"It is well to remember that the entire population of the universe, with one trifling exception, is composed of others." A.Holmes

Saturday, February 4, 2012

This Old White-Haired Lady

I know this picture is a blur, but what caught my attention after I downloaded pictures from our family Christmas party was the sight of the old white-haired lady with one of my granddaughters, then realized the old white- haired lady was ME ! When did this happen? I know, I know, I have been covering up the gray for years and finally this past summer gave up, but how did so much white hair appear so soon? This picture was taken this past summer as my husband and I left for his 40th high school class reunion ( my 40th is this year ). My hairdresser, the one who did NOT fry my hair trying to make it blonde to hide the gray,( thank-you Anya ) strongly urged me to keep my white hair that day after my request for some dark streaks, and I am grateful to her for this. For years I have covered the gray while trying to keep my hair the very dark brown I was born with. This has been hard because my hair grows well more than 1/2 inch a month, I measured the growth with a ruler which was very easy to do with the white "skunk line " appearing a scant 3 to 5 days after dying my hair. The time and money spent trying to retain dark brown hair was simply not worth the investment. I see pictures of famous brunette women who are aging and even with the editing and touch-ups I can tell they are dying their hair.When I am in crowds and see older brunettes in the day-light I can see their dye-lines in spite of the dye, easily. I then wonder who they're fooling, because it surely isn't time, or the people who know them. I am still wondering what to do with my hair and seem to suffer even more bad hair days than when I was younger, but my dilemma now is what to do with white hair... most definitely NOT the short, tightly curled bob of older women from years ago...nor the bun. What to do, what to do?
"Gray hair is a blessing, ask any bald man." Author Unknown "There is only one sure cure for gray hair, it was invented by a French man. It's called the guillotine." P.D. Wodehouse
I found some very interesting blogs on this topic, here are two of them. If you are toying with the decision to go gray check them out. ~Aging Abundantly* , and ~Going Gray *.
For years members of my family were against any decisions to go gray, and because I love to please my family, I obliged. My husband was even willing to pay for me to have this professionally done every other month. To stay brunette was becoming expensive and one visit to a salon after months of home dye jobs left me victim to snickers and guarded bad comments from my hair dresser ( not Anya ) .Family photos showed the dyed hair was obvious, and beginning to look harsh. If I was to continue this route I would need to make sure I kept to dark rooms and low lights, or go full on for the vampire look...no thanks . So by publishing this post I am going public with the decision to go gray / white. Now again regarding the styling, what to do, what to do ? This old gray mare may not be the brunette she used to be, but I am not yet ready to be put out to pasture either!Link

36 comments:

Deb from WhatsInMyAttic said...

I'm certainly not a stylist, but if I had your lovely hair I would bob it to just below chin length in the front and let the grey show the strength, character, and beauty that age has gracefully wrought! Also...I got new glasses this month, and surprisingly enough, discovered some old lady was wearing the new glasses and my bathrobe the next morning. Darn mirror!

KathyB. said...

Deb, thank-you, I just might do what you've suggested. And hey, what was that old lady doing wearing YOUR new glasses and robe anyway? (Thanks for the smile your comment gave me)

Debbie said...

Like you, I've been coloring for years. First lightening, then going for the brown. Now I too am in the process of growing off all color and getting into my natural silver hair! I'm so tired of dyeing! I used to be a hairdresser, and a lot of women don't realize how harsh dark hair begins to look near 60. I've been noticing lately how many women went with their natural color and look lovely. You do too!
Deb

LindaSueBuhl said...

I made the decision to quit being "blonde by choice" and allow natural hair color - sides are lovely white but rest - :::sigh:::: not looking the way I'd hoped. Cannot afford beauty shop color and struggling with accepting my look now - but you look wonderful - your overall look is appropriate - nice figure and the white looks dramatic and soft.

Carolyn said...

Your post was very timely--I'm all white and was considering dying it again!!! But, hate the thoughts of the upkeep--I'm staying white! Thanks.

Southern Comfort said...

I know how you feel. I used to have dark brown, almost black hair but started greying in my early thirties. After many years of dying my hair, I decided to go grey. I have "salt and pepper" hair. I wish it was all white or silver. I recently got lots of white highlights that blend in well with some darker ones and I really like it. I also have a new "layered bob". I think your hair is beautiful and I like the longer classic look you have.

Daisy said...

I think you look lovely, Kathy. I like Deb from WhatsInMyAttic's suggestion about the bob cut, but you look lovely with the longer hair too.

Vickie said...

Kathy, my days as a blond are numbered, too. I've always been blond but I can see many grey hairs peeping out next to my scalp. Every time I see a lady with pretty white hair in a cute style, I SO admire them - not only cuz it's so chic but that they are confident enough to wear it. A cute bob will make it thick and full and gorgeous! There is a woman at my church that did that, and she's stunning. When you go to the salon, look at some of their style books at older haircuts - I'll bet you'll get some great ideas! AND we need "after" pictures!

Maple Lane said...

Hi Kathy, As you know, I quit trying to cover my white/gray hair about a year ago. I still am a bit shocked when I see my reflection but I so enjoy not being "tied" to the hairdresser every few weeks.
When questions arise about my looks changing, be it hair or new glasses, etc., I remember mother who only had a perception of what a person looked like -
You are lovely in these pics. Keep us posted if you decide to go with the chin length change.

