According to the American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus or AAPOS, one in every 17,000 has some type of albinism.
By “some type,” this means not all albinos have light skin and light hair color. In fact, one type of albinism, although not common, affects dark-skinned people, particularly those from South Africa.
The issue with albinos is that they want to mask these traits and make them blend with the crowd. This leads you to the next question: can albinos dye their hair?
Should Albinos Dye Their Hair
Here’s the truth: not all albinos are into changing their appearance. This situation is called “passing” wherein people with albinism attempt to hide their natural features through makeovers.
In fact, this move is considered controversial in the albino community since why does one has to change his or her physical appearance in order to fit in.
The question now is this: is dying one’s hair possible for someone with albinism?
The answer is yes, it is possible.
Unlike those with normal pigment levels, the color of the hair dye may come out stronger for someone with albinism.
Still, this won’t stop you from getting your hair colored in any shade you like. As long as the hair color complements your overall look, that’s fine.
Nonetheless, watch out for possible skin reactions. Some people with albinism have extremely sensitive skin and might experience irritation when the hair is dyed.
The Case of Angel Stillman
One, if not the biggest reason why albinos dye their hair or wear contact lens is because they want to escape the social stigma.
After all, people with albinism are often subjected to teasing or relentless taunting.
This is what happened to then 15-year old Angel Stillman of Central Pennsylvania. At a young age, she transferred to eight different schools due to nonstop taunting.
She doesn’t have any friends and started taking classes online to avoid interaction with other people. This also affected her grades, slipping from A to D.
As a result, she decided to change her appearance. She started to dye her white hair, eyebrows, and eyelids to a darker color to make her look “more normal.”
This created stir in the albinism community, a situation they refer to as “passing” wherein people with albinism conceal their natural features.
Some people frown upon this move while there are others who don’t mind about the change in appearance.
For girls like Angel Stillman who longs for friends and acceptance, dying her hair and eyebrows is just one step to encourage people to look past her appearance.
How to Dye Your Hair
Have you chosen a shade that you like? Below are the next steps you need to follow to finish off your makeover – assuming you prefer doing this at home:
- Step 1: Wrap a colored cape or garbage bag around your shoulders. This will help in catching the dye dripping off your hair. It’s okay to strip down and do the dyeing in the shower to prevent staining your clothes
- Step 2: Mix the dye according to the package. You can try the shades from Garnier Nutrisse Nourishing Color Crème
- Step 3: Divide your hair into four to six sections while securing them with clips
- Step 4: Apply clear lip balm on your hairline to prevent it from getting stained
- Step 5: Dye your hair by starting from the top and then use a comb to distribute the color evenly.
- Step 6: Allow the dye to stay in your hair depending on the time specified on the label.
- Step 7: Rinse your hair with warm water and then follow it up with shampoo and conditioner.
At the end of the day, dying your hair in any color you like still depends on you. Social stigma attached to people with albinism may lead you to the decision of dying your hair and that’s okay.
If this is one step towards acceptance and encouraging people to look past your albino features, then don’t be afraid.