Thursday, June 17, 2010

my gray head in sorrow to the grave

I have more than two gray hairs.

I've been hiding the two pretty carefully for the last few years, but this morning, just now in fact, there were definitely more than two. And it didn't matter which way I combed anything, I couldn't hide all of them.


What kind of person should I be? Should I enter the realm of everlasting dye? Should I decide, in humility, to clothe myself in good works rather than vanity? Should I carefully blacken each hair with shoe polish?

I'm pretty sure that my mother doesn't have any gray. She's pointed it out to me several times. Of course Matt is almost completely gray, but he's a man, and so he looks awesome (when he doesn't wear his phone on belt).

Help me out. I need some serious pros and cons. Feel free to wildly quote scripture if you want.


Shawn said...

I think you don't have to decide quite yet, but you will grey beautifully with your dark hair. Just use shoe polish or black marker till you're ready to decide!
I'm still not ready.

Leigh said...

I have black hair and blue eyes. There's something about that combination that says, "HEY! Let's go gray as a teenager!" At 19, I was already about 25% gray. When I was 26, I looked about 40, so I started coloring my hair with semi-permanent. I would HIGHLY recommend that you try that initially, since if you don't like it, it will eventually wash out. As I got more gray, I went to the permanent hair color. My already coarse, dry hair got even worse, but with extra care and conditioning, a good color can be really pretty.

Now I'm 42 and I've been coloring my hair almost half my life. At least once a week I think about stopping, but I'd have to basically get a crew cut and look AWFUL for months until my natural hair could grow out.

Long story short, I often regret committing to permanent hair color and not just being ME. On the other hand, I was not ready to have people ask about my "grandchild" when I had my first baby at 40.

I think in another year or two, I probably will let go of the hair dye and say the heck with anyone who doesn't like it. It's an expense and a bother I could well do without!!

Good luck with your decision and I'm sure whatever you choose, you'll look great!

Emily (Laundry and Lullabies) said...

Personally, I think that grey hair is lovely, and I think going grey gracefully (without hiding it) is a mark of a lovely person. :) I have a friend who is quite a bit grey at age 30, but she is such a graceful person that it just looks right on her. My mother and my grandmother both have dark hair, and their grey is beautiful mixed in with it.

Maybe I'm just strange, but someday I hope to have perfectly white hair. I had an "adopted grandma" (she died a few years ago) who had beautiful white hair, and I've always wanted to end up looking like her.

Alexi said...

First off, I am NOT cat despite my pic. Anyway, yes I agree with Leigh- semi permanent hair color is the way to start. Try it. If it does not suit, it washes out. No muss no fuss.

Kerry said...

Ok - I can relate. I'm not quite 40, got my first gray at 25, which was actually WHITE and not gray at all. I have black hair, so the gray REALLY shows.

For a very long time I was of the "go gray gracefully" mindset ...until now. I've got a LOT of gray and it isn't very graceful looking.

When I've just had it with the gray (once a year since I was around 30, I have done this it seems) I have given the hair color a whirl. It's fun and looks good. But then I go back to my natural color.

What I've done on those occasions is use semi-permanent hair color. It doesn't color the gray as easily, so I leave it on WAY longer than they say (my hair dresser friend says that is fine). This way it is easy to go back to my own gray - the dye just fades away.

There is nothing wrong with coloring your hair. If it makes you feel prettier and younger - go for it! I wear make up to cover flaws and clothes to flatter my figure - coloring your hair isn't different in my opinion.

Although if I had only two or three....I might wait awhile.

Sarah Boyle Webber said...

For the record, I never intend to be grey. Since my hair is red, I will eventually be the blonde I've always wanted to be. :)

Anonymous said...

I've been a natural ash blonde my whole life and I've never added any sort of color to my hair. But in the past 18 months, I noticed strands of WHITE hair creeping up more often. Because I'm ash blonde, it's not noticeable to others but I knew it was there.

So when I turned 45 in December, I decided I wanted a new vibe, LOL. Different clothes, style, hair. I hit thrift stores, websites for shoes, and a salon. I had light copper-colored "low-lights" added to my hair and, oh my goodness, what a difference it made! The color made my eyes look more blue and my skin seem more vibrant! When the color faded, I bought some strawberry blonde hair color with built-in highlights and did it myself with good results.

