As a toddler I sported a tousled head of blonde hair. It’s the hair I was born with . It was rightfully mine. Then as I reached the age of four, it betrayed me and turned brown, with only streaks of blonde left. This was my lot in life. I grew up sitting behind girls in class who had gorgeous blonde locks, or magnificent strawberry blonde hair. And mine, alas, had turned brown. Say it out loud. Even the word, brown, sounds boring, ho-hum, common. I was none too pleased with the powers that be, for stealing my halo of silky blonde locks. Ugh. I grew up on a Hollywood diet of beauties like Marilyn Monroe, and I wanted to be one of them, not a movie star, just a blonde.
When I turned 20, I decided to take matters into my own hands and bought a spritzer of Sun-In at the local five and dime. I thought I’d just test drive it to see how a little blonde could spruce up my hair, light up my life. It was a daring act back then. The results were a tad disappointing though, giving my hair just a little golden glow if you caught it in the sun at the right time of day. It was unmistakably still brown. Phooey! The next week I went to the drugstore and purchased my first box of Miss Clairol. After reading the instructions I decided to risk blindness in the pursuit of the blonde hair that was rightfully mine.
I was ready to find out if blondes really do have more fun. Honestly, how much more fun could I handle? I had twin infant daughters, babysat my two nephews, ran a household, and used cloth diapers with no diaper service. I had to go to the local laundromat to wash them, and had no car. I was about maxed out in the fun department. I dyed my hair anyway, during nap time. Was my life about to take a turn for the better? When I got the girls up from their nap, they took one look at my blonde mane and began bawling, stopping only to catch their breath before they resumed wailing. Eventually they got used to it, though they eyed me suspiciously for more than a week, as if to say, what other nasty tricks have you got up your sleeve?
Life went on, the dishes piled up, the garbage still had to be taken out, floors needed to be scrubbed. My marriage ended, I went back to work. I didn’t have much to lose, but I kept my blonde hair. For about 40 years I remained a bottle-blonde, always trying to keep ahead of the dark roots. Back then you wouldn’t want to be caught dead with dark roots. Now it appears to be the “in” look, but I still don’t like it.
As I matured, a.k.a. got older, I grew stronger, more authentic, and I toyed with the idea of going back to my “roots”, letting my hair grow out, embracing the brown. No more trying to avoid the dreaded dark roots. I was ready for this. Giddy almost. However, this natural high came to an abrupt end when I realized, to my horror, while I didn’t have the dreaded dark roots anymore, I had many silver, gray, and white roots woven in among the brown. So, having forsaken the blonde of my entire adult life, if I returned to my brown roots, I’d still need to color my hair to purge the gray!
Here’s the deal – I’m not ready to go gray yet. So the line of BS I’d been feeding myself about going back to my natural color, was a total lie. It would appear that my natural color includes a solid dose of gray, and I want nothing to do with it! I know plenty of women who are vibrant, creative, youthful, fun, AND have beautiful, gray hair. I just can’t go there yet. It’s a corner I’m not ready to turn. Maybe in 5 or 10 or 20 years, but not today. Like when I went from blonde to brown, I’ll know when the time is right. Okay, full disclosure, I cried for two days when I gave up the blonde, but in the end I was happy with my decision. In fact, I now love my thick, luxurious, brown hair. It’s neither boring nor ho-hum. It’s me. It feels like me. It feels good, matches my insides. Gray does not. So to the question, “to gray, or not to gray”, my answer is an emphatic, “Not yet”!