I’ve been coloring my hair for some time – more years than I can really remember though it’s only been in the last six years that my hair has gone quite grey and I’ve had it bleached white and added toners for interest sake: platinum and other soft shades – variation on a hue. More recently I’ve been having more funky, striking colours: pinks, lavenders, purples, mauves and one time a peacock blue. The only colour I hadn’t tried was green. Green just seemed too strange, too uni student grunge and definitely not sophisticated. Tolerant though my workplace was about the varying shades of bright, I very much doubted they could cope with green. Nor, for that matter could I. One woman I worked with kept saying that she thought green would look great on me but I seriously doubted her judgement. But then one day after having my hair coloured a light blueish tone my hairdresser suggested a pale mint colour would be good. I was instantly sold on the idea. I could see the exact colour: a pale spearmint.
So next hair cut/colour date my short platinum hair was toned to a pale spearmint. Except it wasn’t quite what I had in mind. It was too green – too yellow-green and not enough of the paler blue green I had envisaged. No matter. All these colours quickly fade and by the time my next cut/colour date came around my hair just had an ever so slight pale green tinge. Strangely though that whilst people clearly didn’t like the colour they nonetheless commented that it reminded them of either the old fashioned green milkshakes or a gelato.
I’m so used to having striking hair colour that I forget its unusual. Sometimes I catch people looking at me and wonder what they’re staring at? And then I remember I have blue/pink/purple/turquoise or green hair. I’m always really pleased when people – complete strangers – comment or tell me how much they like my hair. Even women who seem so straight or conservative often tell me how much they like my hair (and how brave I am). But the thing I love most is the reaction from kids for whom my hair is just very, very strange. And when little girls say “you’ve got pink hair” I respond by telling them that I’m a fairy. So much fun. I love the way that small children don’t hide behind manners and protocols; they just come right out and say (loudly): “mummy, that lady’s got green hair”. Comments like that deserve a wink and a smile. And how wonderful to be able to blow away stereotypes.
The next time I got my hair coloured I knew exactly the colour I wanted: in the background of a photo was the exact pale turquoise colour I thought would be great. It was a soft variation of mint. And thanks to the talented colourist at the salon, that’s exactly the colour I got. It was gorgeous and most people loved it mainly because it reminded them of gelato and they wanted to lick it. What fun. And how wonderful that someone’s hair colour can make people smile and exclaim in wonderment and strike up a conversation? If what it takes to engage with strangers is crazy hair colour then I’m all for that. Colour me happy.