One Shade of Gray...

My friend Faith (yes, my former Wellness Coach...I was a terrible coachee!) recently posted a link to an article about women going gray (you can read it here).  Interesting read, and very timely for me.  You see, I am at a crossroads, my friends.

I found my first gray hair in my mid thirties.  I can still recall seeing that little glint in my hair, reflected in the bathroom mirror.  I don't remember if I had much, if any, reaction to seeing it...knowing me, I probably muttered "Awesome" or something as I yanked that sucker out.  And yanking was how I dealt with the grays for the next few years.

You can guess how that went, right?  One gray hair was quickly followed by another, until I had to choose between going bald and *gulp* going under the dye nozzle.  Since this was during the time of my life when I had some disposable income, I chose to dye.  And I did it in high style...went to the local Aveda salon where my cut/color appointments set me back $140 every six weeks (hey, I got cucumber water AND a hand massage, girls).  But, like L'Oreal says, I was worth it.  My stylist, Andrea, made my hair look so good.  She created a color just for me, and it was like brownie batter infused with caramel.

Then I became poor.  The salon appointments became a thing of the past, and I became a do-it-yourself colorist.   

And it showed.  Because, let's face it:  box color is...well...box color.  It's like using a Sharpie to color your hair...one dimensional, ya know?

Which brings us to today.  I guess I am blessed with what the Colour Experts call "stubborn grays", which makes sense given that they sprout from a very obstinate skull.  Color applied to my tresses only lasts a couple of weeks, sometimes less.  It's getting to the point where the upkeep just isn't worth the trouble.

But here's the deal:  I am struggling with the thought of going au naturale. Why?  I know several women who have eschewed the coloring and look absolutely gorgeous with their silver 'dos.  In fact, one of my very best homies, Danielle, has what I consider to be THE most beautiful head of hair, period.   So why am I so hesitant to JUST PUT THE BOTTLE DOWN and walk away? 

I think I'm scared that it's going to put me at an even bigger disadvantage in the dating game.  I know, I know...I'm not even playing that game right now but who knows...I may change my mind in the near future.  And I worry that with all the strikes already against me (big fatty, broke ass, a corral of "spirited" children), having gray hair may be another one. 

I can hear a couple of you right this second:  But Jenny!!  If a man wouldn't want you for who you are, who cares about him?!?!  I agree!  Wholeheartedly.  I guess my loony-tunes insecurities are still alive and well. Who knows, though...maybe coming clean with the world about who I really am, instead of using a chemically-enhanced cloak of color to pretend I'm something I'm not...maybe that's something I need to do. (was that the most painfully extended sentence or what?  I think I have a Charley horse in my eye just from reading it). 

Just for giggles, I Googled "Going gray" and read up on the subject.  The good news is, that there is a lot of positiveness out there on the subject.  But when you look at the real barometer of public opinion, the almighty comment sections, you get a little different picture.  Based on my very unscientific observation, the public seems to be almost evenly divided on the subject of Gray Hair on Non-Granny types.  Lots of men replied that gray hair ages a woman, washes her out, makes her look dowdy and matronly.  Surprisingly, lots of women feel that way, too.  The silver lining (ha)?  Just about as many men reported that they think the gray/silver/white hair on women in their 30's and 40's is great, and dare I say, attractive. 

I think it boils down to a few things:  you absotively, posolutely have to have a great haircut.  You need to take care of your skin, because with the lighter hair, the face seems to be almost highlighted.  Make up needs to be adjusted, too.  That's another thing my sweet Silver Senorita, Danielle, does with flair.  Girl is naturally beautiful, and is gifted with the magic eyeshadow touch.  And I also think (but I could be wrong here), that once you are a platinum person, your wardrobe colors may need some redoing. 

Right now I am going on month nine without a haircut, and on any given day I look like the love child of Golda Meir and Michelle Duggar.  So if I'm going to seriously entertain this little experiment, the first thing I'll need to do is get sheared. 

