Crazy Hair

In the States, and probably most other countries in the world, when a young person wants to rebel or experiment with their look, a pretty typical thing to do is hair coloring. And the bigger the rebellion or individuality of the youth, the crazier the color. Okay, so far so good.

In Japan, I’ve seen a lot of crazy hair colors, from lime green to florescent pink to grape kool-aid. Seems pretty typical right? Wrong. Because it’s not the young adults of Japan with the crazy hair colors…it’s the grandmas! Tonight I was waiting at the station to catch my train after work, and I saw a woman, probably in her sixties, with hair the color of grape kool-aid, no joke. And it was all I could do not to stare.

I mean, do you think these grandmas go into the hair salon and specifically request lime green highlights? You think I’m joking, but I’ve seen it. And if the stylist finished and my hair was some absolutely crazy color that I didn’t want, you can bet good money that I would’ve complained, made them redye my hair for free, and then proceeded to wear a hat around until it was safe to recolor again. I would sure as much not be walking around flaunting my horrible hair color by styling it into what I think must be the fashionable way for women of a certain age in Japan to style their hair. But I will say that it’s pretty much the same as in the States as far as style is concerned, just with a small Japanese influence.

Crazy grandma hair color is just one of the many mysteries of Japan that I can’t quite figure out. Maybe one of these days I’ll learn enough Japanese to ask someone about it. But not any of said old ladies of course. Give me credit for politeness. My parents did teach me good manners after all.


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