When I dyed my hair purple for the first time five months ago, I did it for myself. I was turning 50, and I wanted to mark the occasion. Since that time, I’ve reapplied the dye three times. It starts out dark purple and fairly quickly fades to a fuchsia color. I knew it would make me stand out in a crowd. What I didn’t know was the good it would do.
I have only ever received compliments and sometimes rave reviews about my hair. Never a negative word. This comes from construction workers driving by, shouting out, “Love your hair!” And from grandmothers who touch my shoulder and smile and say the same thing. Little kids smile and ask why I have purple hair. I answer that I had a big birthday and wanted a party on my head. Adults also asked why I colored it. Sometimes I give them the straight answer; other times I say that I woke up on my 50th birthday, and my hair had turned purple. Last week in a museum restroom, as I washed my hands, a woman waiting said she loved my hair. She said, “It makes me happy!” Walking to school with Claire one morning, a young man passed us and said hi and “Love your hair.” I said thanks, and a few steps later he stopped and turned, adding “Your hair just made my morning.” I replied that I was happy to have been able to do that.
It’s an interesting experience for a fairly introverted person receive as much attention as I’ve gotten. It pleases me, of course, yet it also pulls me into the world, into connection with people, which I am often reluctant to do. But wait, there’s more! It seems as though having a colorful head does something else. It genuinely pleases others. It inspires joy in others. It adds a little color to the world. Goodness knows we can all benefit from more joy and color. I’ve jokingly said that it’s my ministry. One detail changed. So much good fun.Community, Journal, Spirit