The Power of the Pink

Sam Grew on how turning her hair pink for charity changed the way she was perceived…

Hair is critical to a woman’s self-identity and confidence.  This is never more apparent than when she loses it through the treatment of cancer.  In aid of this, I decided to dye my hair pink to raise money for The Haven, a breast cancer support charity.

Now, if you know me well, you know I have had the same haircut for about 25 years.  I am not a confident hair experimenter.  The ‘craziest’ thing I ever did was to have it highlighted.

But I was really quite excited about doing this.  Maybe it’s because I’m nearing the ‘Big Four O’ and at my age, I’m more confident in my own skin and willing to push myself a bit.  Or maybe it was just a midlife crisis (as my husband suggested).  Whatever it was, I decided to go the full hog and get some Shocking Pink hair dye onto my treasured highlights.

The result was very shocking!  But I kind of liked it!  What I didn’t expect was the societal reaction to the pink hair.  The mums in the playground LOVED it and wanted me to keep it… but then again, they are mostly younger than me and already have an array of different colours in their hair.  My older friends and family made positive noises about how it actually suited me… apart from my 95 year old grandma who just looked at me in horror and said ‘no dear’.

But the most surprising reaction was from people who don’t know me personally.

The first thing I noticed was that I got a lot of male attention – my husband reckons it’s because they thought I was ‘foxy’ – nice.

But on the most part, many people seemed intimidated by me…and to be honest, I was a little intimidated by myself and had an overwhelming desire to pierce something or get a ta’oo (as the young folk pronounce it).  Heart-breakingly, the older folk wouldn’t look me in the eye – even when I was smiling, holding the door open or offering to get something from a top shelf for them.  I was being judged for my hair.  But I’m a nice person!

It’s a good reminder to us all that what people wear, how they have their hair or how many tattoos or piercings they have, has no bearing on who they are as a person.  I am guilty of judging people on first impressions but this experience has made me check myself.

And we raised £316 for The Haven – so a worthwhile experience all round!

If you’d like to find out more about The Haven and make a donation, then visit their website: http://www.thehaven.org.uk/