Friday, March 23, 2012

Pink Hair -- One Year Later

It's been a year ago today that I had part of my hair dyed pink.  I wrote a blog post about it called "The Cure for Pain is Pink Hair" and it got a lot more comments than I ever dreamed of.

Reading back over the post, I had to laugh in that way you laugh when you're laughing at yourself.  I'm still very much that same girl from a year ago.  Overweight (check, but I've lost some pounds recently), in almost constant and varied pain (check, dammit), and occasionally frustrated (check).  It would seem I haven't learned a darned thing prancing around with pink in my hair.

But I have.  

When I originally got my hair done, I had only the barest ends done.  I was afraid what people would say when they saw me.  For someone not fond of my face, why in the world was I bringing attention to it?  Now, the pink is slowly becoming more obvious as my hair grows longer.  I have the tiniest beginnings of gray, but I kind of like that dichotomy, the pink of youth and the gray of well-fought-for age.

One of the things that still sticks with me from last year's post is what a stylist said as I sat in the chair.

"Everyone is pretty, they just don't always know it."

And they are!  There's external beauty, internal beauty, beauty of a spring day, beauty of a child's hug, beauty of a card in the mail you weren't expecting.  Beauty doesn't have to be skin deep because it really is all about perspective.
This is what I gave as my reason a year ago for dying my hair pink...

Because life's too short to wish for things we can actually do.

This still holds true.  I still fight the same demons of pain but I've come to term with feelings of inadequacy.  I've come to terms with my jewelry design and am striving forward, exploring more, and not wallowing in "you're not as good as X".  Such silliness.

In the past year I've written a book (with major help from lots of contributors), explored beaches and woods and museums and hidden up in Zack's loft reading books.  I've gotten entranced in antique malls, taken a ton of pictures, made a heck-ton of jewelry, and read a million books.

Not too shabby for someone who did this hair thing because she was ticked off at pain.

I don't always have good days, but my good days are spectacular days.  All I have to do is watch Zack, play card games at dinner with him and Rick, plan Adventure Days when he's out of school, and watch my OWN self start to try to break out of the vicious cycle my pain has put me in.  I'd like to get off that Ferris wheel and I'm working at it, and I hope you'll forgive me when I wallow in self-pity.

To that end -- I am who I am.  I'm a work in progress.  I've spent almost all my life trying to please every single person who comes into my life, no matter how peripherally, and that's fine, but when they are disparaging or discouraging or just not good for me ---


That is NOT to say that gentle criticism, help, and concern from friends isn't a good thing -- it is!  But bad vibes aren't good vibes and a pink vibe is a happy vibe.

I wear my hair as a banner, and it's become part of me.  It's my way of thumbing my nose (politely) at convention and telling myself it's fine to be who I am, nearly 42 with completely unconventional hair.  If I get sneered at (I have), if I get laughed at (I have), and if people think I should grow up already (puh-lease), I no longer care.  The woman last year who was nervous about walking down the halls of the school now often forgets she sports pink until someone points it out.

I wonder what my next metamorphosis will be?  (Remember, that's my word for the year).  I know at age 50 I'm getting another tattoo, although what it will BE, I have no idea.  I think that following metamorphoses will come in the change of invisible but tangible mind changes -- things that will help me become the woman I strive to be.


Lori Anderson creates jewelry for her web site, Lori Anderson Designs, and wrote the blog An Artist's Year Off.  She is the creator of the Bead Soup Blog Party.


  1. Lori, as you know I love your pink hair!!!! I just want to say you are a wonderfully beautiful person and you inspire me each day! Thank you for being who you are and sharing with us. I am with you on the tattoo - I want to get my next one on my birthday next year when I turn 40. Mom is designing it for me and I sure can't wait.
    Big hugs to you!!!

  2. Here's to pink and all that it embodies! Keep on living the life you were meant to live. And keep up with the pink because it has become so uniquely you. I am not that brave with my hair, but I appreciate it!
    Enjoy the day.

  3. A Beautiful Post, thanks for the inspiration!

  4. I LOVE your pink hair! And actually, I've been thinking that the next time I go in for a haircut (which needs to be soon, my hair's crazy long), I might ask for a couple of bleached streaks so I can dye it teal...

    Totally inspired by you!

  5. Lori, You are an amazing person!
    I have two tats. I got my first one when I was 23, my second one when I was 43 and I will be 53 this year and I already have in mind what I want the third one to be.

  6. :::Beaming a smile at you! HAPPY SPRING LORI! I hope that many great things sprout for you this year!:::

  7. You are awesome, we would get along famously. I too use my hair as an expression of who I am inside, and I am always changing it and coloring it. I used to be quiet and not speak my mind when I was younger and then I couldn't stand to be like everyone else and felt that I needed that constant change, I am approaching 50 (2 years) and I love it. I am who I am and I have 2 kids, 6 and 11 and they are so used to me and my quirks, my daughter wants to get her nose pierced like me and she just had 2 red colored extensions put in her hair. People ask my why and I say why not, life is too short to be so concerned with what other people think and why not let ourselves be who we want to be. I have great kids so why not, I want them always to be themselves and not have to apologize like I did for so many years.

