I am 26 years old and work in healthcare. Growing up, my family never let me color my hair an “eccentric” color (I naturally have dark brown hair, the closest I ever got to “fun hair dye” was whine red). Whenever I moved out (around age 19), I started dying my hair on a regular basis because I jokingly said “well, I am living out my teenage impulses with my hair because I never got to do it under my parent’s roof”. My fiance loves it and encourages me because he knows it’s how I feel most comfortable with my own self image.
I have an undergraduate degree in studio art with a minor in biology. I got a graduate degree in public health (aka “preventative medicine”). I colored my hair regularly during my grad school experience, most of my professors loved it. When I worked side by side by the doctors at the local hospital, most of them loved my hair. I fondly remember a patient’s child (who looked no older than nine years old) who looked up at me and went “WOW! I LOVE your purple hair!”.
Whenever people have had problems with my hair color (my usual hair dyes involve medium-light variations of reds and purples just because these colors look great with my natural skin tone), it is almost always the older generation (people in their 50s and older). I happened to overhead a conversation between my future father in law and his son (my fiance) where the in-law stated “I had a friend who saw (name here) in the local store, she saw her from behind and thought it was ‘clown hair’ and almost touched her hair from behind”. I was so aghast by this that I just kind of stood where I was in stunned silence.
For starters, why does having any kind of “not natural” hair color suddenly “clown hair”? People have been changing the color fo their hair since the beginning to time. We are curious creatures and love color. Not to mention, my hair at the time of her supposed “seeing me” in the store was a more muted scarlet red. Of all the colors for my hair to be, this is pretty tame as compared to say bright orange or a neon green color. The fact that this woman wanted to touch my hair, from behind, without my consent, and stare at me like a freak show? What is wrong with people?
I am a cancer survivor. My hair is incredibly important to me. Anecdotally speaking when discussing this idea with my friends (age ranges from 20s to 50s) of would they feel comfortable with a medical professional treating them with hair that’s say, ocean blue? The majority of them said yes, in fact, they’d be even more eager to seek out a doctor with a trait like this because it makes them more approachable. It shows that doctors are “human too” and not just some robot that went to med school. A few surveys across different social media results have shown similar results.
Colorful hair shows someone who is individualistic and shows great creativity. So many jobs claim they want “creative workers” but when it actually comes to daily tasks? They vehemently are “anti creativity”.
If you are interested in reading more about people who work in the medical field who have “fun” colored hair, this link might interested you! https://thedo.osteopathic.org/2019/04/rainbow-colors-and-shaved-sides-can-dos-wear-their-hair-any-way-they-want/