Sunday, October 14, 2007

Going Grey

A while ago, Terry from Oregon was discussing the various merits of going grey vs, dying one’s hair, and a Time article which seems to say that going grey is a new trend. As she sports a spectacular head of really stylish silver, it is a no-brainer for her, it would be a shame to colour such lovely hair. My hair was blonde as a child, but went progressively darker as I got older. By the time I was a teenager, a school friend commented one day “you don’t even qualify as a dumb blonde, you are just a dumb mouse.” (yeah yeah, with friends like that…….) But sadly, it was true, my hair could best be described as “dark mouse.” Then when I was pregnant with K, my hair turned really dark almost overnight, must have been some hormonal thing. But it never felt like me, in my mind I was supposed to be blonde. So by the time I was 22, I was regularly highlighting my hair. However, another of those passing remarks that has a lasting impact was made by my mom about a friend of hers, who she described as “fair, fat and forty.” (as I said, with friends like that…….) anyway it hit home, and as 40 approached, I realised that I did not want her applying the same scornful label to me. The fat and 40 were things that were not going to change, but I could do something about the fair…. So around my late 30’s I started to go red. Over the years I experimented with many shades, from bright tangerine orange through to deep plum, sometimes one tone, sometimes multi layered with brown, and once, in a “what was I thinking?” moment, I even went pink!

By co-incidence, a few weeks before Terry’s post, I had decided that it was time for me to see what my real colour was, as I had not seen it for 30 years, and had no idea what it looked like these days. The comment I left her at the time (end of August) read "What an amazing co-incidence! Here I am, on the southern tip of Africa, blissfully unaware of any global hair trends, and 3 weeks ago I decided out of the blue to let my roots grow out and see how grey I am, because I have dyed my hair for so many years that I have forgotten what my real colour is! So I am also in the process of going grey, and loving it!"

Luckily my hair is short and grows fast, so 2 cuts 6 weeks apart have almost eliminated the coloured bits, and this is the result! I think I’ll stick with it for a while, I feel proud of my grey hairs, I’ve earned every one of them!
At great personal risk of public humiliation, I put together a collage of some of the colours I have sported over the years. Top row left to right… B&w taken at about 6 years old, showing medium blonde. Next at 14, darkish blonde. At 18, still more blonde than brown. Top right, one of our wedding photos, definitely dark mouse by then!
2nd row left, around 25, and it is a dark nondescript colour. Late 20’s by now I am highlighting regularly. 2nd row 3rd from left, one of the first reds, more like ginger, in my days as a DJ on a local radio station (that’s something you didn’t know about me!!!!)
The others show some of the various shades through the years, in no particular order, note 3rd row right, the infamous pink! Blurry bottom right was at K&J’s wedding 5 years ago, when I tried brown for a while.
As you can see, neat groomed hair doesn’t seem to be my thing, I often forget to comb it, and even if I do, it seldom co-operates.) I will be devastated when bed-head goes out of fashion! I may never turn out to be the sort of granny who cooks wonderful memorable meals or lovingly knits jerseys and bed-socks, but at least I am a grey haired granny. ………… for now!


Terry said...

Hi Suzi,
I think your grey looks great! The cut and tousled style are very cute and not at all grandmotherly, which, in my opinion, is what makes the difference between dowdy and terrific.

RUTH said...

What a fabulous the reds...perfect for DJing (no we didn't know that!). I must admit I've started colouring mine...I need to look younger when I compete for the jobs next year. I just need to fill in the wrinkles now...LOL

Deb R said...

I do that now and then - let my roots grow out enough to see my real color, that is. It's been a while for me though. :-)

Of course it won't surprise you that I like the red best, but I think your natural haircolor is very pretty!

Sheila said...

I've been thinking about doing this too. We must be at that 'certain' age..LOL
I stopped doing it blonde, and have gone a few shades darker, closer to my natural colour. I too have been all colours and loved being a red head.
Mine grows slowly and is a little longer, so I have a decision to make. Especially since it went from poker straight to curly when I became menopausal. I don't know if short curly grey and brown striped hair is a good look for me..LOL
Yours looks good, and I really do not see much grey..?

Janet said...

I love your hair in its natural color....but then I'm one of those grey-haired women. I had blonde hair (helped along with some bleach!) most of my life and when I got tired of messing with it I went grey and haven't looked back once. I have a pin that says "Grey is the new blonde!"