In the meantime, though, I will be keeping my eyes open for more inspiring examples of women who have cut the color.  And I'd love to hear your opinions, ladies.  Are you Team Silver?  Let me know!


  1. I've been gray since my mid-20's. No turning back now!!!

    1. Totally gray! And you know me!!!

  2. I'm actually blushing right now!
    I say give it a whirl, though it's not for everyone, no doubt.
    And I find that if I don't keep up on haircuts, I look downright frumpy. Like right now! Mama needs her hair cut.
    And yes, I had to change some things when I stopped coloring.
    I can no longer wear brown, yellow, cream, beige, taupe, tan, orange.
    I had to adjust my makeup. My skin tone obviously stayed the same, but I think the reflection of the hair on the face can make your complexion appear different.
    I look great in blues and purples.
    I'm still debating whether or not I look good with a tan.
    Oh, and P.S.
    Men seem to dig it.
    Just sayin'.

    1. I have witnessed men digging your hair! You look fab in grays and black too. It's almost like your hair becomes an accessory.

  3. Definitely go silver! But I'm with you--get a great cut. A great cut will elevate your confidence. Bottle dyes are so harsh on hair, and salon jobs are SO expensive...As for the dating game, I'm with you, sista...Just about to venture out myself. I'm thinking of joining Match or eharmony, or possibly both, lol!! I've never dated multiple men at the same time, and I'm hoping it'll be an interesting experience, that I'll be less likely to settle. I'm going to go back and read your blog posts for inspiration!!

    1. Hey lady, good luck! I will be eagerly waiting to see how it goes! Just remember to read their profiles very carefully. After a while you can read between the lines.

      Thank you for reading! And seriously...let me know how the dating thing goes :o)

  4. Um....no way. Not for at least another 10 years. Cause the thing is, if my *entire* head were silvery gray, that would be awesome. But it's not. Just a good crop in the front/top. Not nearly enough to look cool. Just enough to look unkempt.
    Gotta keep coloring.
    And I get lots of compliments on my box-color hair color. (I have never in my life spent anything even CLOSE to $140 on my head...not even including earrings and a hat.)
    I say, YAY for Clairol!!

  5. Beth, that's another fear that I forgot to mention..I may have just one big stripe on the right side of my head and then random ones on top.

    You and Amanda both said the same thing about box color...I wonder if I'm just getting the wrong kind? Or maybe it's because of my frizzy thick hair.

    And I'll tell you what..even if I do ever get to the point where money is no object, I don't think I'd ever spend that kind of money on my hair ever again. That's just silly. But remember, I was going to find Mr Right back then, ha!

  6. Hey sister - I love getting my hair colored and being able to switch it up every so often - but that's me. Lighter in the summer, darker in the winter - that sort of thing.

    I would let your on hair tell you what is right. I agree that Danielle has been blessed with a beautiful silver. It is so strikingly silver that it almost seems that she is getting it colored that color, if you know what I mean!! (Lucky girl)

    Some ladies are not so lucky and get an almost yellow-ish tinge to their gray and that is not so attractive, IMHO. You could give it a try and if you don't like it, then color.

    If you are going to go back to school soon - it's kind of an opportunity to reinvent yourself - maybe the new Jenny is gray or maybe she isn't???

    For what it is worth, here is a link to an article about women in the workplace going gray:

    PS - I think you are beautiful no matter what.

    1. Jen you are like, the most stylish (hate that word) person I know, so I take what you say very seriously! I know exactly what you mean about the less pretty shades of gray.

      Maybe I'm just being cheap? Or lazy? We'll see.

      And you know I think you are gorgeous! Thanks for reading..and for the link. Off to read it now!

  7. A guy who will like you will like you for who you are, warts and all, irregardless of hair color. If you decide to color your hair or leave it alone, do it because it's what YOU like, not what you THINK a potential suitor would like. Reinventing yourself is hard to do, and harder still to keep it up...and in the end, it's patently false.

    Just be you. And be secure in your you-ness.

    (yeah, I know it's not a word, but there it is)


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