Dying My Hair Pink

Time to dye it?

Well, maybe. I haven’t seen anyone with pink hair in our small town, passing through or otherwise. But I’m contemplating it. Action may be necessary after what happened the other day.

I was out on the town engaging in a not-so-fascinating adventure: shopping for canning jar lids. I heard someone call out behind me from a distance. It was a stranger’s voice.

Using the logic bestowed on most members of our species, I assumed she was hailing some other person in the store so I ignored her. A moment later that stranger zoomed up behind me and said,

“Oh, I thought you were my mom.”

I’m a warm and motherly person, true. But I was not that stranger’s mother. Worse, she was in my approximate age group. Which means her own mother either looks like someone who gave birth as a kindergartener OR I look really old. (Particularly from behind.)

The stranger muttered something like, “Sorry, she has blonde hair too.”

Raised to be polite at all costs, I simply smiled at her (fist shake at Nice Girl upbringing). I’m not sure what an appropriate response might have been. Snort-enhanced laughter perhaps.

Wait, it gets worse.

I saw her join a woman one aisle over. I witnessed her call this woman “Mom.” Her mother was clearly 15 to 20 years old than I. And wearing tan stretch pants. With tennis shoes. And a quilted handbag.

Alas, I see I’ve fallen right into the basement of People Who Make Superficial Comments despite my regular attempts to be my Better Self.

I’m not mocking my elders, heck, I’m looking forward to being a rowdy old lady myself (which is how I’ll finally outgrow that Nice Girl upbringing). And I’m in no position to judge this woman’s appearance, especially after outing myself as a beauty flunky. As I tell my kids, everyone has a lovely gleaming soul. (Boy do they ever like to hit me back with that one when I get snarky.) But I’m finding the chronological escalator a bit too relentless.

When I was younger I took a constantly functional body and seemingly unlimited time ahead for granted. Now various parts creak and I realize I may not be able to fit all my enthusiasm into an ordinary lifespan. Sometimes I walk by the library windows, noticing a stumpy little woman in the reflection. Who is that woman, I wonder? Why is she carrying my purse? It takes a moment to sink in. That’s me. I may feel like a fourteen-year-old sneaking out of the house in a halter top, but instead I’m some lady wearing a scarf.

I was raised to use everything up. To smack the bottle till it was empty, then add a little water and shake it to get out the last lingering drops. I fully intend to do that with my life too. I’ll be using up every single bit. But if I get any more reminders about being old before my time, you may see me with pink hair. Or at least pink streaks. My quietly rebellious fourteen-year-old self would be proud. And the rowdy old lady I hope to become will understand.

About Laura Grace Weldon

Laura Grace Weldon is a writer and editor, perhaps due to an English professor's scathing denunciation of her writing as "curious verbiage." She's the author of "Free Range Learning," a handbook of natural learning and "Tending," a poetry collection. (lauragraceweldon.com) She's working on her next book, "Subversive Cooking" (subversivecooking.com). She lives on Bit of Earth Farm where she is a barely useful farm wench. Although she has deadlines to meet she often wanders from the computer to preach hope, snort with laughter, cook subversively, talk to chickens and cows, discuss life’s deeper meaning with her surprisingly tolerant offspring, sing to bees, hide in books, walk dogs, concoct tinctures, watch foreign films, and make messy art.
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29 Responses to Dying My Hair Pink

  1. debra says:

    Dip dyed pink hair would be splendid. However, if you wear a red hat…..

  2. Jennifer H. says:

    I think you should do it. Funny, I was just contemplating dying my hair red with henna– not quite the same as shocking pink, but I was feeling the need for a change!

  3. Kathi Dunphy says:

    sigh…I can so relate to this, being 63 with enthusiasm way outstripping physical energy, and a million things I want to do…

  4. Susan says:

    Great choice!

  5. Totally relate! I am not enjoying the post-40 years, watching things degenerate a little too quickly! We don’t look dissimilar and I died my hair aged 38, just before I had my second baby. I LOVED it! But it literally lasted hardly a week, despite being ‘permanent’. It’s VERY hard to keep in. I lived in a small town at the time and did get odd looks. Then we moved countries and I didn’t do it again – don’t think there’s a single hairdresser who had pink hair dye here! So, if you fancy giving it a try – do! I am thinking of doing the opposite, cutting my hair very short and letting it go dark salt and pepper. Somehow I think this would be liberating – cool but not trying to be a bottle-blonde any more! We’ll see how brave we both end up actually being!!

    • I imagine your blonde hair stands out in Bahrain as much as pink hair might here in conservative small town Ohio. I may try a baby step, a pink streak or pink tips. Your baby step could be cutting your hair short while staying the color you are. If that feels comfy, the next step might be easier.

      • Actually, quite a lot of expats here so you might be worse off :) and of course when I do stand out eg in Jordan, blonde hair is highly prized – maybe not so much pink hair in Ohio! But yeah, pink streaks good and, as I said, it fades and then washes out frustratingly quickly. I am so glad I did it once at least though! True, baby steps may be the way to go!

