Monday, May 2, 2011

Turning Gray at 40!

Well, I finally had to breakdown and dye my hair. I haven’t done it in a very long time. Of course, when I was younger, my hair was all different shades. I’ve been blond, red headed, etc. But, age took away my enthusiasm for funky hair and it’s been dark brown for a long time. That is until the grays started popping up.

Initially, in my late thirties, when a gray would rear its ugly head, I would pluck it out as a warning to any others thinking they would like to announce themselves. It didn’t work. As life moved on and teen stress mounted, the grays came out in greater number. Not enough to make a total transformation, just enough to convince me that I couldn’t afford to pluck quite that much hair.

The interesting thing about my grays – they are not even close to the texture of my darker hair. They are stiff and wiry. What’s up with that? I can pinch one between my fingernails and slide down the hair resulting in a curl not unlike a Christmas bow. On the bright side, they are the whitest white. Not dull gray, not silver, bright white.

Since they are this unique wiry texture, they tend to stick straight out of my head announcing to the world that age is overtaking beauty in a big way. I have these white antennae sprouting. If I let them grow long enough, they settle down, but geesh what a picture I'm going to be in a few years!

So, I broke out the L’Oreal and dyed my hair today. It does look much better. I’m relieved. How long until the grays reassert? I’m not sure, and I dread the thought of dyeing becoming a regular routine. Urgh!

So, what do you do when you decide to actually go gray? How does that work? Since I’m dyeing, when will I know it’s time to give up and give in? Do I dye the rest of my hair to match the gray? I’m so not ready… Being old doesn’t bother me, but I just don't have a grip on aging maintenance. Hmmm…


  1. Gray hair is sort of like weeds in a garden. You keep trying to pull them out to keep the garden going, but eventually the weeds take over! LOL! Go with the flow!

  2. Oh, I envy you! I've had white hair since I was a kid. It runs in the family :( In fact my 12 yo daughter and my 6 yo son already have some gray hairs. I have been over 30% white for years. I finally took the plunge in November and had mine dyed. Now, I am wondering if it was a mistake. I'm terrified that if I ever let it grow out it will be pure white! Aaaaaah! I just turned 39!

  3. I was really very comfortable going grey, but on a trip home about four or five years ago, my Mom and sisters assured me (with many pained expressions) that I was just too young to be that grey! So, I submitted to a fresh cut and color and have continued to do so ever since.

    I am forever in a quandary, however. I just hate the upkeep, but I like how it looks with fresh color. The compromise I have arranged, and declare to one and all within my family circle so that they all can prepare for it as well, is that when I turn 50 I'm going to cut it quite short (but sassy) and quit coloring. Two years, 3 months, 23 days to go. ;D

    Here's a post I did last year on the subject of aging with grace:

    Great topic - and I'm glad you're happy with the color!

  4. Lorus and Shyla, Good to know we are in the same boat. I'm not an upkeep person much myself. I like looking good, but only if it can happen quickly. We'll see how long this dyeing thing happens. I like the idea of 50 being the cut-off. May make that declaration myself. Lorus - my sister has a white streak she's had all her life. My dad's hair is a beautiful silver. I'll take pure white - just don't want that dishwater gray. :)

  5. Nancy - weeds is a good way to describe my grays. They stick out and need pulling. One day I'll be a whole patch of weeds... lol

  6. I have been graying since my late twenties. Also runs in my family. Have been coloring ever since. I really hate the upkeep. But the minute I decide to go longer between colorings someone always ends up saying something about it which in turn sends me back to the process.

  7. Oh my, I have just recently found out that I have grey strands in my hair. Shocked was to say the least. I am now 40 and for the love of me did not expect to see any since I am Strawberry Blonde natural. So now a new worry stage has set in. Will I go all gray, by what age, can anyone see it, does it mean I'm old. Thousands of questions are on my mind. My genetics are unknown due to the fact that my mother passed when I was 4 and my dad recently passed.

  8. I started going gray at 27! Same age as my Mom! (Thanks Mom for the ageing early genes grr). Anyway, I had been going very light blonde, almost platinum, while my natural color is dark blonde. I decided to go brunette and wow, they were even more noticeable. I have never dyed my hair at home. I heard once you start, you do it every 4 weeks for the rest if your life, that seems like a huge commitment, although a less pricey option than paying someone else I suppose....

    Any updates? Do you still cover your gray yourself?

  9. Yep, still doing it myself. I definitely have more than when I first posted this, but they haven't taken over yet. Being a brunette - they are very noticeable. I only dye to my original color, so the maintenance isn't that big of a deal. Maybe once a month. Typically, only when I get tired of seeing them. I just wish they weren't so wiry - I'm going to look like Einstein when I get old. :-)


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