School rules and regulations exist for good reasons. They were created to protect the welfare and safety of students. Meanwhile, there are some policies that aim to direct the students’ focus towards learning, proper grooming, and discipline—from the length of socks and color of sneakers to haircut and hair color. This brings us to the ‘No Hair Color’ policy.
Some schools, especially Catholic schools, prohibit their students from dyeing, bleaching, and highlighting their hair—with penalties ranging from handing out written warnings to preventing a student to enter the school premises.
Even so, not everyone approves and automatically complies with this rule.
Hair color does not hinder academic performance.
First of all, there is no scientific study that correlates academic performance with hair color. The brain does not absorb the colors dyed on a student’s hair to cause its malfunction.
“It will not affect the capacity of the students to learn and it is irrelevant to correlate learning with the color of one’s hair”, says Joresa dela Rosa, a third-year student at the University of Santo Tomas Faculty of Civil Law.
In fact, hard work, smart study habits, and a healthy lifestyle are more relevant factors of an outstanding performance at school.
Coloring one’s hair is a way to boost self-confidence.
Pampering oneself by trying a new hair color can help boost one’s self-confidence. And being confident lets you feel that your actions will achieve positive results (This might be helpful in your Algebra test!).
“Being confident with who you are begins in how you look and how you want others to see you. If we gain a little more confidence in ourselves, then we can do more things with bravery. If having hair color gives confidence, then let us not hinder that”, says Joniena dela Rosa of St. Paul University Quezon City.
Remember that aside from mental preparations to focus on, students also have emotional needs that need to be fulfilled—and that usually starts by feeling good inside and out.
Freedom of expression
The saddest part? The policy might prove to be disruptive to a student’s right to expression and their own body at an age where self-discovery is important.
Reena Lacorte of Far Eastern University says, “A unique representation of oneself through hair color helps mark one’s individuality. I’m glad that my university allows students to wear different hair colors.”
But why does the ‘No Hair Color’ policy exist in the first place?
This is said to be a way to prepare students for their future working environments where rules are most likely the same.
For Brian Christian Villaluz, former course instructor at Chiang Kai Shek College, it is necessary “because a professional needs to be professional in mind and in appearance.”
Self-expression should not be limited to one’s hair color, too, says Frances Ann Lausin of University of Santo Tomas: “I had a hard time obeying this rule at first, but I realized there are other ways to express myself. I can wear a subtle or fierce lipstick, for example.”
However, hair color is not just about vanity. It is a representation of students’ unique personalities.
In the end, schools could perhaps reconsider their policies in pursuit of improving the situation of their students.
Life is about discovering one’s ideals, values, and beliefs. And finding one’s individuality and unique voice could start with having the freedom to experiment with one’s hair color—may it be brown, blonde, neon green or pink.