I’ve been blonde most of my life. For the first 30 years, blonde by virtue of genetics. Then I darkened and grayed a bit on the way to 40. When I turned 44, a few years after having rejoined the full-time workforce, I cut my hair short and got it dyed for the first time. I was a short-haired. blonde executive for quite a while. Now, at 54 and semi-retired, I’m ready for another go at my natural color.
Whatever that may be.
Above you see my head. Which statement I find comical in the extreme, but I digress. My natural color appears to be a steely brown mixed with gray. The blonde dye is growing out further down.
Here’s the thing. I wish I could claim a sort of revolutionary bravery in this choice, but it’s just vanity. How so? In what scenarios does steel brown with gray do a better job than blonde?
Imagine this. My blonde plays tricks. I’ve got a lot of hair, and it still swings around quite cheerfully. If you see me from the back you might be fooled into thinking I’m young. Still a candidate for folderol and future family. I hate the thought of someone coming round from behind me, expecting a 30-year old, when, suddenly, “Gah! It’s an oldish lady!” I prefer “Under-Promise And Over-Deliver” to, “Set High Expectations And Disappoint.”
Grandes Dames remain flaxen to the end, Artsy Cousins crop and convert to platinum, but Sturdy Gals face facts, plowing ever forward towards what is.
Besides, you know, as I get older the color of my face changes. Come on, I’m not the only one. Round here capillaries are surfacing like little pink carp chasing breadcrumbs. When you redden, yellow hair loses its charm.
I confess that being blonde has meant a lot to me. I can tell you this only as I prepare to leave it behind. Having sported a little tow-head, and remaining quite fair all through the 70′s, I basked in glory reflected from Cheryl Tiegs, Patti Hansen, and Farrah. We don’t need to use her second name, now do we? And I am quite sure I have a hitherto unexamined relationship with blonde as a sign of my once-ruling class. Clearly time to give that up.
I may go gray, like Ms. Givens of Trend Wisely, Donna of Rock the Silver, and Madame La Streep, all of whom look beautiful below. Join the ranks of Alice Bradley at finslippy, and Anne Kreamer, who wrote Going Gray. Rock the Silver is, of course, a blog often about going gray.
Or I may color my hair mostly that steely brown, leaving only a little silver as highlights. I don’t know, and reserve the right to change my mind. Maybe a wiser woman awaits me, hair dark and long. Graying just enough. Which is of course the stereotype, that blondes are unwise. Perhaps that’s only because so few of us remain blonde in the years where wisdom is possible. I was just as intelligent when I was blonde, just nowhere close to wise. I wouldn’t rule it out for others.
I imagine the dark-haired, graying me will know the secrets to Artsy Cousin dress. To say nothing of where to find good hair fasteners.
I am already enjoying the absence of yellow near my face. Still waiting for additional wisdom.
So I ask you, how many of you color your hair? Or perhaps I ought to ask the reverse. How many of you do not? And what do you think you will do once gray begins to dominate?