In my on-going quest to blend economic prosperity with social justice, I offer you the following idea.
During this respite up in Cambridge, I determined that I neither wanted to spend the money nor expend the chemical and water waste in coloring my hair. I wish I could say it was about purity of motive and the release from the insatiable clutches of vanity. It wasn’t. It was all about saving money and the environment. And therefore it was subject to being overturned if I thought I looked awful. (Though I would color it less often to reduce my outflow of money and pollution.)
But, Avram seems to like it and in the dim light of the bathroom mirror I can’t really see what I look like, so, so far so good.
However, I can hear the Wall Street capitalists bemoaning the loss to the billion dollar hair industry if we all decided to go natural (though I am sure that we will not give up using all “product”. We still have to wash our hair!). So here is what I propose:
In lieu of the hundreds to thousands of dollars we each may spend each year coloring, dyeing and otherwise highlighting, streaking and tinting our hair, we take a portion of that saved expenditure, let’s call it a pe’ah, and tack it on to our hair care bill each time we go in for a haircut. This mandatory bonus for the salon will then be set aside to pay for haircare for the sick and indigent: for wigs for those undergoing cancer treatment who do not wish to be seen bald; for abused women who need someone to treat their bodies with love and care and tell them they are beautiful; for those who spend every dollar they get on food, shelter, shoes and medicine for their families and who have nothing left over for indulging themselves; for anyone needing someone to touch them gently, lovingly, safely, reassuring them that they and their bodies are blessed.
I know of a mobile dental unit that treats for free those who otherwise would not get dental care. Why can we not have a mobile salon, beautifully appointed with pastel colors and plushly upholstered chairs, that travels from place to place where people need to be reminded of the true treasures they are and the gifts they bear.
Then going grey would be a sign not of one’s parsimoniousness or slovenliness, but a part of one’s largesse and commitment to social justice. Just like the bracelets we all wore a few years ago, only this sign becomes a piece of us, a constant signal of who we truly are.