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Co-Founder Hayley Williams Opens Up About Mental Health and ‘Cheesy’ Empowerment Clichés

When we recently hopped on a Zoom with Good Dye Young’s founders, we couldn’t help but chuckle. They named their entire Darker Daze collection after what they consider “cheesy” empowerment clichés. And quite frankly, they’re not wrong! Keep reading for Brian O’Connor’s take on the shade names and Hayley Williams on mental health and how she connects it to her different phases of hair color.

Mane Addicts: Please break down all the Darker Daze shade names and how they came to be.

Brian O’Connor: All In This Together (burgundy); Make It Happen (eggplant); Live Laugh Love (magenta); Dream Big (navy); Move Mountains (emerald)

These names were all created to play off the irony of cheesy “you can do it!” quotes. We like to name our products with a theme. While we were sitting in our creative meeting, I asked who remembered those tacky motivational posters from elementary school? After that, we really did a deep dive into those Pinterest-y quotes that people like to slap on a coffee mug. Our whole concept was based on the fact that it’s easy to say “You can do it!” while it’s not always exactly easy to do.

MA: Hayley, will you elaborate on associating your hair color with where you were at it in your life mentally?

Is there a particular color you’ll never go back to because of where it takes you mentally? And vice versa, a color that brings you back to a happy place?

Hayley Williams: Bright, light orange is my happy color. That and bleached out platinum blonde, just cause I bleached my hair in the middle of my return to saturn and really found myself again, without relying on the signature bold neon colors.

My hair was always a release, even in sad moments. So all the colors I’ve done really represent some form of freedom, even if they happened at times I didn’t feel so free.

MA: Why was it important to tie mental health into your collection?

HW: Mental wellness is inextricably linked to anything I do, work or otherwise. The entire team at Good Dye Young is just as passionate about mental health and wellness as I am. Darker Daze was the perfect collection to highlight the conversation. Sometimes, in the age of social media, awareness of issues like mental health can get too surface-y and a little bit too “hashtag inspo,” “hashtag inspogram”. With the names and character associated with our new shades, we’re poking fun at that vibe.

MA: What are some encouraging words for someone who had a rough 2021 and wants a fresh start? Why would you say changing up their hair is a good place to start? What’s a good way to transition into a new look in 2022 without taking a super bold step?

HW: First off, 2020 was supposed to be everyone’s year, remember? The roaring ’20s and all that. 2021 honestly just felt like a hangover. I feel like regardless of starting another new year, we just need to remind ourselves that we should be gentle with ourselves. It also helps to be mindful of gentleness towards others. Let’s go easy into this new year, please. Switching up your hair is always a fun and easy way to step into a new era of your life. Try a new color or something just for the hell of it. It doesn’t even have to be dramatic. Get a tiny trim at the very least! Get rid of the dead stuff. 

MA: Is there anything else you want to add about Darker Days, mental health or GDY in general?

HW: These are the first shades GDY has ever released that are totally SFW (that’s “Safe For Work” for all you naughties). They’re gorgeous, rich shades that your boss can’t give you grief about. 

Lastly, Good Dye Young is just over five years old. We’ve been through so many growing pains and had many high-highs and low-lows as a company since the beginning. The next year is going to be such a fun one, with lots of newness to come. Thanks to everyone who’s supported us in getting this far. The best is yet to come. 

For more on the correlation between mental health and hair, HERE‘s why you have an urge to chop your locks during a mental breakdown.



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