I have quite forgotten.
When I was a kid, dyed hair was rare: something done by young women trying to attract attention (the bleached 'platinum' blond) and the 'woman of a certain age' unconvincingly pretending to be younger than she was.
Hair dying was primitive, and dyed hair looked unnatural.
But hair is a naturally primary signal of attractiveness, an advertisement of health and youth. A healthy young woman's hair was her glory; a glory that lasted - like her youth - only a few years.
By my late teens there were also people (women and men, by then) who dyed their hair as a statement of tribal loyalty - punks and the like. The hair was deliberately non-natural, strange colours, striped etc.
But dying technology improved and it became possible to dye hair almost realistically (at a price). Soon every woman had dyed hair - old, middle aged and young.
Sometimes it was a realistic mimic of natural hair, sometimes a statement of loyalty, sometimes it was merely dyed...
To see natural hair has become a rare event - there is no more glory.
So, what were the original motivations for dying hair? Oh yes, to attract attention and to pretend to be younger.
What used to be rare motivations are now the norm.
We have shifted from asking: why do you dye your hair? (what are to trying to prove?), to why don't you dye your hair? (what are you trying to prove?).
But since young women conceal their glory by hair dye, and since many dyes look merely mousy and do not attract attention, the explanations do not cover the facts.
Universal hair dying is just another example of the susceptibility of women to peer pressure, and the ability of the mass media to simulate peer pressure.
Hence we get the phenomenon of fashion which is intrinsically meaningless in terms of its specific content, but deeply meaningful in terms of revealing of the emptiness - indeed self-loathing - of mainstream modern humans.
Fashion makes people uglify themselves (permanently and grossly in the case of tattoos and piercings), impair function, risk disease, repel those whom they would like to know, and work harder at jobs they hate (in order to pay for the fashions).
What cannot fashion make people do? - especially women.
So long as a person, a people, are enslaved by fashion - by a thing intrinsically meaningless, intrinsically harmful - then they are indeed slaves and little good can be expected from them.
If you are looking for hope - look to the unfashionable.