Will it come out? Am I sending her the wrong message? Or is individuality a good message? Four? I’m considering doing this on a four-year-old? At least it’s not for a pageant.
The turmoil churned in my head as my smiling blonde-haired, blue-eyed beauty narrowed her eyes. “I said, I want to dye my hair red,” she repeated.
“So I look like Ginny Weasley.”
“Okay,” I said, faster than any worry could react. She wanted to look like a fictional character. What was the harm in that? It wasn’t like she asked me for a shell bikini like Ariel, or an Olaf tattoo.
Our girls, all three of them, are obsessed with Harry Potter. They pretend they live in Hogwarts. They use their wands to cast spells upon each other, and fly mail attached to a stuffed owl around their room. Even their Barbies get into the act:
As characters go, Ginny is a decent role model for a girl to have. She’s the younger sister, she goes to school, is adventurous, and (ugh) falls in love with Harry. Thankfully, we haven’t gotten to that book yet.
Since I didn’t want to make dying Miss S’s hair the holy grail of her childhood; something she’d fixate on forever. And I’m not opposed to hair dye. (Don’t currently do it, but have dabbled in it in the past.) I bought the Kool-Aid. Cherry flavoured.
I picked Kool-Aid because I didn’t have any beets, and didn’t want to use a boxed jobby on my baby’s tendrils. I also heard Kool-Aid washes out. Lord, I hope it washes out.
Most blogs said to soak the hair for 30-minutes. This wasn’t meant to be long-lasting, so I dipped, poured and massaged, but didn’t soak Miss S’s hair for any length of time.
“I’m Ginny!” Miss S declared, eyebrows raised with devilish delight.
Her hair was definitely a strawberry red. Even with my dipping, pouring and massaging, the colour saturated her blond hair. It suited her.
When Miss S was a baby we thought we saw red in her hair. A factoid, Miss Q brought up after I finished blowdrying. “I told her you thought she’d have red hair, so that’s probably why she wanted to dye it.”
Half way through my “words have power” talk, Miss S reiterated that she actually wanted to look like Ginny. They still have power, Miss Q…
Though tasty, Kool-Aid sort of freaks me out. A one-year-old Miss S drank some and then peed red. And now it’s dried her hair out, so there is definitely deep conditioning in her future. Oh, and it did this to my hands:
“I don’t have to dye my hair, Hermione and I have the same colour,” Miss Q told me. She wasn’t jealous, more curious, and happy her younger sister was finally looking the part of this character she insists upon playing.
For the record, my husband was the one who dyed Miss S’s hair first. For crazy hair day at her preschool he dipped her pigtails into permanent red and green dye. It was cut out by a summer haircut shortly after.
So why was I so nervous about this go-round? Because of all the reasons above. Because Miss S is more aware at four-and-a-half. Because it’s nice that she glows every time someone compliments her hair; but what message does that send? Do things for shock and you get compliments? Your blond hair wasn’t good enough?
But perhaps those are adult questions. For a four-year-old with Kool-Aid in her hair, it’s an extension of play. “I’m pretending I’m on a train to Hogwarts,” Miss S told me as I drove her to preschool this morning.
If only we owned a flying car.