My Grandfather Was a Smurf

Good news, everyone. I have blue hair!

Okay. It's not ALL blue. It's streaked like my friend Tibby's hair:

Rather than blue-all-over like my friend, Clementine's:

But it's blue!

And I know I'm supposed to be an adult now, and therefore, Mature. But whatever. I HAVE BLUE HAIR! WOO HOO!!

Perhaps some back story is necessary for you to appreciate my joy.

I'm a redhead. And just like every other redhead I know, this one thing has defined my life. I'm not the tall girl or the girl with the glasses or the girl who just tripped over that box (although all three are accurate descriptions) - I am The Redhead.

Like most redheads, I HATED my hair as a child. Red hair is a magnet for the elderly and the creepy. But, like most redheads, I grew into it as a teenager. And I learned to love it for the special, neat-o, cool thing it is.

Because it is. Red hair is awesome. Just as J.K. Rowling.

Anyway, the year I learned to love my hair was the same year Green Day released Dookie. Suddenly all of the girls in my school had crushes on Billie Joe and Manic Panic was the thing and my friends were bleaching their hair and dyeing it hot pink and swimming pool green and, yes, electric blue.

And I helped them, I LOVED to help them, but I was always afraid to reach for the bleach myself. Because I had red hair, and it was special. Right? I mean, who would I be if I weren't a redhead? And what if I were some kind of genetic freak, and my hair grew back a different color?

In other words, terror kept me a redhead.

A few years later, those mascara wands for your hair became popular. They were thick and goopy and no hair bleaching was necessary for them to show up and they washed out in a single shampooing. Oh, happy day! I had them in maroon and forest green and sparkly gold and - yes - bright blue. And the blue was my favorite, the only tube I used up. And I remember thinking, Maybe someday I will be brave enough to get the real thing.

And in the meantime, I oogled Clementine and Tibby and Ryan Phillippe's character from Playing By Heart:

(Anyone remember that movie? Dr. Greene from ER and Jon Stewart and an undiscovered Angelina Jolie? It was pretty good when I saw it, but I have no idea what I'd think of it today.)

Only now - a decade and a half later - have I finally convinced myself of the obvious. It's just hair. And if not now, then when? I realized that if something were to happen to me tomorrow, I would be very sad if I had never had blue hair.

So I know it doesn't sound like a big deal. People dye their hair every day. And it's not like I even dyed the whole thing. I'm still 85% redhead. But to me? This is HUGE. On par with tattooing my cheekbones or piercing my elbows. Very scary and very brave and very exciting.

And I'm so proud of myself.


  1. Good for you! Ever since high school, I've wanted to get some big, chunky magenta streaks in my hair, but I've always been afraid to do it because of the icky black-hair-turns-orange-when-bleached phenomenon. Mind if I live vicariously through you for a few minutes? :)

  2. Oh! But you would look so amazing with magenta streaks!!

    You should totally do it.

    (Do it. Do it.)

    Though I confess I'm nervous about the growing out period. At least my hair is short. It would take you a lot longer!

  3. If I did it, we'd have to team up and fight crime.

  4. Best. Idea. Ever.

    We'd need a catchy name. Every good crime fighting duo starts with a good name.

  5. Yay for blue hair. I want to see pictures. Either that or you have to keep it until we come visit in a few weeks.

    Good for you! I am all for having fun with your hair. It is a great way to be playful. I have been doing a subtle red for a while now but I think it's time for a bright and unnatural one again.

  6. You know, if we find someone who's willing to dye her hair bright lemon yellow, we could be like the Powerpuff Girls. Only older and married.

  7. Oh WOW - good for you!! You need to send me a picture! Blue and red must look so cool together. I had blue with my black about two and a half years ago. What I hated was that it would fade out and then it looked like I had green and black. But I love blue!

    And ironically, I am now red (actually more reddish fuschia) and black.