Gray is the new blonde?

So you may remember back in June I decided it was time to let go of dying my hair. I didn’t want to keep trying to hang onto something that was, in reality, already gone. In this case, it was my natural red hair.

shortly after the last dye job, June 2012

shortly after the last dye job, June 2012

I feel strange posting pictures of myself, but here is the blonde I had in July

I feel strange posting pictures of myself, but here is the blonde I had in July

It had taken me until well into my twenties to appreciate having red hair, and by then, it was already beginning to show signs of turning silver. So, like many people, I ran for the color bottle, and when that eventually failed (I am told red hair is very hard to duplicate) to the salon.

But after a decade or so of this, I tallied up the cost one day, in money and time, and decided it wasn’t worth it. I don’t really have any hangups about aging, so I stopped coloring and waited to see what would happen.

I’m not a very patient person. So two weeks later, I had my stylist strip my color and give me a blonde tint. I wrote about that  here. I had a two-week period where I missed being a redhead, but the thought of returning to all that maintenance stopped me from doing anything rash.

Then, about 2 months ago, I got it cut very short, so only a little artificial blond remained on my crown. A few weeks later, now only about an inch remains on my longest hair – the rest is all me; gray, streaked with a little remaining red that hasn’t yet deserted the ship. It looks like I had it frosted.

December, 2012

December, 2012. Sorry about the bad lighting, I should have smiled or something.


One more haircut, and I will be entirely natural, almost completely gray-haired. The most interesting thing is the responses I get from people; friends and acquaintances who haven’t seen me in a while and love my “blonde” hair. When I tell them it is actually naturally gray, they look closer, and really don’t believe me. As my chiropractor friend told me yesterday, “women pay good money to get that color.” Maybe I am lucky. Maybe gray hair isn’t really all about what we have been told it is.

In the interest of full disclosure, there are still days I miss being a redhead. Then again, there are also days when I would love to have the body I had at 28. But this is me, now. And, I would be the last person in the world to criticize anyone for changing their hair color, whether gray or not. Hair is very tied up in how we feel about ourselves, and sometimes, we just need a change, something to perk us up and make us feel fresh again. It is a completely personal choice. I have made mine for now, and I’m happy with it, but I reserve the right to change my mind at any time in the future. It’s a woman’s prerogative, after all.


About claymire cottage

I'm a museum curator who lives with a wonderful husband, Rowley the golden Retriever, and 2 cats; Mr. Cookie, and Mabel the Magnificent.

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