Why I can’t have short, purple hair.

All my life I’ve wanted short, purple hair. I never told my parents, as I was sure my dad would disapprove. There was that time he made fun of me when I had black nail varnish. But he didn’t lose the plot when I came home with my nose pierced. I probably didn’t give him enough credit for being open minded. And my littlest sister has had a whole rainbow of hair colours over the years, though the closest she went to purple was dark blue. So, I probably should have been braver and just gone for it back then.

I did dye my hair though. A safe shade of blonde. I was born with shockingly blonde hair. Shocking that is, for a Turk in Turkey. But over the years it darkened to a light brown. So dying it blonde was a way of reclaiming my lost childhood. I stopped dying it when I lived in Japan though. I couldn’t read the labels on the home-dye kits and no way could I have gone into a hairdressers who I couldn’t converse with. And I haven’t dyed my hair since.

I seem to be the only female-presenting person I know who doesn’t dye their hair. I really don’t mind my grey hairs showing. Wanting to now dye my hair is nothing to do with fear of growing old. It’s just wanting to finally do something I’ve always wanted to do. Plus I’ve noticed it’s now really easy to get safe hair dyes in all sorts of vibrant colours.

But I don’t think I can. It doesn’t feel safe. Even if I never left the house, it wouldn’t feel safe. Unless I made sure nobody, even online, especially online, knew.

Because, I feel I wouldn’t be taken seriously as an autistic activist if I had short, purple hair. “Manic pixie dream girl” anyone? And especially since I read a recent comment, by an autistic person no less, saying they have recognised a pattern amongst the “outspoken” autistic advocates that they dislike, the ones they are suspicious of: they all have short, brightly coloured hair. And I have to admit, that is indeed a pattern.

And I just feel so awful. That I’m letting those kind of comments get to me, and dictate how I have my hair. Hopefully I’ll get over this silliness and just go for it one day. Perhaps for my fiftieth birthday? Who knows.

[image of a rectangle filled in with the shade of purple I would want to dye my hair.]


  1. I sincerely hope you one day get that purple. I think it would look FABULOUS on you (and I don’t even know what you look like). I am getting blue AND purple on Friday, and I have dark hair naturally, lol. I’m in my 40’s and always wanted it, but never worked in a position that allowed it or had disposable funds enough to do it. Now, surprisingly, I have found both somehow, so by golly I’m going to. I think that for many of us, especially ones who were late diagnosed as adults, it’s one more layer of masking we get to take off, a way of saying ‘YES, I’m different, and I finally LOVE that about myself.” (not assuming anyone who doesn’t feels otherwise, that’s just my own experience speaking and what I’ve heard from several who have done the same thing).

    Good luck! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It sounds like it’s something you want but aren’t doing because of what other people think or do. I think part of taking the mask off is listening to to your autistic self and letting it express…Other activists are free to color their hair and be awful but you know you don’t have to be that way. If other people judge you because of some purple hair…maybe they’re not worth having around?

    I was recently contemplating something similar (though more permanent) because I feel like I’m the only vegan with no tattoos. My masked self was telling me to think about it and get one to fit in, but my inner autistic self knows if I get a tattoo I will start hating it in 5 minutes flat. That’s just my 2c 🙂 …. Hope you find a shade you like, lavender is one of my fave colors.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The activists who dye their hair are actually lovely. But do rub some folks up the wrong way.
      And I do have some inner….ageism maybe is the right word? The thought that it’s ok for those in their twenties but that I’ve missed the boat. Same reasoning stopping me getting a tattoo.
      Though I think maybe when I’m actually “old” I may do those things as it won’t matter then. Like one of my favourite poems, “When I am old” by Jenny Joseph.
      Also, having kids plays into it. I need to be “taken seriously” and not sure I can do that with bright hair. Eventually that mask too will come off, but not yet.


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