Thursday, August 21, 2014

Gray hair, don't care

None of the women in my family have gone gray.

Not on my dad's side.  Not on my mom's side.  My Aunt Ruby, who's in her 90s now, still has flaming red hair (appropriately enough).  And the last words my grandmother ever spoke in this world were "Pat, I need a tint tomorrow."

TRQ, a frustrated hair artist, started coloring my hair when I was eleven.  I KNOW.  She just put some blond streaks in there while we watched TV.  Stuff like that.  Because it was fun.  And as I got older I started messing with my hair color, too.  Sometimes I was a brunette.  Sometimes I was all Nordic looking.  Sometimes I did henna.  Once I had hair that turned purple and when a photographer at Olan Mills complimented me on the color, I confessed it wasn't natural.

"Please," he said.  "No one has hair the color of eggplant in real life."

Anyway.  It was just an unspoken rule that you don't go gray.  Gray is for women who've given up.

Which I kinda did this past year.  I didn't mean to, but somehow I just kept putting off appointments--partly because of the cost and partly because I didn't want to sit still while Vikki put tin foil in my hair so that the FBI and CIA will finally stop MESSING WITH MY BRAIN.

And then one day I looked in the mirror and I saw that I was graying and I kinda liked it.  And oddly so did Ken Cannon and the other males here.  And so . . . I'm experimenting.  And TRQ needs therapy over the issue, although she's trying hard to adapt to the idea.  I can hear her thoughts, though.  She's thinking Next thing you know she'll have a braid to her waist and wear sad little Birkenstock sandals, and she'll be throwing unattractive earthy little pots and giving them to us all for Christmas.

Anyway.  If you made it to the end of this post, do you think this is a subject for a Trib column?  Or is it way too slight?  Because you know how I am week after week.  Deep.

Sound off.  Be honest.


Dianna said...

I think this is a great issue that people don't talk enough about. Why do people feel the need to hide their grey hair? Why are women expected to hide it but not men?

Rachel said...

I refer to my gray as 'tinsel' and pretend like I don't care the first few times it appears. Once it really starts to grow out I'm rocking in the corner until my next hair appointment. I'm only 35 with young children who I blame for every single streak of gray. I'll probably be a lifer in hair color club.

cfarr said...

My youngest daughter is my stylist and will not let me go gray, even though I keep asking if it's time yet ;) It's a lot of work to keep up a color. I had her do red last time and I'm actually loving it - along with everyone else - except for my Mom (love you, Mom!) Maybe if I keep picking bold colors, she will give in! Haha!

CSIowa said...

I remember when my mother's hair turned completely white. I thought she looked much younger than when it was a mix of dark and gray. I was horrified to learn her hairdresser was trying to talk her into mixing in some color. I say do one (all grey) or the other (all color), but not both. And don't go darker than your natural color. It makes the skin tone look weird. I have been coloring my hair (light brown with occasional highlights for summer) since my return to school. It's a service I provide to accommodate the prejudices of my 22-year-old classmates and the business college in general. When I go all white, I will be done with it.

Megan said...

I'm 37 with fake red hair. A high school friend posted on my fb feed this week that she went gray "before it was cool." So apparently it's cool now. Also, I died laughing over your grandma's last words.

Rebecca said...

A "yes" vote for the column. This is coming from a braid and Birkenstock wearing woman.

Denver said...

Ok. I love this, and yes I think there is something more to say about women and their concerns about going gray. Gray has begun to highlight my hair, and for some reason I'm worried about this. While recently, my Mom let go of the hair dye and went stark white-gray and she looks stunning. What is it about gray hair that seems to worry the women of the world? And what does it take to have us be comfortable with ourselves?

Emily said...

I am 38 and going gray. I decided when I was a much younger woman with much less gray hair that I would NEVER TOUCH MY HAIR. And I haven't. And even though I'm prematurely graying, I kind of love it.

Also, It's not gray, it's platinum highlights.


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