So, here's the thing. You're not "hiding gray" (or "white," in my case!). You're just updating your look and embracing a new time in your life! Try a new shade that will enhance your natural color to try something new, not "hide gray." :)

But I'm sure you'll continue to look fab no matter what you decide!


becca said...

My mother was gray - as gray as a horse - by 35. Or was it 30? She refused to dye her hair until she was called my grandmother for the third time. I was 10.

When I have more than the 10 or so gray hairs I currently have, well... let's just say I don't want folks thinking I'm my (future) children's grandmother. :)

Good luck!

Anonymous said...

have the kids pull the grey hairs out they will think its fun and you wont have any more grey for awhile.

Anonymous said...

I had them in my mid 20's--way more than two! Started with henna, then semi-permanent, and now full color. Dark brown with some red for warmth and all the stylists where I go want to know Jack's secret color formula for my hair. LOL!
My husband is the quintessential "hot old guy" with his gray hair. But Southern women do not do gray unless it is that beautiful blond turned silver color. So that's my excuse!

Anonymous said...

What about some henna? It conditions your hair and makes you glow. ME

Joyce Carlson said...

p.s. the henna comment was from ME but I forgot to sign my name.

Kevin Seaver said...

Anne, I'm leaning toward gray...

Gray hair is a crown of glory; it is gained in a righteous life. (Proverbs 16:31)

Even to your old age I am he, and to gray hairs I will carry you. I have made, and I will bear; I will carry and will save. (Isaiah 46:4)

And of course our Lord Himself:
And do not take an oath by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black. (Matt 5:36).

eulogos said...

As someone who is caught in the trap of having to dye, I would say do not get caught in this trap.

When my WHITE hair grows out 3/8 of an inch, sometimes I wish it were all that way. I am about to turn 60, after all. But I can't stand the months and months of having a line between brown and white march down my head. It would be many months, as my hair grows slowly. A few years back I said I would cut it all off on my 60th birthday and let it grow out white, but I am going to reneg on this. I have considered going blonde so the white wouldn't show so badly...right now I have to dye every 3 weeks and it is a real drag.

And when I am around women my age who just let their hair do what it did, I felt that they had the appropriate beauty for their age and great dignity, whereas I felt sort of like a foolish, shallow, would be floozy!

I see that I switched tenses in the middle of that paragraph. That is because I was thinking of a particular time when I stood with my friend Lynne Shaw, who before cancer had silver grey hair halfway down her back, and with Frederica Matthews-Green who also looks good in her grey hair.

Anyway, I say again, don't start dyeing. Even the so called temporary (28 shampoos) available these days don't really wash completely out. The old 7 shampoo Loving Care is hard to find. I tried using that to dye my hair while I let the gray grow out, but it just washed out in a few shampoos to a dull color, not a nice brown, and not my shining white either.

I very much wish that I had just let things happen as they happened. I would feel much more authentic. And I think I am missing something nice I was supposed to have in that shiny white hair I keep dyeing away.

the snarkster said...

With 5 kids, if you only have a few gray hairs, count yourself lucky. Trust me, they are going to give you a lot more. Having said that, some people look great with gray hair, some don't. I suspect you might be one of the ones that look great but there is only one way to find out.

At A Hen's Pace said...

I'm in the "pluck 'em out" crowd. My few don't show much, but when one does stand out, I remove it--thus deferring the color vs. not color decision! My plan, when I have too many to yank, is to think about blonde highlights, since I'm a brunette with a few natural ones anyway. But for now, I'm grateful to have reached 45.5 without having to spend the money or the time on haircoloring!

Georgia in Florida said...

Don't dye.

Here's why:

1 - Exposure to hair dye is correlated with an increased incidence of cancer.

2 - When do you stop - when the wrinkles get too many to deny your age?

3 - It's expensive and takes a lot of time to be sure the roots aren't showing and it's really ugly when they do.

4 - Grey hair is beautiful and can be stunning with a really good haircut.

5 - It gives one an air of authority.

Just my five cents/sense about this matter. In my case, the Lord has done a light brown hair has gotten gray streaks just around my face and looks like I intentionally spend a lot of time getting foil streaks of blonde.

I vote you consider going with the really good haircut and let the Lord control the color.

revted said...

