Coloring campus: Students use hair as form of expression


Freshman photo-illustration major Sydnie Baker shows off her blue and purple hair Oct. 10, 2016.

Keisha Burley

While walking Kent State’s campus, it isn’t unusual to see a sea of pink, blue, grey and green when looking at the heads of students.

For Tara Kickert, a junior fashion merchandising major, her unusual choice of hair color was inspired by one of her favorite musical artists.

“I really liked (singer) Ellie Goulding in high school, and I thought her silver hair was cool. I kept going more and more blonde,” Kickert said. “And then I found that the cool toned color just goes really well with my skin tone, and it’s just stuck with me.”

Kickert said she takes matters into her own hands, and dyes her hair herself. She goes through several steps to achieve her silver locks, and despite all her years of practice, she accidentally dyed her hair pastel blue once.

Angelique Manns, co-owner of Skullz Salon, said icy hair is the most popular right now.

“Silver hair is a huge thing right now,” Manns said. “I get calls about two or three times a week from someone asking how they can get silver hair.”

A seasoned veteran in the pastel hair club, Sarah Pavlik, uses her hair color as a means to switch things up, as opposed to cutting her hair.

Pavlik, a senior fashion design major, recently decided that mint green hair was the way to go.

“I chose mint because it’s different and I don’t really know anyone who has this color, right now,” Pavlik said. “I’ve had silver, pink and purple hair. So far the pink has been my favorite, but it is just such high maintenance.”

A new hair color can be a way of renewing self-image, and that is what Pavlik does.

“I’m in the process of growing my hair out, and I just get so bored with it,” Pavlik said. “So I decided to funk it up with some color instead of cutting it off like I usually do. I like my hair to be shocking and (different), so why not mint green?”

While Kickert and Pavlik have sported these crazy colors for years, Jada Montozzi, a freshman fashion merchandising major, has only recently made the transition from brunette to a rose gold and purple mixture.

“I’ve always had plain hair,” Montozzi said. “It’s always been either dark brown or black, but this past summer I started slowly going more and more blonde. That within itself was a big change for me.”

From there, Montozzi took a chance by adding a splash of color to her hair.

“I saw this hair color on Pinterest and knew that it was what I wanted to do,” she said. “I just had to check with my dad first to make sure he was okay with it, and then I went and got it done.”

Weeks and sometimes even months of preparation go into a decision like this. Manns said she suggests a two to three-month preparation period with a strengthening regimen to avoid hair damage.

“We try to get them on a strong regimen beforehand, and that involves not washing the hair as much because washing is the worst thing you can do for bright hair color,” Manns said. “It’s temporary and stains, so washing as little as possible is the best thing you can do.”

Keisha Burley is the student life reporter, contact her at [email protected].