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At a playground where my 9-year-old son still likes to monkey around, a little girl with hair the color of corn silk came walking toward me, her eyes fixed with a scholar's attention on my head. "Actually," she said after further moments of deepest scrutiny, "it's purple. After years of trying to hide the advancing gray with a dye that gradually rinses out—the only kind that doesn't leave me with a rash—my hair, which I keep long, had become a weird rainbow of colors.