Apparently this minor change in my appearance is enough to trigger an extremely different reaction from strangers. This is the only explanation I can find for the fact that in the past three weeks, since dying my hair, I have attracted more rudeness and abuse than in the three years previous to that.
Still, cutting one's hair is a big deal in a woman's world. A few years ago, a distant friend of mine nearly had a breakdown when her daughter cut her extraordinary long hair. And come to think of it, when a friend with the most wonderful lengthy locks got her first hair cut back in college, everyone gasped.