The Transformation

May 27, 2018 10:27 AM (for May 26, 2018)

Yesterday, I made a spur of the moment change. It wasn’t well-thought out. I made my decision on Friday night and executed on Saturday morning.

While the change isn’t important in the big scheme of life. I can tell already that it is a life-altering change for me.

I had my hair cut and dyed yesterday. I chose a drastic new style and a drastic new color. Here’s the before and after pictures.


I’m not one to shirk trying new hairstyles. I’ve gone short before. But it’s been a long time since I’ve been this short before. I think it was back in the mid 90’s where a dye mishap left me with jet black hair. I decided to rock a pixie cut until it faded out. But I was younger than. Twenty years younger, at least.

Once I hit my forties, I’ve been consciously choosing styles that I think are age appropriate. My personal taste tends to be unconvential. I like bright colors and patterns. I love animal prints — especially leopard. In an attempt to not be that little old lady someday with the wild hair and clothes, I’ve been reigning in my choices, gradually. Easing my way into a more mature look.

As far as hair color goes, I’ve never ventured beyond the rainbow of hair colors that can occur naturally in nature. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had every color of hair possible — blonde, brown, red, all highlighted with various hues. But I’ve never ventured outside that spectrum to what they now call “fashion” colors.

I like fashion colors! I’ve always liked them. I had a girlfriend in college (mid-80’s) who dyed her hair a lovely shade of eggplant purple and shaved it on one side. I liked it but I was never brave enough to do it myself.

Nowadays, the hair dye aisle in Walmart looks like a box of crayons. There are non-permanent dyes to change hair to blues and greens and pinks. I love them! The past few years I’ve admired them as I bought my dark brown spray tint to hide-the-grays. I’ve wished they were available when I was younger. I totally would have played around with color when I was younger if it wasn’t permanent. Totally. (Can you tell I’m a child of the 80’s?)

Then a couple of months ago, I picked up a can of pink spray color on a whim. I added a hot pink streak to my hair now and then. Which was fun, but since my hair is dark it wasn’t that noticeable. I had I use a lot of the spray to see the color which left a chunk of my hair feeling crispy and shellacked. I couldn’t get a comb through it.

I get that playing with pink dye that washes out is a big difference than permanent dye and good head shearing. So what happened to force me out of my comfort zone yesterday?

It was, surprisingly, a writing seminar that I attended last weekend. This was an informal seminar not affiliated with a college. There were writers of all kinds but the majority of them were women. Many of them were as old or older than me.

And many of them were rocking fun personal styles. Personal styles that I wouldn’t necessarily deem age-appropriate. There was one white-haired lady with bright red glasses. The instructor had short, red-spiked hair. One of the published authors on the panel had this awesome hair cut where part of the top was long and part was shaved. The long part was held back with clips to expose the partly shaved part. Granted, she was probably at least ten years younger than me, but she wasn’t in her early twenties either.

I got a lot out of that seminar. More than I expected. I learned a lot about getting published and I learned that age appropriate is whatever you like at your age. Were these women dressed out the norm in what you’d see at Pick N Save on a Saturday? You bet. Did they care? I doubt it. Did anyone at Pick N Save care that the woman had a partially shaved head or an elderly woman wore bright red glasses? I doubt that, too.

One of the gifts of growing older is the freedom to do and be who you want to be. Some people learn this much earlier in life, like my friend in college with the eggplant hair. Some of us, like me, learn it later; but at least I learned it.

So went I went into the salon yesterday, I told my stylist to go to the “fashion” colors of her dye chart. She was shocked. I handed her a couple of photos of hair cuts that were part Katy Perry, part Pink. The result: a super short haircut that is shaved at the back and a hair color that’s somewhere in between the color of an eggplant and a red pepper. Still colors found in nature, just not colors found on humans.

I love the change. I love the ease. This morning I got up, ran my hand through my hair and it was done. (Those of you who color know you can’t wash it for the first 24 hours). I saved at least 20 minutes from my morning hair routine. That’s two plus hours a week!

Now I think I need new fun glasses to match the hair.  I saw a pair of leopard print frames I liked but didn’t buy the last time I looked. I do love my leopard print.

Will I end up being a little old lady wearing bright pink lipstick, too much leopard print (as if there is such a thing!) with bright, garish hair? Quite possibly.  Maybe those little old ladies had it right all along. Age-appropriateness is all in your mind.

I just had to hit the appropriate age to recognize that.


11:14 AM

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