to your hair. They used the crowdraising platform, Crowdrise, which makes donating easy and asks donors to round up to cover processing fees so that if you want to give $10, your full $10 goes to the charity to which you’re donating.

I wrote a nice, long post about some of the reasons why I chose to participate in this challenge, which you can find here, if you’re interested. My friends, family, and coworkers definitely crushed my goal of raising $100, so when March 31st came around, it was time to do the thing–dye my hair purple.

This, naturally, means that I had a moment of horrible realization. “What have I done?!” I captured this moment in a selfie:

me scared.jpg

To celebrate the occasion, my friend Kaci and I got calzones from our favorite local pizza joint and then settled in with The Mindy Project in the background as I readied myself to do the deed. Aside from henna, I’ve never dyed my own hair, and I had no idea what to expect. Because bleaching my hair freaks me out, I decided to just throw the purple on my natural color to see what happened.

Hair dye photo.jpg
The tools of the trade. Did I mention Crowdrise sends you stickers?!

So, after several minutes of stroking the purple Splat dye through my hair while trying not to rub it into my scalp (?), I sat, waiting. And worrying. What if I had missed a huge chunk? What if it looked terrible? Why did this hair dye smell like chemical soaked grapes?

Finally, the moment came. I was supposed to stand in the shower and rinse until the water ran clear. For a full episode of The Mindy Project, I stood in the shower, waiting for the water to run clear. Sometimes it got pinkish and I thought I was close, but then I would shift positions and it would run bright purple again. Eventually I gave up, towel dried my hair, and then blow dried it to see the effects.

It was about what I had expected. In direct light, pretty darn purple. In lower light, pretty much just a slightly darker version of my natural color. I had missed a few spots here and there, but it wasn’t that noticeable. In direct sun, I definitely had some patchy purple spots on my scalp (guess I rubbed it in after all), but all in all, I was glad I had done it. My purple hair gives me the opportunity to talk about why I dyed it and to tell people about the importance of supporting female education in countries where it is not prioritized.

Purple hair.jpg

So, at the cost of my $10 donation and the price of my hair dye, I was able to raise $120 total to support She’s the First scholars. Just goes to show what can happen when people come together. My motto for 2016 is “Do the things that scare you” and so far, I’ve had quite a few fun little adventures in pursuit of this jump first and let anxiety see if it can keep up attitude. While I still get a little self conscious when the direct sun hits my hair and I know people are thinking “What’s up with this chick and her spotty purple head?” I’m glad I did it. All in all, this was a really fun, creative way to drum up talk and dollars around a good cause. If She’s the First does this campaign again next year, I’ll definitely need your help figuring out what to Dare my Hair to do in 2017!


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