Curtains of color, curls of light

Kai+Schade+rests+on+the+lawn+in+front+of+Doyle+Library+enjoying+a+book+and+sporting+her+blue-green+hair.

Estefany Gonzalez

Kai Schade rests on the lawn in front of Doyle Library enjoying a book and sporting her blue-green hair.

Nikki Goetz, Staff Writer

Purple, green, blue, orange, red and all the colors of the rainbow. It is easy to spot students with colored hair at Santa Rosa Junior College showing off their quirks.

Students try to express their individuality with everything from their clothes, to their makeup and to hair. The Oak Leaf sat down with four students who chose to dye their hair non-traditional colors as a way to express their individuality and stand out amongst the crowd. Inspiration came from different places for these students, each with a story to tell.

Kai Schade, 24, first dyed her hair pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. She continued dyeing it different colors because she loved it so much.

“I’ve done purple, red, blue, green, teal and all different combinations,” Schade said.

Schade now sports a combination of blue and green hair. She found some colors work better than others. She would normally re-dye her hair every two months, but to keep the blue and green intact, she now re-dyes it every three to four weeks and washes her hair twice a week to keep the color from fading.

Schade considers her hair a conversation starter because tables she’s served at work remember her. She says one of her favorite reactions is from the elderly, who don’t like colored hair but love it on her.

Jamie Kitchel, 20, was not allowed to dye her hair when she was younger and decided for a change when she started college. She always thought red hair wasn’t too different and was really pretty. So she ditched her brown locks for a vibrant red. She credits many famous women as influences.

“I get a lot of inspiration from people like Christina Hendricks, Lucille Ball and actually a lot of cartoon characters like Jessica Rabbit,” Kitchel said.

Kitchel enjoys having colored hair, but gets irritated when people ask her if red his her natural color. She also dislikes attention from men who have a fetish for red hair and has gotten inappropriate jokes. Though despite that she says no one treats her differently.

Devan Deleon, 18, sports her favorite color, pink, in her hair today, but has dyed it all sorts of colors.

“I really like colorful stuff but most of my clothes are dark colors,” Deleon said. “I’ve done reds and purples and pinks and cotton candy colors [for my hair].”

When Deleon had red hair, her inspiration came from Ariel in the “The Little Mermaid.” Deleon goes to great lengths to keep the color of her hair intact.

“I wash my hair and it fades really quickly. I’ve had to dye it more times than most people. I have a special conditioner that is supposed to keep the colors in longer,” Deleon said.

Deleon has seen other students with pink hair too, but as a slightly different shade. Deleon says dyeing your hair is a big commitment.

“It’s fun and different, but it also takes a lot of time and money to maintain. Also add lots and lots of conditioner,” said Deleon.

Nikki Bunting, 25, an SRJC alumni is all about individuality. She has dyed her hair every color and right now has a combination of black and blue.

“I do love to express myself, with the clothes that I wear and the colors of my hair. I’ve [dyed it] every color of the rainbow,” Bunting said.

Though it has gotten better over the years, Bunting has received some backlash about her hair. People have called her a punk rocker, which she isn’t, and she has received bad service at restaurants.

“They think I’m not going to tip them because of my hair,” she said.

Bunting washes her hair less to keep her color from fading. She uses a special brand of shampoo for when she does wash her hair. Bunting suggests those who want to dye their hair to always wear gloves, put Vaseline on their hairline and be prepare for small children to stare at you everywhere you go.