Apr 062011

By Leah Shapiro

I suspect that if you’re like me, you want your life to be exceptional. Normal and ordinary just won’t do! Creating this kind unconventional life comes with its own unique set of challenges.

If you want to live an unconventional life, you have to accept the idea that you’re going to have to make it all up as you go along. There’s no guidebook for you to follow. You’re on your own path, and there is a lot of exploration, experimentation and evaluation that goes along with this process.

Let me use my desire to have blue hair as an example.

About six months ago, I decided that I wanted to switch things up and Defy the Box a bit more with some blue and purple color in my hair. I wasn’t trying to be a Punk Rocker or a Raver Kid. I’m 45 after all. I own my own business, and didn’t want my hair to be too distracting when I met with clients. I didn’t really know anyone who was doing what I had in mind, so I couldn’t go to my hairdresser and say, “I want my hair to look like this.”


I was totally entering into unknown territory and I set out to explore my options. I looked at a lot of websites and pictures of people with funky colored hair. I started noticing people on the street with bits and pieces of color added to their bangs or the back of their hair. There were different shades of colors available and I researched which ones lasted the longest. I evaluated all of my options to determine which colors were the best fit for what I wanted. The Special Effect colors Blue Velvet and Pimpin’ Purple won out!


Once my exploration was done, it was time for me to experiment with these colors to see what would look best. I will admit that this was scary (but exciting). There were a lot of unknown factors to deal with. I wasn’t sure what it would look like or how people would react. I had my hairdresser start out small by just putting a little bit of color in the front. That went over well with others and I liked it, but I wanted to push things a bit further. Over the course of six months, we experimented with three different applications of the color. Mistakes were made and lessons were learned. There were some memorable moments during the process. Blue Velvet became a nasty green when I tried to strip it out of my hair, and it was really hard to color over. I also learned that the blue and purple color rubs off on everything it touches for 3 -4 weeks after you use it. Expect your shower to be stained the color of your hair.


Throughout this process, it was important to me to stay connected to my desired outcome for adding the Blue and Purple to my hair and to continually evaluate whether or not the results were in alignment with what I was going for. I wanted my hair to be fun, sassy, and unique. I also wanted it to be easy to maintain. During the entire process, I would catch myself getting caught up in the idea of having a lot of blue hair, but once we tried that, it didn’t really work. I had to keep bringing myself back to a place of checking in and evaluating if the look at the moment was what I wanted. And finally we got it right! I have the perfect amount of blue and purple in my hair. I love it! It’s totally unique, and it feels like me.
I invite you to explore experiment and evaluate your way into an unconventional life. Where will you start?

  One Response to “Explore, Experiment, and Evaluate Your Way Into an Unconventional Life”

  1. I have settled on a dark red for much the same reasons as you. I love it when suburban mom-types come up to me and chat with me about my hair and leave emboldened to try something new themselves. :)

    And you’re absolutely right – we DO need to make it up as we go along! I finally learned that.