    And I understand headaches, I have missed many an afternoon in bed to sleep them off and I am so lucky my kids understand.

    I love your pink hair! You rock it!

  8. Your hair is delightful! I love vibrant hair and it frames your lovely face.

    I express myself through having longer hair and dying it colours, not been brave enough to go pink though!

    I love reading your blog and you are constantly inspiring.

    Big Hugs

  9. I love your attitude and I am amazed by all you do with this blog.

  10. Lori, you are an inspiration. I love and admire your jewellery, your blog, and your get-up-and-go personality (even when it's hard to get up).

    Someone close to me has suffered with terrible pain for nearly 30 years, and the pain killers never 'do' it. He has his bad days, his grumpy days, and his happy days. There are days you can't stop him from doing things, even if it means tomorrow will hurt. But he lives for every day, and I think you're one of those people who can't be stopped. Thank goodness for that ;)

  11. I adore your hair! I always admire women who have the hutzpah to do it. It is a badge of creativity and strength, as far as I'm concerned.

  12. We all love you Lori -- and those that don't -- don't matter!

    Hugs and virtual pie (>

  13. The hair looks great! And I must say, I am jealous...I started to get grey at 23 and would be 75% grey if I didn't dye my hair blonde.....I am 41. :)

  14. ~you're beautiful~

  15. Lori, you are beautiful and it's wonderful to hear you being so positive. Reading your blog post makes me want to try even harder to be the person I want to be. Thanks for sharing!

  16. You are such a breath of refreshing pink. I find your pink hair beautiful and a sign of your self-confidence that radiates from you. And to tell your age is another refreshing aspect of you and your honesty. Thank you for being YOU Lori! I adore you and your spirit!!

  17. It's interesting, I've only ever known you with pink hair so I don't know what you looked like before it. And yet, when I think of you or look at a photo, I don't say to myself, "Look, there's Lori-with-the-pink-hair." Just, "There's Lori!" Rather than having your hair define you, I think I see it as a delightful expression of who you are! (...Now we won't be discussing MY hair!) :-)

  18. You've certainly been an inspiration to me and I think you're beautiful, inside & out, pink hair and all.

  19. love the quote from the stylist- so very true, & something i've believed for a long time. and sweetie, you have the face of a friend, which is always beautiful :)

  20. sista... you give me inspiration and a knowledge that i am not the only person on a circling train or a ferris wheel that isn't slowing down!!

  21. Lori,
    You are one of the most beautiful people I know! If I worked somewhere where I could dye my hair, I would. I love it!

  22. You are so inspiring and I love that you are still sporting the awesome pink! As Julia Roberts said in "Steal Magnolias","pink is my signature color"....that could be you! So sorry you are still experience such intense pain...worse yet, you have no answers for that pain....Wishing you the best and kudos for your accomplishments and positive attitude!

  23. Pretty in PINK....I have red hair and over time it has been a few shades. And I do have a little gray at my temples that I really like. I used to put stricks in my hair, now it does it on it's own when putting color on. Have a great week, Mary
    All my growing up years i was told not to wear Red clothes because of my I have more read clothes than any other's good!!!

  24. Love the pink! To look at you, you would never know the pain you go through - you have a pretty amazing attitude. You find good in so much and enjoy the life you have and that's something to behold!

  25. Love your pink hair Lori and why not if it makes you happy and confident I think you are looking great!
    Lara is going for purple streaks in May for her birthday cause she loves purple, go for it I say!

  26. Love your hair, love you, love your adventures with Zach.

  27. I loved the pink hair then, and love it now!

  28. I suffer from a chronic pain injury. I've been wondering about how to get people together as support for one another in a POSITIVE way. I keep running into so many people who suffer from pain, yet there is no support in the community for that. Even my doctor said to let him know if I find something. Isn't that funny?! I find your comments on pain have been enlightening, as well as your ways of dealing with it. Love the pink hair! I've wanted to try it for a long time, but my hairdresser warned me it wouldn't last very long, because I dye all of my hair. (I cover my grey) Hum. Yours seems to last! How often do you have to do it to keep it up?? It's BEAUTIFUL!

  29. I love your pink hair! I think it is wonderful that you are standing and owning it and not caring what anyone has to say. Perhaps I should get that tattoo I have been thinking about for the past 15 yrs. ;)
    Thanks Lori. I am so glad you are you!

  30. I am so proud of how much self confidence you have gained in the last year. You are still one of the nicest people that I have ever had the pleasure of meeting but now you are starting to really come into your own.


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