Tuesday, March 23, 2010


Every few weeks I get a little reality check about my own mortality. My hair grows out enough that my ever-increasing grey roots show and I must decide if I want to dye my hair again.

My hair has really gone grey the last few years, but not in an attractive way. No, I have the whole grizzled, salt-n-pepper look, my natural chestnut shade either fading to a steely color or darkening closer to black. I don't find this change very charming. It's not that I protest the greying of my hair -- that stared when I was 17 and I'm sort of used to the idea. It's how UGLY the particular grey I'm getting looks. It's not white. It's not silver. It's really, really grey, like white sheets washed in dirty water.

It's also sprinkled in weird patches. I started greying at the crown of my head. It's just now reached my temples with little streaks. It hasn't quite made paths on the back or sides. That just looks weird. It's almost like someone dribbled bleach on my hair.

So, I'm in the middle of my debate right now. I have a box of hair color sitting by my bathroom sink. Dying my hair is some work, because I have a lot of hair. It's now officially down to my butt and has to be pulled free of any waist band. Yeah, it needs a serious trim, too. So, it's a pain to do it. Am I bowing to societal pressure to stay young looking? Is it so deep in my psyche that I can't overcome or resist? Or is it just my personal aesthetic that says my hair looks ugly with its scattered dirty grey?

Seriously, every time I wait and wait until I have a good inch or two of roots to see if either the grey has increased to overcome the dark, or has lightened somehow to look less dingy. The increase I see, the color change I don't. And I debate using those chemicals on my hair. Should I stop now? Should I just quit messing and do it regularly? Maybe I'll follow my mother's lead and dye my hair until I turn 50, never letting anyone know about my grey. Of course, my mom's grey came in at the temples and was pure white. Dad, on the other hand, epitomized "grizzled". Guess who I'm taking after?


sue said...

Wow... down to your butt? That's a lotta hair!

I, too, started going grey early. I had a "skunk patch" in my mousy-brown hair for several years, getting bigger and bigger until I finally bit the bullet and tried some color. That's been, oh... about 25 years ago. About 15 years ago I let it grow out about an inch to see what was there. Well, it is now white all over except the bottom edges where it is gray. I am very, very, very pale and I'm afraid I would just look ghastly with white hair, so I continue to dye.

Good luck on your decision. You should post a picture! ;)

Sherri said...

Well, tonight;s the night. I have an award's dinner to attend, I need to wash my nasty hair, so I might as well toss the dye on, too. yah, One More Time.

Jim said...

You dye a rug, you color your hair. That is all.

LaraAnn said...

When I was a kid I though that people didn't start getting gray hair until their 50s. Well, I noticed a few grays a few years ago. It's kind of depressing to see even more now at 40. I didn't start liking my red hair until I was 17. I can't really afford to get it colored though. Maybe now people won't be saying you look younger than you are. I'll really miss that.