I’ve never spent a lot of time on hair and makeup, for various reasons (like I’m bad at it). But when I started going grey in my thirties? Kitty bar the door, I was not ready for that. So I started getting my hair dyed, which went tickety-boo through my 40s with no problem. I really enjoyed experimenting with color, sometimes going red and other times going with lots of blonde highlights, just generally having a good time with it.
Then, several years ago, I came down with a WICKED flu that put me out of commission for three weeks. Shortly after I recovered, my stepmother treated me with a session at a high-end spa, which including getting my hair colored. Unfortunately, a few hours later, my head started to itch. And itch, and itch. By bedtime I was ready to rip my scalp off. Needless to say, I was diagnosed with a bad allergic reaction. I was also reacting to other things which had never bothered me before. Clearly, something in my body chemistry had changed, possibly (according to my doctor) as a result of that nasty flu.
Long story short and after a few more tries, I ended up switching to organic dyes and doing my own hair for the next several years. It was a PITA, but it did cover the grey and I also saved money doing it myself, so pretty much win/win.
And then several months ago I started reacting to the darn organic dye. ARGH!! At that point, I decided enough was enough and I started to let my hair grow out. Because who wouldn’t want to look like the silver fox in the picture above? Or like this wonderful lady?
My hair, I was convinced, would come in silver and sleek and, since I wear it long, it would look totally cool and not make me look like my mother and her bubble hairdo from days of yore.
Well, not so much. It came in gnarly and steel-grey, and doesn’t really go with my olive-sallow complexion. Balance that, however, with itchy, rashy head and allergic breakouts.
So I forged on, growing out the grey and basically owning it just fine. Until a few weeks ago at a family reunion, when some of my female relatives told me that they would NEVER go grey, that it made women look unattractive and dull, and that the allergic reaction was just something you had to tolerate in order to not look like an old lady.
Yeah, it got a little judgy.
Anyway, I have to admit that I’m still on the fence about my grey hair–possibly because it’s not fully grown out yet. Some days I think it looks cool, and other days I’m convinced it makes me look older (and drab). Then I think, “what the heck is wrong with looking my age?!”
I will confess that I ran across a new, supposedly “natural” hair coloring product just the other day. It was on sale, so I did an impulse buy. I haven’t used it yet but you can bet that I will do a good patch test before I do.
And if it doesn’t work out? Well, apparently grey or silver hair is quite the fashion statement these days, even with young women.
Where do you stand on the whole grey debate? Do you color your hair or do you let nature take its course? One person who comments will win a digital copy of TALL, DARK, AND ROYAL, my historical romance that features an older heroine and a second chance at love.