All posts tagged: Gray Hair

My White Stripe — Going Halfway Gray

“Is that natural?” When something in your appearance is askew (to them), people have no qualms about stopping you in the street, waving a finger and asking you to decode your own being. Frankly, when it comes to my hair, I kinda dig it. “Well, you see,” I inform them, “the front part is natural, actually, but I dye the back part, but funny story there…” At which point I see their eyes glaze over and realize they’re sorry they asked. * I’ve always been a fan of my own hair — since Mom clipped a lock of it and put it in an envelope. I’ve been lucky to have hair that is fine but thick, straight and malleable, with a very slight, slip of a curve. When I look or feel crappy, my hair has the ability to be flamboyant and seductive, charming and witty. Swooping like a fancy cape around my face, my hair can easily disguise any bad day. But that doesn’t mean I’m not willing to futz with it. As a kid, …

Gray #2: Embracing My Roots

All the women in my office dye their hair. Nay, all the women in my profession (university development, aka fundraising) dye their hair. We aren’t investment bankers, but we are not terribly different culturally. Being a professional means fading into the background enough to highlight the seriousness of our purpose. Standing out with grey hair, though biologically normal for my age (46) is not culturally normal anymore. Everyone dyes. Sometimes it seems like we’re not allowed to go gray anymore. I’m seized with the fear that I’m the equivalent of John Travolta at the Oscars — befuddled by names, clinging to my fading youth, dyeing my hair too dark and becoming the butt of office jokes. I’d rather go willingly than try to pretend. I’m not sure what “aging gracefully” means exactly but it seems like the opposite of John Travolta. For years, I’ve been beating around the bush with my hair stylist, Vanessa, tentatively questioning her about what it would be like to go gray. “As I get older, will I look silly if I keep dyeing my hair this dark brown …

Gray #3: Going Gray, All The Way

At the age of 47, after coloring my hair consistently for more than a dozen years (and by then needing to do it every three weeks), I decided to stop. This was in some ways precipitated by a move to live full-time at my weekend home in the Catskills. I still make weekly trips into the city to meet with clients and see friends, but my life was evolving and the amount of time I had to sit in a colorists’ chair was limited. Here are a few things that made it hard to go through with this change: 1. Not knowing a single person my age with gray hair. 2. Fearing that it would have an impact on my work. (I’m a creative consultant to brands, many of them in the world of fashion and beauty.) 3. Extreme vanity. And here are a couple of things that made it easier: 1. My incredibly supportive husband, who insists I am always beautiful to him. 2. My colorist, who urged me to stick to the plan …