Hair Color and Personality

If you’ve been following the blog for a while, you’ve probably noticed that I like to do stuff to my hair. A lot.

There was that time I dyed it Ariel-in-The Little Mermaid red. Then the time I dyed it light brown in an attempt to get rid of the red after it overstayed its welcome. Then the time I dyed it dark brown because the light brown hadn’t managed to get rid of the red. Then the time I cut it all off, because seriously, that red just wouldn’t go away. (Also, there was that time I had a full-on pageboy cut back before it was cool, because I was playing an eight-year-old boy in the winter play sophomore year of high school and my director didn’t believe in wigs.)

Most recently my roommates and I played with some temp dye while watching the Golden Globes this winter and I spent a couple weeks with bright pink tips.

However, other than that my hair’s been just my natural color for about a year now. And, despite that, I still have no idea how to describe my hair color.

Which made me hesitate a little when someone suggested I write a post about my hair color and what it says about my personality, in line with how hair dye company Madison Reed believes that your hair color helps represent who you are.

Madison Reed is super cool. They’ve put a focus on making their hair dye healthier, more convenient, and more personalized than other companies–and although I’ve yet to personally use it (again, I haven’t dyed my hair in over a year), I do love playing with their hair profile to get recommendations on what colors would look good on me. They’re the first company I’ll check out once I’m ready to change my color again.

Still, in the meantime. This is my natural hair color:

Julia Byers [Headshot]

Light brown with coppery red undertones.

Also this:


Golden brown, some of which turns ash blond and some of which turns strawberry blond under direct sunlight.

And this:


A very uniform medium cool brown, no red or blond anywhere to be found.

When I was little, my hair was strawberry blond, through and through. Then as I grew up, it kept getting darker and darker–then stopped before it could become an official, easy-to-define color. So I’ve taken to calling my natural hair color “hazel hair.”

It looks different under every kind of light and in every picture. Friends regularly ask if I’ve dyed it (and have been asking that since long before I got up the guts to buy that first box a couple years back). When I do dye my hair, my eyebrows seem to magically change color to match the new color.

Like for real, look at this:

hair dye

Boom: Dark brown hair dye. Suddenly my eyebrows–which I didn’t touch–look dark brown as well.

I used to hate my hair. I wanted to be able to easily give a hair color when people asked, and it always drove me nuts when people made claims about it–like they were so sure it was auburn, or so sure it was blond. (You want to talk about friends arguing over what color that dress was for forty-eight hours? Try my hair. For my entire life.)

But here’s the thing: Everything about me is in between. I also have hazel eyes (blue and green), skin that once almost sent an employee at a theatre makeup store into hysterics because he couldn’t find a shade that matched me, and a height that’s somewhere between 5’2.5″ and 5’3″ (and has forever doomed me to not knowing what to write on forms).

And as annoying as it is to never be able to find anything that fits me quite right, whether it be makeup or clothes or an answer option on a Buzzfeed quiz, now I kind of like how in between everything about me is. Because my personality lives a lot in the space between black-and-white-obvious as well.

Every time I take a Myers-Briggs test, I get a different answer. Politically, I’m independent. I’m a writer, so I technically work in a creative field, but some of my favorite parts of the job are the ones that require me to be really analytical and, well, not-creative.

I can be really shy and quiet, and I love spending time alone, reading or watching Netflix or hiking. Those things, as far as hair color stereotypes go, feel brown to me.

However, I also love acting and singing and playing guitar. Hanging out with friends and having awkward dance parties with my roommates. Those feel blond.

And I’m an adventure addict. I love exploring, trying new things. Laughing. Those things feel red.

The reason I haven’t dyed my hair in over a year is less because of how atrocious it was to get rid of that Little Mermaid red (which, really, was atrocious) (thankfully, that dye did not come from Madison Reed), but because I’m learning to love all the in between, not-quite-one-thing-or-another parts of me.

I have hazel hair and I am a hazel person.

So, what does my hair color say about my personality? It says I’m happy to be me–and I’m embracing all the shades of grey (or in this case, brown/blond/red) that come with that.