Every year as the weather begins to warm up, you see people dyeing their hair pink. This bold and vibrant yet unconventional choice of color has actually become quite common; you see it on your Instagram feeds and maybe even among your own friend group.
Bubblegum-pink hair has always been a trendy choice for spring, but it's seemingly become even more popular amid the pandemic with everyone from Kaia Gerber to Dua Lipa and most recently Demi Lovato giving the color a go.
During times of stress and turmoil — which pretty much sums up all of 2020 and 2021 so far — people look for other ways to establish control, and their hair often becomes the first place to start. Still, that doesn't explain why out of all of the colors of the rainbow, pink always seems to be the most popular — not blue, green, or purple.
The reason comes down to psychology. Every color impacts your mood differently, and pink tends to elicit feelings of serenity, romance, and youthfulness. "Pink's calming effect can actually change mood and behavior," Naomi Torres-Mackie, PhD, head of research at the Mental Health Coalition and practicing psychologist at Lenox Hill Hospital, told POPSUGAR. "People who are shown the color pink become more physically relaxed, less hostile, and less aggressive. Our minds and bodies are intimately connected."
With all of the uncertainty happening around us, dyeing your hair pink is not only a good way to signal a new beginning and establish control, but it can also directly influence the way you feel every time you look in the mirror. That's not all, though; it also comes down to the connotations you have with the color.
"This is culture-specific, so I am speaking in terms of American culture, but pink is usually seen as a romantic, youthful, cheerful, and whimsical color," Dr. Torres-Mackie said. In terms of dyeing your hair this color, "you can feel that you're exuding cheer, calm, and whimsical feelings as you go about your daily life."
Loneliness — something that more people than ever are experiencing during this time apart — can also be a motivating factor, according to Dr. Torres-Mackie. "As so many people are struggling to connect with others and find romance in today's upside-down world, adding pink to your appearance can be a way to embody what you're missing at the moment," she said.
That's not to say everyone who dyes their hair pink is feeling lonesome or craving control in their life; it's also just a fun color that can brighten your mood. "The recent trend in pink hair might be a way for people to embody hopefulness, which is exactly what we need right now," Dr. Torres-Mackie said. "Similar to how wearing a bright yellow outfit on a rainy day can brighten your mood, dyeing your hair pink takes it one step further to embody a bold statement of hope."