  6. Wendy says:

    That is sooo funny. Thanks for the smile. I am 35 and realizing…I’m not young anymore! What happened? LOL However, I did get an ego boost a while back when I was mistaken for my teenage daughter’s (she’s fifteen) sister. I wish that happened more often :)

  7. Karen says:

    Oh dear friend, you always make me smile. If you ever want to act upon this whim, my dear daughter has an extensive collection of many colors from which to choose. Since you already have blonde hair you get to skip the nasty bleaching step!

    • I wish there were tiny color bottles to use for a streak or two. Maybe I’ll Sharpie marker a few sections…..

      • Laura says:

        There are! You can! I am in my late 40’s and appalled with my frumpishness! Recently dyed my brown hair auburn and added a few streaks of purple. I totally love it! Here in the Boston area there are many “respectable” mid age women who are adding a splash or two of bright color. First try a wash out kind to see where you want the streaks. I recommend “Washables” by Splat. Be careful; even when dry it will get on stuff. Then go for permanent with Splatt’s “Rebellious Colors”. Skip the bleach part. There is a small bottle with thin nozzle so you can apply a little to hair or in your hand and just add one or two thin streaks. Good luck.

  8. Kimerly W. says:

    Go for the pink. Be rowdy now. After 2 years, my hair dresser (does she dress my hair?!?!) has finally quit asking me if I want to color out the gray. I can’t wait for my whole head to be silver or gray or white or whatever it ends up. I like being my own experiment. PS You look radiant! Date: Wed, 26 Sep 2012 12:42:53 +0000 To: queenkimerly@hotmail.com

  9. Leslie Boomer says:

    I agree with Kimberly – you look radiant. You always have and you always will. So when do we do the pink thing? (sounds soooo fun)

  10. >> Raised to be polite at all costs, I simply smiled at her (fist shake at Nice Girl upbringing).
    Oh, Laura, I’m able to relate with you and feel a synchronicity over so many things. The ‘nice girl’ upbringing is definitely one. I too secretly wish to be able to wear the rowdy garb some day. I try my ‘self’ at it sometimes and feel free! I do…..
    But then, no matter what, I can’t seem to ever be snarky or anything like that even when I am provoked into such a situation. Sigh…

    Another thing that I could relate to? I read your ‘beauty flunky’ post linked in this one and could picture myself in your words! I’ve never bothered about the external manifestation of beauty – not now and not when I was in school or college.
    Over the last few years, I’ve got remarks from family over why I don’t bother to dress up, invest in grooming (the spa, manucures, pedicures etc). I’ve taken those remarks in my stride. But lately, they’ve started getting over my nerves. Just last week, I was telling my hubby why people would fuss so much over how i should look when I’m doing other beautiful and creative things. Can’t they see beauty in that?
    I do have a earthy, toned down taste and style of my own. But mostly, I’m too busy (with creative pursuits) to go out and buy even a pair of footwear until they have totally outlasted their purpose.
    That lady at the co-op, she would definitely go back and do some soul-searching, I think :-)
    But YOU, my dear, are such a gleaming and shining soul. I love reading your articles. Your personal experiences, stories and insight make me see and realize the beauty of my soul. Much love…

    • Oh Rashmie, thank you.

      I adore the way you put it: “Why people would fuss so much over how i should look when I’m doing other beautiful and creative things. Can’t they see beauty in that?” I see it in every post you write. You put beauty and careful consideration in everything you do. (For people who made it this far in the comments, check out Rashmie’s site http://www.mommy-labs.com)

      I’m impressed by those who have style and look lovely. And I’m impressed by people who are forthright, able to be assertive and say exactly what they mean in the moment. I’m still not good at sticking up for myself and very happy wearing out the same pair of shoes without a moment’s notice till the sole is flapping. Good to hear we’re kindred spirits.

  11. Nancy says:

    I’m glad I’m not the only one who thinks they are still 14! I am 41, and ever since I turned 40, have to think a bit to remember my age. I just had two babies, and it’s just shocking that I’m the one in charge. Yet, I’ve been a mature, responsible adult for decades! And the gray is coming in…I’m waiting to be asked if I am my kids grandmother. :)

    Someone told me recently that life just starts at 40 (for women at least). I really believe that. I’ve lived enough now that I have a bit of perspective. I’ve tried different things. Been in a staid business career where I did fine but kind of felt like a fraud. Now, suddenlyI have kids. I have reevaluated everything. I believe that I am creative. I am so excited to explore the next 40 years. And yes, I expect part of me will feel 14 until I die.

  12. changeheart says:

    My first foray into dyeing came right after my 5-year-old daughter (she’s now 23) went to get the food at McDonald’s and the counterperson looked over to where I was sitting and asked her, “Is that your grandmother?” Granted, I started late in the childbearing department, but at that moment I wanted to crawl in the ground.

    As for hair color, my dear, just so you aren’t mistaken for a Susan G. Komen ad, why not try purple or, better yet, highlights in a more ROYGBIV mood? I can’t imagine your 14-year-old would have any objection and your rowdy old lady? Laughing all the way.

  13. Abby Quillen says:

    Perhaps this poor woman just needs some corrective lenses? In any case, I’m so glad she inspired this hilarious post. Laughter is like anti-aging cream, right?

  14. Pingback: delight-driven willpower - DeepFUN — DeepFUN

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