Thursday, October 4, 2012

Hair Color

I may be in a small minority of women in the US, but I have never colored my hair.  I have pretty average brown hair.  Lighter in the summer, a bit darker in the winter.  Possibly getting lighter in general over time.  But always all natural. 

When I was younger, my mom wouldn't let me color my hair.  I hated that rule sometimes (actually, most of the time for several years), but in retrospect, it was probably good that I learned to like myself the way I was.  But oh how I wanted blond streaks. 

Then when I got older, I was on too much of a budget to do it.  $10 for hair color at the drug store or $100 for hair color at a salon was better spent on pitchers of beer or other such nonsense. 

Then I became a real grown-up with a real job, and I felt like I was too busy to do it.  When I worked at a big firm, it felt like it was hard to find time for any personal stuff, let alone something that involved being at an appointment at a designated time.  It was funny, because I wasn't the only one with that issue.  Several friends colored their hair and if something major happened at work when they were due for an appointment, roots would show and grow until that crisis passed and finally we could leave work before 8 p.m. and actually have free time on the weekends.  Seeing how much work it was to maintain, and how visible it would be if I failed to maintain, discouraged me from ever attempting to have my hair colored. 

Now I finally have a great job so I feel like I have the money and the time that if I wanted to color my hair, I could, and it would be reasonably well-maintained.

And it's on my mind because I seem to be finding more and more grey hairs.  They seem to grow in the exact same follicles.  I can tell because they start to show when they're about 1-2 inches long, and I immediately try to pull them out.  But I think more and more follicles are going grey. 

But I'm not sure I'm going to do anything about it.  I think I definitely would if I lived anywhere other than Dallas, but the things I hate most about living here are what make me want to not color my hair -- this city sometimes seems very shallow, materialistic, superficial, image-conscious and artificial. 

And I feel like if I colored my hair, I'd feed into that.  Heck, why not just get implants and lypo then? 

Part of me really wants to just age naturally.  Sure, I want to keep working out and trying to eat well, taking care of myself in general, but if my hair turns grey, I kind of want to let it turn.  Part of aging gracefully and accepting myself for who I am.

And it helps that I'll always be about a decade younger than my husband!

But at the same time, I have a friend from high school who I haven't seen in at least 15 years, but I think (from tiny FB pics) that she has gone grey and not colored it, and while she looks great, in some ways I just feel like I'm not old enough to have grey hair yet.  It surprises me to think that a friend my age would have completely grey hair. 

I suppose if I keep pulling out the few that I find (always regrowing in the same spots, and expanding to new spots), I can fight it off for a few more years.  And if I'm grey in my 40s, I'm grey in my 40s.  And if I give in and color it, so be it. 

Where things stand right now -- I hate finding grey hairs but I hate more the idea of doing something "fake" to prevent them.  Wonder how long this will be the case. 

Random Thursday thoughts. 


  1. Here's some more randomness for you... I know you've been a veg a lot longer than me, so may not apply... but, I noticed that when I stopped eating meat, I got WAYYYY less grey hairs. Weird, huh? But a nice bonus.

    Anyway, I'm with you... I have regular ole brown hair and sometimes I daydream about getting pretty blonde highlights. And then I realize that there is upkeep involved and that I am too lazy.

    1. Interesting about the veg. I stopped eating meat in May 2001 (though there were about 5 occasions of meat consumption in the following year), so I guess I was 25, almost 26, but I don't remember any greys then. But it's at least comforting to think that maybe it would be greyer with meat. But yeah, the upkeep might be what convinces me to never color my hair -- I just looked at my insanely chipped toenail polish that I've been meaning to remove for about 2 weeks. If I can't do 30 seconds of maintenance, really, how could I think I could upkeep hair color??!!

  2. I have dark black hair since I'm Asian so in the past I've experienced with dying it completely brown. There was an unfortunate incident in high school when I went maroon/purple (don't ask! haha)

    Nowadays, I like highlights of lighter shades of caramel and browns to make my hair more 3-dimensional but it's less upkeep because you don't need to touch-up as often.

    My mom held off dying her hair until this year because she hoped her whole head would go grey. Instead, it's little pieces here and there so she dyed it this year when attending a cousin's wedding. I'm not sure if she routinely touches up. I should ask.

    Good luck with everything :)

  3. I have had a patch of grey hair in the front of my head on the right side since I was about 27. I just couldn't fathom letting myself go grey then and I still can't over 10 years later. I used to do the box colors until I got fed up with the rusty orange my hair always seemed to turn no matter what color I dyed it. I actually enjoy my visits to the salon. My color remains fairly close to my natural color except on occasion when the stylist plays with some highlighting for a change particularly during the summer.

    My mother is in her early 60s and has yet to allow herself to go grey. I'm sure even if I wanted to go grey gracefully I would most definitely feel apprehensive to appear older than my mother.

  4. I've been colouring my hair for years, mostly for the fun of it - but now it's to cover grey. At 40, I am getting a lot of grey - they really started coming in two years ago when I had a lot of work related stress. I hate the grey, so I cover it...