If you see a woman or man around town this month sporting some unusual purple streaks in their hair — don’t be shy, ask her or him, why the flash of colour?
More than 25 people have had parts of their hair dyed purple or had purple extensions put in their hair to raise awareness about the need to end violence against women in our community.
The purple tresses campaign was initiated by the Women’s Contact Society.
“We wanted to create a bit more conversation in the community around the issue,” says society executive director Irene Willsie. “Just as it is not acceptable to drink and drive, it is not acceptable to harm women and girls.”
Many of the women, and at least one man, sporting purple hair had the colour added Monday evening at Intrigue Hair Studio.
The Women’s Contact Society purchased purple hair extensions and invited various people in the community, including Mayor Kerry Cook and Coun. Laurie Walters, to wear them as part of the Purple Ribbon campaign leading up to Dec. 6, Canada’s National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women.
“It’s the best cause, a cause we support,” says hair studio owner Penny Grimard, who, along with stylists Kelsie Chorney and Hannah Chorney, volunteered their time to put the purple streaks in the hair of participants.
Grimard said they also support the Safe Haven program for women as well as other local charities and causes.
Dawn Wall, who moved to Williams Lake a year ago and is the child care consultant for the Women’s Contact Society, had Grimard dye the whole front of her blond hair purple for the cause.
In an ironic twist while dying Wall’s hair, Grimard learned that she had purchased a large bronze purse that was donated by Wall for the Hand Bags of Hope auction held last spring at Thyme for Tea to raise funds for the Women’s Contact Society.
Unbeknownst to Grimard at the time, one of her best friends had also filled the handbag with what turned out to be items she needed including a pair of gloves that fit her perfectly, which was a pleasant surprise because Grimard says she has trouble finding gloves that fit her properly.
“It is just an all-around neat thing to meet you,” Grimard said.
Randy Walter and his partner Eileen Alberton came into the salon with a parcel for their friend Grimard. Innocent of what was happening there they were soon in the stylists’ chairs having parts of their hair dyed purple.
Walter had the sides of his distinguished white hair dyed purple while Alberton had several streaks dyed into the front of her hair, and a purple extension added for good measure.
“He is a truly brave man,” exclaimed Alberton.
Debbie Graham was equally impressed with Walter’s participation.
“I think awareness is important and with men doing it too it makes a very bold statement so that women will come forward and get the help they need,” said Graham, who had three little purple streaks put in her reddish hair.
“It makes women aware that help is available.”
Kelsie Chroney added: “I think every one of us knows a woman who has been touched by violence.”