Tuesday, October 12, 2021

I Have Purple Hair?

My husband sits on the bench in the entryway putting on his sneakers to walk into work.  He glances up as we chat, and his eyes momentarily go wide, hands stilling against his laces for just a space between a breath.  But I was looking for the reaction, so I noticed.  Casually he looked back down and began tying his laces again.  “So, did you…dye your hair purple?”

“No no!  It’s just two streaks in there!” I replied excitedly, walking towards him.

He stands up and walks towards me, now looking intently at my hair, which is covered in purple conditioner and pulled back in a bun to keep off of my shirt.

“It…sort of looks ALL purple right now.”

“I know, that’s just because it’s pulled back and the streaks are all that you see, but its only two streaks.”

“OK.  OK.  So…did you dye it purple FOR the wedding this weekend?”

“Oh….um…no.  I just had been wanting to do a streak, and kept forgetting until I got into the shower and it was too late.  Except for today, I remembered.  So I did it.”

“But it will still be purple this weekend, when we go to the wedding?”

“Well, yeah.  Pretty much.  But I will shampoo it several times so it will fade a bunch.”

“OK….because it looks REALLY purple right now.  Not bad!  Just really really purple.”


Purple hair is fun.  A streak of purple in hair is fun.  Change is scary, but sometimes scary can be fun (it is spooky season, after all).  We have been using a couple of products in our house to do fun hair colors and streaks since March of 2020, and it has been really enjoyable. When the pandemic first hit and all schools were shut, I tried to make some lemo
nade out of the situation with my three daughters.  I let them pick a color and do some fun things with their hair, because their normally strict school uniform policy would otherwise prohibit that.  We had turquoise mermaid hair and purple streaks and pink streaks and a few full ginger makeovers over the ensuring year and a half.  We settled on using mostly Overtone because it is a coloring conditioner, and doesn’t strip any moisture from our hair or rub off on their clothes or pillows (once you do the initial wash).  Fun fun fun!

When winter takes over the land I typically just let my hair grow in a mousy dark blonde/brown and live with the darker roots until the sun shows its face again.  However, last winter I decided to use our new favorite coloring conditioner and lean into the darker colors of the season - I colored all of my hair Golden Brown and really enjoyed it.

Fun and enjoyment and satisfaction for everyone!  INSIDE THE HOUSE, that is.  

You see, what I forget about, consistently, every single time I do something like cut or color or change something about my appearance, is that however much I may enjoy that change WITHIN MY OWN HOME, I eventually have to leave my home to do the things.  I have to go out in the world and see other humans.  I have to take my tiny humans to their school and sports and go get them food at stores and interact with other humans.  And, I know this may be shocking to you but bear with me…humans have thoughts and opinions about other people’s physical appearances?  I know!  How rude, right?!

So this year I put two purple streaks in my hair.  I left the conditioner in for a long time (because I was doing laundry and I forgot it was in).  My hair is naturally blonde.  All of the sudden, it was REALLY purple. Then the scary part happened: I had to go out into the world to see the people and do the things.  

And I forgot that my hair was purple…until I got the looks and the double takes and the quizzical glances and the expressions of admiration or surprise or confusion or dismissal.  

I mean, I get it.  Purple.  It’s different.  What does it mean?  Is it a cry for help?  An expression of rebellion?  A declaration of something?

Nope.  Not really.  I just felt like it.  And then I panicked.  

Too.  Much.  Attention.

B, overjoyed after I told her that I turned
my hair purple with a magical spell.

So after I panicked I made a plan, and I layered Golden Brown over the purple.  Maybe that would make it less PURPLE!  Well, it worked…a little bit.  Mostly it was just darker purple.  

The strangest thing about the whole situation is that I forget that it is purple on a daily basis.  We have what I would say is a normal amount of mirrors in our house, but I actually look in them an abnormally low amount on any given day.  So when someone comments it takes me several minutes to remember why a person is scoffing at me in the parking lot at Kohl’s or why a friend doesn’t recognize me in the checkout line at the store or why a neighbor yells out “I love your hair!” while walking down the street.  I get paranoid and self conscious.  Why are they talking to me!?  And then I remember all over again…oh yeah.  

I have purple hair.

So for those of you who have wondered and asked or wondered and not asked, there is no real reason.  I just felt like it.  And then I forgot about it.  Don’t worry overmuch, it will be brown again soon.

Or will it?

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