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When I was younger, I thought dyed hair was just about the coolest thing someone could have. My own dark brown hair felt too stark against my pale complexion, and I wanted something unique.

As I entered my junior year of high school, I graduated from clip-in colored extension streaks to a deep purple ombre look, which I was completely obsessed with. I briefly tried other colors, but nothing stuck. Pink was too cliché, turquoise hard to maintain. After letting the dye fade out and being left with the fugliest (can I say fugliest on my blog? I just did) yellow bleached messed ever, I chopped it off and was back to plain old brown.

It wasn’t until this past summer, when I was headed to Italy to study abroad, that I finally felt brave enough again to make a hair change. I told myself it was the perfect time to do it – if it looked great, then thank goodness. If it looked terrible, I’d be in another continent, and could probably Photoshop the color back to brown. After stalking the Instagram for Mimi’s Salon in Belmar, I booked an appointment for a day before my flight.

The hair painting process at Mimi's Salon

Mimi’s specializes in hairpainting, a balayage-like technique that basically prevents chunky streaks and upgrades you to Instagram-famous color. I gave some description as to what I wanted, but I pretty much let Jesus take the wheel. Michelle, my stylist, also took the wheel, and she totally delivered. I can honestly say that my hair looked exactly the way I’ve always wanted.

Are you getting warm chocolate chip cookie vibes? I know I am.

I’ve since gone to Mimi twice for touchups, and my hair looks and feels great. I’ve lost count of the number of people who have told me how much better my locks look – the color is truly more flattering for my complexion, and it doesn’t feel forced. Bleach and dye is a lot of stress for your hair to handle, but because my hair is freakishly strong, I’ve seen minimal damage so far, and even though I know this might come back to bite me in the long run, my slightly dryer hair is a lot easier to love than my previous greasy strands.

If you’re looking to take a hair risk, follow my lead and do it! Sometimes, change really is good.

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