Going Gray

I’ve made up my mind. And, as usual, once I make up my mind I pretty much don’t change it.

Recently, I turned fifty years old. Having to schlep me and my hair (yes–we go together), to the hair stylist every six weeks to get my hair dyed was getting on my nerves. In truth, and I’m always pretty honest, it was a pain in the ass.

Every time I go to a hair salon the minimum amount of time spent there is about three hours.

Yeah–three hours.

Three hours spent reading celebrity nonsense because I keep forgetting to bring a book I’m reading; three hours of watching my hair stylist use a paintbrush to color my hair into a color that hides the age I’ve earned. And, of course, three hours spent in silence while everyone is chatting around me. Alas, my cochlear devices were not meant to be dyed with toxic chemicals. Although the dye is only saturating my head for thirty minutes or so, there’s a lot of hair to cover. This is what takes up so much time.

The other reason I prefer to go gray is because it is what I truly look like. I guess I’m just tired of masking my hair to disguise it to look like a younger version of myself when we all know that’s not the case.

I look at older women on television selling prescription  medication. Their hair is gray and it looks pretty awesome. That chick in the bathtub watching a sunset? Her hair is gray. Why can’t I sit in a damn bathtub and watch a sunset with my hair in its natural state?

My hair has been every color of the spectrum: Brown/black, auburn, red, blonde, purple (yes, purple), light brown, and mahogany with gold highlights. I did like the purple color, but it washed out very quickly–going from a beautiful dark purple to an almost purplish-pink color. It wasn’t attractive after two weeks. My shower didn’t appreciate the purple highlights it was receiving on its tile or shower curtain either.

So, what makes us transform our tresses into something other than what nature intended? Does it provide us with an option to be something we aren’t by transforming ourselves from an ugly caterpillar into a beautiful butterfly? Perhaps dying our hair provides us with that intoxicating feeling of self-confidence.

I remember the first time I tried to transform my hair into a different color. I was in seventh grade. Sun-In was a spray thatsun in hair lightener was applied to your hair–changing the color to look like you were a natural California girl–emerging fresh from ocean on the beach in your white bikini, golden tan and honeyed locks of hair.

My imagination was apparently in overdrive. Maybe I was drinking, or perhaps I had been hit on the head with a volleyball while running up the beach altering my mind-state into delirium.

As a twelve-year-old girl, I failed to recognize the most elementary fact that I was a brunette. Applying Sun-In to my hair gave me streaks of the color of construction cones. Orange is the new brown? I thought not.  The only way to get it out was to grow it out.

Thank God I didn’t have the idea of using Sun-In when I was younger because my mom made me cut off my beautiful, long curly hair, changing it into a “Hump Day” Hairdo:


Really, Mom? You let your kid out of the house looking like that? Dying my hair at that age wouldn’t have helped my situation. Maybe people would have looked past the hideous humps hovering on top of my head. And, as we all know, there was no hair product for a small eight year old to use in the ’70’s.

I think that pulling a paper bag over my head would have been a better option.  I don’t know–I didn’t even want to look in a mirror. You can see why this is painfully obvious.

Wow. Just…..wow.

There were times when I dyed my hair that the final result wasn’t as I expected. In those cases, you can either try to lighten it up, darken it up, or just cut the whole thing off and go bald. Whatever your decision is, it will cost you money; lots of money. Getting a dye job these days, especially if you are getting a foil (highlights), can cost you up to $200. That’s right folks–my hair requires a double dose of product. Being fortunate enough to have such thick, curly locks, I get to pay more than the average woman when they get their hair dyed.

My husband is behind me on my decision of going gray. He doesn’t care what color my hair is just as long as I keep shaving my armpits and legs. He also made a specific demand. “Don’t make your hair look like, “Hump Day.”



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