To Dye, or Not to Dye? That Is the Question

It began predictably enough: the first gray threads I found in my hair when I hit my thirties.  The threads soon turned to ribbons, but I had just had a baby (my second) and was in no shape to deal with it. Gray was interesting, I reasoned. Gray was subtle, intellectual and hip.  Soon enough the baby became a toddler and her older brother started kindergarten.  I woke up one morning and decided that the gray was not intellectual, not subtle and definitely not hip.  Gray was just—old.

I mounted my campaign.  First in my arsenal was a series of home treatments that took their inspiration from reruns of “I Love Lucy.” There was the Five Minute Color Solution. It worked all right; it just looked like I had looked like I dipped my head in large vat of shoe polish. I dumped it and moved on to various mousses and gels that stained the grout in my bathroom shower, more towels and pillowcases than I care to think about and left ominous drops, black as primordial ooze, on my dining room floor. Forget the do-it-yourself route. I needed professional help.

3 comments on “To Dye, or Not to Dye? That Is the Question

  1. Amy on

    I highlighted when I was in my 30s & 40s, but by my 50s I figured – the heck with it! Admittedly, had I been in a business where the competition for promotions was younger women & graying meant a chance to be passed over, I might not have made that same choice. But as a teacher I had the freedom to go gray without worrying about my job.
    Moving from the suburbs, where it seems that looking young is de rigeur, to Manhattan, also helps. I see many more women who wear their age gracefully and proudly. I’ve decided it’s too expensive and too time-consuming to color. However, I do compensate / give in, by making sure my hair is cut well & in a contemporary style. Post-menopause, my hair was too thin & didn’t look very good when I wore it long, so I now keep it short & “swing-y.”

  2. Bea on

    I’ve always love gray hair, even on the young, prematurely gray, I think it looks interesting. When I was young I wanted a gray streak–now in my fifties, I have lots
    of them! I’ve always hated the hairdressers and the acrid scent of dye–my gray is here to stay, until it turns pearl-white!

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