One thing I started doing during Covid was dying my hair. Green, purple, and/or kind of an aqua. Growing up in the 1980s and 90s in Providence, between the campuses of RISD and Brown, students constantly had weirdly colored hair that I admired, and I always wanted to do it but hesitated. I’ve tried dying it before, but it never stuck. As long as I wasn’t going to see anybody during quarantine, it seemed a good time to experiment. But what pushed me the most to sit down and follow directions carefully is the nightmares I have every night about aging.
Many years ago, I met Debe Dalton, an older banjo player with white hair that she regularly dyed with fun colors. As a young person then, I would hesitate to to chat with someone so much older. But her dyed hair drew me in. So did her banjo. These may be stupid prejudices, but as I grow older, I lose a lot of sleep fearing other people’s similar prejudices, especially as a single person, and on stage. I do not feel ready to be old yet. How can I counteract it and remain approachable? I feel like dying my hair is one way. When you think of someone sitting at a bar with bright pink hair, would you expect unfriendly, or someone you’d like to talk to? It doesn’t cover up or conceal age, but it does signal that I am not to be confused with other middle aged people. And to boot it’s fun.
I must say I feel really at home with purple hair, and this is the most important reason I intend to keep doing it. I look in the mirror and say, “oooh!” When I go out, I find people are nicer to me. Strangers talk to me. Shopkeeps make conversation, proving my theories of approachability and the potential to improve my social life. My only reservation is the the chemicals.
I am anxious to debut this new hair at the DIY music venues around town, which remain largely shuttered. I am hopeful June is the month they start booking again. I run sound at such venues so I am anxious for work. But I greatly miss meeting other musicians, and I have a ton of new songs to perform. What happens next?
Anyhoo, stay clean. Keep bathing.
Lord On-Time Machine