"Gray hair is a crown of splendor; it is attained by a righteous life." Proverbs 16:31 (NIV)

Grayed haired myself!

Jessica said...

Well, I'm firmly in the go-grey camp, hopelessly biased. I hate hair dye and always have - except for the fun colors like neon pink and brilliant blue. Those are just fun, and don't look like you're pretending. I don't like how bottle blonde looks (and it's so common out here - I remember sitting in chapel and looking out on a sea of improbably yellow hair) and I don't like how older women look when their hair doesn't match their skin. Their choice, but I think it looks silly. (I say this knowing some people surely think some of the things I wear look silly. I mean, I have four kids and a nosering, so I shouldn't talk! :) The fact that we're all a little silly just means we're human.) Suffice it to say: I love the look of natural hair.

So, I guess my advice is: if you do decide to dye, go for the gusto and choose cerulean!

Anonymous said...

I got my first gray hair as a teenager, and by the time I was in my mid 20s, had started getting a streak of gray hair (a la Cruella DeVille) in the front of my hair..

I eventually succumbed to my friend's suggestion that I dye my hair.. and bought a bottle and set to work. Despite the fact that the color was supposed to be a medium brown, like my own shade, it turned out very dark brown.. no highlights and it definitely looked dyed and didn't suit my skin tone.

I kept trying to find a solution for almost a decade, until I just gave up and gave in to accepting the grays. I'd recommend the same, perhaps try a new hairstyle to take your mind off of it?

My daughter, now 27 has been getting gray hairs since she was 16, and she has a lot more than a few. :)

Anonymous said...

Go grey. I'm 58 and my silver streak started 20 years ago. I now get so many compliments on the grey. Some ask if I've had it done this way- The brief time I colored my hair (age 50) it was a hassle.

Katie in Georgia

lois said...

Fun! I welcomed my grey...has come in slowly, lighter at the front now, almost white...and I am complemented by many...As others have said (I'm an old-has-been hair cutter, a good one!) watch and ask other ladies whose grey hair you like who cuts theirs...many are absolutely stunning!!! The style and cut make all the difference in the world, not the color! For a color hint, you can visit a good wig shop for color ideas to compare when you are wondering once in a while :-)

lois said...

Fun! I love my grey, came in gradually over the yrs and I get compliments when keeping a good hair cut...(I'm an old has-been-hair cutter) I believe that the style and a good cut make all the difference, not the color! Ask ladies whose grey hair you enjoy who does it for them...Some cutters specialize in curly hair (me) and others in straight hair, so ask when you make appointments! And yes, we all do wonder once in a while so visit a good wig salon when you are hemming and hawing for some color ideas before you make coloring decisions! you could even ask your stylist to go with you, and give him/her a nice tip for her time :-)

Anonymous said...

Georgia in Florida has got it right! It's far more likely the haircut and styling you wear than the actual color that will affect how people think about you and what impression you make on first meeting. To people that know you well, it really won't matter!
The one exception may be your HUSBAND. I encourage you to check with him about how he thinks he wants you to look, because if you start looking some way he really doesn't like, it will be unpleasant.
Other than that it's up to you and God, and I can say as a 59-year-old with very dark hair who had started to grey slightly even before having first child at 39, that only the occasional thoughtless person will mistake you for grandma and actually say it aloud, and can be quickly forgotten. If I dyed, my salt-and-pepper hair would look fake; instead the services of a very experienced colorist would be needed often - $$.
Find a clever hairdresser who can cut and trim as needed an interesting, bouncy, head-and-face-shape-flattering style for you. Try even a hairdresser-school training ground. Get some photos when you get a cutt you like, in case you lose that hairdresser. It is easier to find a good cutter-styler than to be obligated to dye every few weeks, and the chemicals would damage your hair as well.

Within the past month I had to find a new hairdresser, who cut mine better than the previous and I endured(!) at least a week of continual compliments from people who never normally comment on my appearance AT ALL. Thank you Lord for that little self-esteem boost which believe me a 59-year-old woman really appreciates.

Anonymous said...

Caveat- I am a bald man. Having said that I got this lady to autograph a guitar of mine and tho I make a living preaching and teaching I was unable to do more than stammer in her presence. Just a thought.