I hear it just about every day. It doesn’t matter where I am or what I’m doing, someone will tell me, “Love the hair.”
Last December, I took the plunge and had teal and purple streaks put in my hair. It wasn’t a whim, it was a post-cancer treatment fling, or so I thought. I survived chemo and radiation, what’s a little hair color going to do? When Jeffrey, my hairdresser, asked me if I wanted teal or purple streaks, I said both. What the heck, right? If you are going to go bold, then be bold! That said, Jeffrey is a master at his craft. They are subtle streaks; layers of purple and teal zig-zag through the top and longer side of my stylishly short, dark hair. I make no effort (never have) to hide the sprinkles of grey. They are free to do as they please, to cavort alongside the dashes of color. A trick of the light, that’s what most people think, until they get close and realize that the color is really there, and then they smile.
This is a new experience for me, for people to approach me and initiate conversation about my hair, or anything else for that matter. I’ve always been rather reserved, quiet even, slipping through life under the radar. Now, the day doesn’t seem quite right if someone doesn’t comment on my hair. The grocery store is a hot-bed of people who love my hair. Check-out gals and guys and shoppers of all ages (I knew I got it right when a doting elderly man tore himself away from his wife for the briefest of moments, turned to me with a twinkle in his eyes as I passed by and, pointing to his own hair, nodded his head with approving glee.) Then there was the sign installer on Orange Avenue as I walked back to my car from Orlando Health, and the waitress at my mother’s 90th birthday party who broke club protocol long enough to smile wickedly and proclaim her adoration for my coif before returning to her Stepford-esque serving duties. Corporate titans that populate the Board of the nonprofit I work for and even someone in the rows behind me at the church I recently started attending, all fans. They pop up out of nowhere, all sporting smiles, their day having been brightened by the peacock colors in my hair.
It’s interesting, really, that something that I did purely for myself can have such an impact on others. Isn’t that the way, though? Like pebbles in a pond, our actions ripple out and touch people far and wide. We all know that, even if we don’t always pay attention to it. It is nice to know, though, that I am leaving swells of smiles in my wake.