I have been colouring my hair off and on since I was fifteen. In high school everyone wanted to be a blonde; why is it that all the popular girls are blonde? I have a lot of natural red highlights and trying to go blonde was hopeless because it would always turn some version of orange. At one point in the seventies, I even had an orange afro! I can’t believe that I ever allowed a picture to be taken of me at that time.
After that, I finally came to my senses and decided to go o’naturale. If I did use dye it was a shade close to my own medium brown. Last October, however, I decided to stop dyeing my hair. I was about 80-90% grey and it was a nightmare to stay on top of that dreaded skunk line! My hair grows fast, and in the end, I was colouring it every 10 days. My head ACTUALLY felt numb during the hair dyeing process. I had heard or read somewhere that these chemicals can be absorbed into the scalp. I don’t know if this is “fake news” or not, but it did scare me. Earlier that summer I started to use a lighter shade of brown hoping that the new growth would blend in better and that I could wait longer in between colourings. That too was a disaster! My hair was not holding the colour anymore; it just washed away. The ends were getting lighter and lighter until it was some brassy shade of peach. This definitely wasn’t the desired effect! I didn’t know what to do other than accept the inevitable and stop fighting a losing battle.
Thankfully, I have a terrific hair stylist. She talked me through the transition. With a few highlights and ash toners, she was able to fix the problem. I still can’t believe that over such a short period of time I was able to stop colouring my hair. Embracing it, however, was another story. I wasn’t really confident about going out and meeting up with friends I hadn’t seen for a while after such a drastic change. It was surprising how self-conscious I was considering that I’ve never been a hair person. My hair is thick, fairly straight and I’ve never had to fuss with it. Now it just seems so different and every time I look in the mirror I am totally taken aback. Makeup is so much more important now. I have to apply a little less of this and a lot more of that. Luckily I’ve always loved red lipstick and that’s been the real lifesaver.
I really admire women who have gone grey so gracefully like the model pictured above. She is 86 year-old Carmen Dell’Orefice. Because of some bad investments, she was forced to return to modelling in her mid-seventies and since then she has had more magazine covers than when she was much younger. Let her be our inspiration and know that you really can ‘rock the grey’! It is quite liberating…
If ’60’ is the new ’40’, then ‘grey’ is the new ‘blonde’!