I wrote this before the pandemic hit. Seems more relevant than ever now that we can’t visit our local salon.
Five years ago, I decided to stop dying my hair and go gray. I didn’t mean it as some sort of a political statement. I was just tired of sitting in a chair at my hair salon for an hour (as well as to pay an exorbitant fee) with glop on my head knowing that three weeks later I would have to repeat the routine. My mother dyed her hair well into her 80s, although she used kits she could use at home. I was tired of the whole routine. Several of my friends had gone gray and they looked fabulous. So I decided to follow suit.
Suddenly gray is in. Lady Gaga showed up at the Golden Globes with tresses that were blue-gray, encouraging others, even young women, to follow suit. I wasn’t trying to be part of a trend. I just decided that continuing to dye my hair was a form of deception – trying to convince people that I was younger than I am. I’m proud of how old I am – 70, if you are asking. And I didn’t feel the necessity to trick others into thinking that I am younger because of the shade of my hair.
My hairstylist in New York was aghast when I told her I no longer wanted to color my hair. My natural color is dark brown close to black, and because black dye ends up looking flat and fake, she had been taking me lighter. I no longer recognized my light brown self. What was next? Becoming a platinum blond? No way! It didn’t feel real or honest to me.
It took some time for my hair to grow out. And, yes, there were comments, from friends and family. But I stuck to my plan. I changed my wardrobe, favoring gray, black, and navy blue outfits. My gold jewelry was tucked into the back of my drawers in favor of those silver pieces from Tiffany’s.
What happened next took me by surprise. I began to receive compliments from those I encountered, even strangers. It seems that like the show, Orange is the New Black, gray is now the new choice for hair color.
It’s about time. Our time.
Top photo: Bigstock