Self-expression can come in so many forms and often means something different for everyone. From dance to makeup to poetry, whatever medium we use to express who we are and the values we align with can shape our lives and the lives of others. For Sarah, her self-expression comes in the form of fashion and hair experimentation, and Schwarzkopf LIVE Colour has helped her along her journey.
Sarah's hair is an integral part of her identity and "completes her look". "It’s really easy to switch up your hair now," she says. "I just go out, pick up a new box colour and there’s your new identity. It wasn’t so much like that when I was younger."
Currently sporting a lilac ombre look, her hair coloured using LIVE Pretty Pastels Lilac Crush, Sarah loves the colour for its ability to enhance her facial features. "I’ve got blue eyes, which look fine when I’m blonde but if you put the lilac on my hair, all of a sudden they’re popping out of nowhere. The lilac complements my already existing features." She also feels that her new hair has opened up more styling opportunities and that it does a great job of communicating her identity.
By day, Sarah is a homelessness prevention officer. "I think I’m more suited to do something like that as a full-time job," she explains, preferring to pursue creative ventures outside of her main role. "I’ve got a very serious job with quite a lot of responsibility and a lot on the line for the people I’m working with. And creative hairstyles and colours are a release from the stresses of my actual day job," she continues. "When I had black hair, I was a skate girl. When I had pink hair, I was a scene girl. When I had the chocolates and the browns, I was doing boho vibes," she explains. Sarah says her hair colour helps to cement her mood. "In general, I’m a pretty happy-go-lucky, easygoing person."
In the past, Sarah ran a cake business with her mum, stemming from her love of creating edible sculptures while studying fine art at university. "I was selling dog sculpture cakes before it all became really popular."
She reflects on how pop culture has inspired her hair choices and looks. When her favourite sitcom released a reunion special, she was inspired by her favourite character’s hairstyle. "I spent hours trying to recreate that long, sleek hairstyle with the flick and I wore that for several months," Sarah says. She also started wearing mini space buns in her hair after her favourite girl band reunited.
Sarah describes her style as eclectic, from the way her home is decorated to her ability to mix different styles from different eras. "I’m really interested in the '90s trend at the moment and the trends within that. There was a massive brown movement for about two months, then there was a pastel moment. Now it’s gone into the bright fluorescent colours and the mad swish patterns."
"The '90s is definitely influencing my style as a whole, it’s nostalgia," Sarah explains. "I was brought up on charity shop clothes and car boot sales, and I never had that '90s look that I wanted as a little girl. But now I can get it. Now I’m like, My 5-year-old self would’ve loved that." Also influenced by the community around her, she enjoys finding new people to follow on social media for style inspiration. "It’s a great place to find style inspiration and like-minded and styled people. I usually find new people by looking in my favourite brand’s tagged gallery. You can then find people who like the same brand and see how they style pieces, style their hair and wear their makeup," she says.
"I might pair a cute crop top from the '90s trend with some grunge jeans. But also back in the day I was a skater girl. And when I was at college I was massively into the '70s. In uni, it was definitely more boho style. But all elements are still part of my style today." Sarah shows me a bangle that was given to her by her grandma when she was in her boho phase and originally belonged to her great-grandma. "That’s just my eclectic nature, I like putting bits and bobs together."
A self-proclaimed "natural history geek", Sarah has a huge love for nature. She also has two dogs and is always out walking them. "I love a hike and I live on the beach as well. We went down to Devon a couple of weeks ago to surf, I’m a nerdy outdoorsy girl at heart," says Sarah. Her style is influenced by the seasons. "Spring comes around and you’ll see me in head-to-toe pastels; summer comes along and I’ll be in your hot pinks and sky blues. Autumn is browns and oranges. And then in winter I go full-on green and red," she laughs.
For Sarah, experimentation is her stress relief, creative relief and comfort. And she hopes to continue doing what makes her happy: having fun with her style and look.