Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Going Gray

One day, feeling impulsive and bored, I decided to go gray.
“Let’s see my choices,” I said to my favorite hairdresser, settling into the salon chair and waiting for her to hand me a color chart. “Foxy gray, almost silver, would be perfect.”
She scrunched her nose while running her fingers through my chin-length hair, analyzing each overly processed strand. “You can’t do gray,” she snorted. “How about a few lowlights to offset the highlights?”
“Gray,” I insisted.
“You don’t understand. There isn’t a gray product on the market.”
“No one wants gray hair.”
“Besides, you’d be a really ugly gray. Trust me, you wouldn’t like it.”
I left the salon with the highs and lows she’d recommended, but I couldn’t stop thinking about going gray.
“Forget it,” my mother-in-law advised when I shared my idea. “I tried it. People treated me differently and I don’t mean that in a good way. Keep what you have.”
My friends at Curves had the same reaction. Scrunched noses and frowns to show distaste, a solid vote across each platform to keep what I had.
“You’re beautiful the way you are,” said my graying husband. “You look so young. Why ruin it? To tell you the truth, I’m thinking about dying my hair, getting rid of the gray.”
Guess what I did with all this well-meant advice? I chucked every scrap of it, right into my mental garbage can. For six months now I’ve been letting my hair go natural. And believe me, it looks like hell. Three inches of drab, salt-and-pepper, followed by six inches of over processed blonde. Yuck. The surprising thing is that my husband hasn’t even noticed. Once I’m completely gray, I bet you a buck he still won’t notice. My friends haven’t commented, leaving me wondering if they are as oblivious as my youth-chasing hubby.
Maybe I should whack it all off, use a little gel, give it some spikes, but then they’d notice for sure. I’m better off taking it slow.
Wasn’t I thrilled to find out that Anne Kreamer’s new book Going Gray came out this month to many rave reviews, including a feature piece in USA Today. Way to go Anne.
I have the hot little book in my hand and I’m going to start it the minute I finish writing this blog. I know she’ll have wonderful ideas for wearing flattering colors with my gray and for fending off friends and family who think I’m nuts. I have to say, though, that she looks like a zillion bucks, unlike me. I look like I can’t afford hair care.
But I’ve chosen the path and I’m sticking to it no matter where it leads. I’m not sure why this is important to me, although I’m an aging flower child. In the 70s I burned my bra. Is this my newest social statement? And, for once, am I on the cutting edge of a new trend?
What do you think? Care to join me?


Camille Minichino said...

As you can tell from my photo, I've saved a lot of money shunning hair color products all my life! I'm not sure what it costs to color, but put that in a little book or doll fund, Deb, and enjoy.
I'll bet you already look more beautiful than ever!

Deb Baker said...

We DO look great au naturelle. Don't we.

Kathryn Lilley said...

I admire your choice, Deb, but I'm firmly in the camp of the TV types: "Anchorwomen don't get older, they just get blonder!" The only nice thing about my increasing percentage of grays is that it's getting easier and easier to go blonde, lol!

Joanna Campbell Slan said...

I think I'll pass.

My husband is five years younger than I. I tried the idea out on him and he nearly choked.

Plus my stylist says it can be very tricky -- some women have GREAT grey/silver/white hair but many don't.

So I guess I YAM WHAT I YAM after I play the lady to make me that way.

Queue_t said...

I have been Salt and pepper for about 4 years now! I tried to decide if there was a product to make me " grayer too" But my stylest said the same thing-- there are no products to make you grey. So it is natural, My mom who is very gray now was salt and pepper at my age. She has the most beutiful silver hair now so I am hopeful mine will be silvery one day too. you go girl. I am liking mine just fine- I say I have earned everyone of mine.

Anonymous said...

I'm grey and have been since in my late 30's. I tried dying it out for a while, and people did treat me differently (a little flirting, perhaps?) But in a week or two, I always had this little rim of white roots around my face. I've got better things to do with my time than dye my hair every three weeks! So I quit. QueueT has it right - I earned every one!


Deb Baker said...

Thanks for all the encouragement. As soon as my entire head is natural, I'm changing my picture.

Anonymous said...

There is so much pressure in our society for woman to dye their hair. Here is a new blog that hopefully make the decision to go gray a little easier.