Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Thoughts on Having Purple Hair

Yup, I'm still purple.

It's been a little over five weeks now.  I've redyed it twice, both times on my own in my bathroom with a bottle of grocery-store brand dye ("Lusty Lavender," I believe).  The color goes quickly, and by the end of 2 weeks my hair is much more pink-brown than purple.  This is the primary reason that I'll probably give it up towards the end of the month when it's time for my next haircut.  I keep imagining having purple hair in Asia.  They would love my purple hair in Asia.  But it would only be purple hair for part of Asia, and then diminishing shades of lavender and pink for the rest of the time, and that's just not as fun.

I'm getting used to the sight of myself in the mirror - I don't startle myself when I first see my own reflection, at least not as often as I did five weeks ago.  I am getting used to seeing rivulets of purple water streaming down my skin and the drain when I shower, and I am only wearing about 2/3 of the colors in my closet at the moment.  Sometimes I miss wearing red.

I will say this, though.  I have never had a hairstyle before that prompts so many strangers to stop me and say how much they love my hair.  I forget I have purple hair (it is out of sight after all), and then I catch a little kid staring at me and wonder what I did wrong before I remember, "Oh.  It's my hair."

Total strangers come up to me on the street or in the grocery store and tell me they love it.  People in Boulder especially loves my hair (naturally), and the tattooed bagger at Whole Foods gave me a side-eye as his colleague rang me up tonight.  "I love your hair," he said.

"Thanks," I replied.  "I like yours too."  His hair was bright red-orange with deliberate black roots.  It was meticulously coiffed.

"Thanks," he said.  "We should hang out sometime.  We could... fascinate people together."

With this hair I feel more proper wearing heavy eyeliner, big jewelry, and all-black clothes.  Tonight, on my way home from work, I was at the grocery store in tan dress pants, a turquoise blouse, and demur earrings.  I don't look at all like someone who would have purple hair, but there it is.  I don't look like someone who would hang out with the 20-year-old tattooed grocery-store checker and fascinate people, but there it is.

I think it's the actor in me who loves this, loves that I look like a particular someone to other people.  It's not who I usually am, but it is a still a part of who I am.  And I think I am going to miss having other people notice that part of me.


  1. I know exactly what you mean. This happened to me a LOT. My first boss even expressed sadness when the purple was gone between interview and first day. Kids love colored hair. I think the conservative dress encourages people to comment more than they would if your clothing matched the hair style.

  2. For what it's worth, I really like what I've seen of your purple hair and am perfectly happy to travel with a purple-haired you in Asia. (And who knows? Give me long enough in Seattle and maybe I'll get up the guts to dye my hair, too. I totally want to fascinate.)