Appparently, the Russians have taken Jenny Joseph's sentiment to its extreme, in that old ladies here don't just wear purple; they dye their hair purple. Lavender, to be more specific. I've seen this on several different women here (always exactly the same shade), but I was particularly struck by the vivid tresses of a woman I passed on the way to the internet cafe (and by the fact that she was wearing lipstick that was a perfect match).
I think my grandmother, an active member of my hometown's Red Hat Society, should try this out.
I haven't seen any younger women with purple hair, though, because they seem to be too busy dying it the kind of vivid maroon you see sometimes in the U.S. on someone who was going for a rich red-brown but missed the mark by about two miles. Except here, it's done on purpose.
So the reason I'm contemplating this is that I have a hair appointment in about two and a half hours. I've been toying with the idea of cutting my hair short since August, and I've finally concluded that I'm not going to be happy until I find out what it looks like. I actually thought about selling my hair, since there's ample opportunity to do that here (and admittedly because I was being romantic/dramatic and imagining an entrance like Winona Ryder's in the movie version of Little Women when she bursts into the kitchen and reveals that she's sold her beautiful chestnut locks to support the family). But it turns out that the requisite 30 cm you need to have to sell (40 cm if dyed or gray, which my hair fortunately is not) would leave me with only an inch or two left. And that's not what I'm going for.
So despite the fact that I'm not going to be satisfied until I find out what I look like with short hair, I acknowledge that this is a horrible idea. You see, the above-mentioned dye jobs aren't the only way in which Russian hair fashion differs from U.S. For one thing, rat-tails (you know, the kind the third-grade bully had) are popular (on women and small boys, but not men, it seems), as are mullets and mullet derivatives. If not for the fact that I found a picture of what I want my hair to look like, I think the risk of accidentally coming out with a rat-tail or a mullet would be too great (especially since my haircut-describing abilities are pretty weak in Russian). But I did find such a picture, so off to the парикмахерская/parikmakherskaya (a ridiculously long word that I suspect must come from German, like most ridiculous Russian words (another example: шнурки/shnurki, which means shoelaces)) I go.
However, the picture I'm taking with me is a side shot, so there's still a chance that I'll end up with some godawful bangs or something. (I'm hoping hand gestures will be enough to prevent that.) In any case, if the stylist appears to be reaching for a bottle of dye, my plan is to start running.