Marlie has been having trouble lately with the fact that she just doesn't look like her Mama. She is always trying to find ways to match me, but it's difficult to accomplish beyond clothing. For a year she's been asking for a purple streak in her hair like mine. For a year I've been saying no.
But with the increasing frustration she's had lately over our differences in appearance, I've been re-thinking it. Still on the fence, it was Marshall who changed my mind. He was all for Marlie getting a purple streak, telling me, "It's just hair!". And he's right. And I started to think, if this simple gesture will help her bridge the gap between our physical differences, it will be worth it. But before I told her yes, I consulted with her African American hair stylist and with my hair stylist (who does my purple streak) to make sure it would be safe to do on a child so young. (both stylists work at the same place and know each other well) They both assured me it would be just fine to do. It would change the texture slightly and require more conditioner than the rest of her hair but otherwise be fine.
Soooooo... I came home and told Marlie we could give her a purple streak in her hair. To say she was excited is an understatement. She was elated. It was just before Christmas when we told her she could get it done, and she would ask almost daily when she was getting her purple hair. Finally I made an appointment for her to get her hair done today.
This week she was counting down the day until her appointment. She kept informing her big brothers she had an "appointment" to get her purple hair. Last night she was excited to go to bed and go to sleep early so today would come sooner. This morning she couldn't wait to get to the hair salon. And while I gave her the option of picking the location of the purple streak, I was unsurprised that she chose to have it in the same place, same side as I have mine.
Here is her "before" picture.
In order for the purple to show up on her hair, they had to first bleach her hair. They have to do the same thing to my hair as well.
Then Marlie had to spend some time under the heat lamp while her hair lightened. I wisely brought along an iPad to help her pass the time.
Surprise! Marlie has "yellow" hair!!! She thought it was so silly.
Now time to apply the purple!
Then she got her hair blown dry and flat ironed. While the purple was still soaking in her hair, I had my hair washed and blown straight as well, so she and I would both have "flat" hair together.
As soon as her hair was finished and I took her out of the salon chair, she hugged me tightly and thanked me for letting her have purple hair. Once we got home, Daddy wanted to take some pictures outside with his fancy camera.
Some people might judge me for letting her do this. Heck, a few years ago I would've judged someone for coloring their young child's hair. But having seen Marlie increasingly struggle with our differences in appearances, and knowing how much this small gesture means to her... I wouldn't hesitate to do it again. Of course there are some lines I won't cross, like chemically straightening her hair or coloring the entire thing, but when it comes to a purple streak... it's just hair.