“I’m going to the salon to get my hair done, what should I do?” I asked my four-year-old daughter, Penny.
“Get purple in your hair Mommy, it’s our favourite colour,” Penny answer excitedly.
When I was Penny’s age my Mom bought a purple Chevrolet Cavalier, because it was my favourite colour.
Getting a couple strands of purple in my hair didn’t sound too bad.
I came home to two excited little girls, who dug through my thick hair to find the two purple strands hiding underneath. It was a lot less exciting than they anticipated, but they still enjoyed the purple in their mom’s hair.
For me, it was a fun experiment. Even if others barely noticed, I knew it was there, and it was exciting to experiment a little with my hair and do something somewhat “daring.”
Last week it was my daughter’s turn to take a long overdue trip to the salon.
“I want to get purple in my hair like you, Mommy,” said Penny excitedly.
“Sure, that sounds like fun,” I replied with a smile.
It was a knee jerk reaction, to say yes to putting permanent hair dye in my four-year-old’s hair. I hadn’t consulted my husband, or really thought about how I felt about the decision. I especially didn’t think about the cost of the purple hair dye.
Luckily, my husband agreed, and the father daughter pair decided to make a date out of it, going to a downtown spa that is way too expensive for a four-year-old.
When she came home the purple in her hair was a lot more permanent looking and obvious than it had been when it was my hair, but I instantly fell in love. It suited my girl perfectly, and she was so proud, twirling around happily with her new hair.
“I think your teacher is going to say you look too grown up for kindergarten, you’re going to have to skip a few grades,” I joked.
She beamed proudly at my response, thrilled by the idea.
I thought a bit more about my decision to let my very young daughter put permanent colour in her hair. If she had asked for highlights, or to dye her hair black, I know I would have said, “No way!”
For some reason putting purple in her hair felt fun. It didn’t feel like she was trying to change her appearance, just experiment and let her personality shine. I thought about my recent decision to say yes more often. This was certainly an example of that decision.
I wondered what other parents would think of me. Would they think I was too lenient with my kids? My own mother wasn’t too impressed with the idea, but I am a millennial mom, not a baby boomer mom, and we do things differently.
In the end, I decided it was a fun experience for our family. Daniel and Penny had a chance to bond at the ritzy salon, and Penny and I shared the mutual experience of purple hair.
One thing is for sure, when my husband told me it cost $40 to get the few strands of colour in her hair, I made sure to let her know it was a one-time fun experience, no repeats necessary.