Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Going Gray

I got my first gray hair when I was in my thirties. It was one of those spirally kind of hairs that stuck out above my forehead. The solution was simple; pluck it out. There's an old wives tale that says if you pluck one gray hair, more will grow back in it's place. That same lonely one kept coming back for a while. It took a few years for more to sprout around my head in spotty clusters. By the time I was forty, I was using "Loving Care," to cover the gray. It was a semi-permanent product that was supposed to last through 8-12 shampoos. You can still find it on the Clairol web-site, but it's hard to find in stores.

Those semi-permanent solutions, coat the hair with a lacquer that adds body and shine. As my hair grew out, the ends of my hair were getting a heavier layer of that laquer and shine. I found that I was using "Loving Care" more for the body and shine than from the gray coverage. Since I kept covering, I wasn't keeping count of the gray hair.

Then about ten years ago, the gray started showing more and more, around my face. I started combing my hair forward, wearing bangs to hide that gray that wouldn't cooperate with the "Loving Care." By then I quit doing my hair myself, and depended on my stylist to keep it colored and shaped. I brag about Wallace Sellars giving the best haircut in town. And I gave him carte blanche on color selection for my hair. It was truly a case of "Only My Hair Dresser Knows For Sure."

I reached critical mass about two years ago. Enough gray that I knew a decision would have to come soon. I had just published my book with a picture of me on the back, sporting a full head of dark hair. I decided I wanted to look like the photo for at least another year.

Then came 2010. The mail started coming in January, from Humana, from Blue Cross Blue Shield, from AARP. Doom and gloom reminders that this is the year I have to think about choosing a Medicare supplement. ARGH!!! I'm old!! When the guy at the fast food restaurant asks, "Do you mind if I ask how old you are?" It is not a prelude to a compliment on my ageless beauty. NOOOOO!! It's a setup for a reminder about the Senior Discount!! DAMN!!

So this is the year I quit coloring my hair. I didn't expect it to be such a hard thing to do. I have friends who let theirs grow out about an inch, and then go to a barber to cut it down. YIKES!! I have had short hair from time to time, but never that drastic.

I decided to entrust these tresses to Wallace. Yesterday he applied an awful-smelling liquid to my hair, let it sit for over 30 minutes, and shampooed it out. My hair was lighter, but still not down to the gray. We agreed we would try again in a week. Meanwhile he applied a rinse so I wouldn't look to rainbow-ish about the head. The result was honey-blonde....shades of Beyonce. I may need a hat for Easter.

I dreamed all night I had green hair. Happy St. Patrick's Day, Yall.


Anonymous said...

I used to use a rinse about 15-20 years ago for a dark brown color but one the grey started I stopped, had to do it too often., Never had a perm color. It is way too much trouble. I only go to get a perm once every 6-8 weeks.

mk said...

Kisura saraphen,
This is funny prose to read.
I am glad you are deciding to go natural, I have seen quite a few mature women with silver hair:)

Susan said...

I know all too well about the springy grey hair that sprouts right there at the center of the hairline along my forehead... it seems to have a texture all it's own. Problem with me is I've got this "thinning spot" just above my right ear (from years of falling alseep with my glasses on) and the "comb over" that I have going on there is now going grey so I'm looking into dying my hair pitch black (it's currently a very dark brown naturally). Let's hope that works out better than my haircut did!

Anonymous said...

Happy Easter

Gummi Bare

Val said...

Sarah, I didn't know you wrote a blog about your hair. I just found this, read it and decided to leave a comment.

I started noticing gray hair when I was about 15 (just like mom did). It started really looking gray when I was in my late 20's & early 30's and now, I'm almost completely gray.

One day back in 1998, I decided to dye it. It was the 1st and ONLY time and I regretted it as soon as the stylist finished it & when I looked at it real good once I got home. I had told her I wanted black, but not BLACK-BLACK. What I really needed was a very dark brown and that would been fine. I was too dark for me and I hated it. Plus it itched really bad and burned. I never went back to her. So after that, I decided I'd let my gray hair be the way it is and I'm perfectly happy with it. Others almost compliment me in the color. I make sure I use the shampoo called 'Shimering Lights' which gives it a nice shine. Well my husband loves it and so do I, so I'm happy!! You'll never hear me sing, "I'm gonna wash gray right outta my hair." Remember that song? No, not me!!!