Stella said...

I opted to let my hair go gray when I was in my late 50's for the same reason you have stated. I have never regretted doing so and often get nice remarks about my choice to not dye my hair. If you don't want to cut your hair why not do a french roll or something similar.

GrammyK said...

I think you look just beautiful--such gorgeous hair. I'm slowly greying a strand at a time and I love gray or white hair. I'll never dye mine (unless to dye it grey! Ha Ha!!) I'm sure that whatever you do, you'll be beautiful. Do keep us posted though. :-)

Karen said...

I think your hair looks wonderful! Mine is so many different colors right now! I will be glad when it is all silver! That is a precious photo!

goatpod2 said...

Loved the pictures!

Amy

Sara said...

I so enjoyed reading your post. It's nice to know I'm not the only one struggling with what to do with my hair...in my case, how to style it. Grow it longer, cut it shorter....

Mine is going gray/white also but still has a lot of the original golden red I was born with. The overall effect is a duller color than my original youthful color (sigh) but I will never dye it...I'm no good at that tyranny of having to keep on dying once one starts down that road.

As you remarked, it does seem the bad hair days are much worse now than they ever were before! Mine is about your length and that's where I tend to keep it but am never quite satisfied with it. I'll be interested to see what you decide to do with the cut.

Pondside said...

Join the club, Kathy!
I have never coloured my hair and when the grey streaks started to appear I was horrified because I knew I'd be living with them. I have/had dark brown, nearly black hair and there's no way I was going to be a slave to that 'skunk line' (I loved that in your post!). Both my younger sisters streak/highlight/colour their hair, but their hair was lighter than mine.
How about a soft bob, between chin and shoulder. You'd retain the length but have a polished look that is a must with grey hair. Up here there are waaaaay too many women with long grey hair pulled back in a tail or a braid - not a very polished look at all.

Pondside said...

....meant to say how gorgeous you looked (speaking of looking polished!) at your husband's reunion!

PeregrineBlue said...

silver grey is so classy. i mean look at the photo again, you look fabulous. different, true, but so elegant.

i personally prefer longer hair, a more feminine look.

i am proud of you. i am almost there since fed up with the dyeing every three weeks.

Deanna said...

You're a beautiful Lady!!! This is a sweet pic of you and grand.

Some Ladies wear their grey or white hair so well! It is truly pretty.

I have some strands of silvery grey growing in my blonde hair. Hopin' that when it grows in it will cover my entire head of hair whitish when that day comes.

It is your crown of glory,
d

God bless and shine on,
d

The Country Nest said...

Kathy,
Your hair is beautiful...I wish mine was such a beautiful white, instead it is salt and pepper and I am still coloring...I don't know for how long. I too went to my hubby's 40th last year and mine is this year. My hair does not grow as fast and it would take forever, because I too wear it at about shoulder length. May if you just have the darker parts trimmed up and let it grow. You have stunning hair and I wish I had the courage to embrace my natural color. It won't be much longer that I keep it dark because my eyebrows are turning white!!!!

Dolores said...

Kathy, you're beautiful inside and out....brunette or gray!!!!

Going Gray Blog said...

Gray hair is a crown of glory; it is gained in a righteous life.

Proverbs 16:31

Thank you for mentioning our site. You are beautiful!

Mary said...

I love your beautiful God-given crown of glory, KathyB. I wouldn't change a thing. Mary

Mormotabárány said...

I'm in my early forties now, and had to dye my hair - thought I - for some grey was appearing. As soon as you could see the skunk line( :) ) after dying, my daughter said: Mom, you're getting grey, dye it, my colleagues said: Oh, you're getting grey, dye it, my friends said: Oh God, you ARE getting grey, DYE IT!!! so I always did. Then, before my son's high school exams ( I use to make promises sometimes to wish improbable things) I said to myself: if he passes, well, let's call it a dye (haha) and let it be. Now I have a lot of grey over my head, and people are still saying DYE IT! and my daughter: MOM YOU'RE SOOO GREY! But I really begun to LIKE it the way it is! Well, the promise is for two years, let's see what I do afterwards. Now I'm thinking I neve dye it again. YOU LOOK gorgeous on both pictues:)

Stickhorsecowgirls said...

I'm with Pondside! I always had dark hair too, but it's way too harsh now, so I gave it up! The grandkids gave the most resistance to me growing gray, but are ok with the golden highlights. I'll be going for the silver before long! Actually, I think silver hair is amazing! By the way, you look gorgeous!
V

Lady Jane said...

You are truly beautiful Kathy. My mom was all grey at 28 and naturally guess who took aft her. I dyed my hair til I was 40 - going from black to lite brown to a blondish streaking - following my hair dressers advice that dark hair makes you look older. Finally said enough was enough... Never was I unhappy with the decision. Free, Good God Almighty, I was free at last!!! Now that I have the dang wrinkles I am not happy but hey I earned every one of those wrinkles and those grey hairs so why not sport them.... Go to your hair dresser and let her help you decide. She is trained with the shape of your face etc, etc to pick out the best cut for you. Be happy... Hugs. LJ

A. Joy said...

Great post Mom. Love the pic of you outside there! You've been wanting white hair for so long and it's finally here! Unfortunately for me, you married a guy who's family all went white really early and he passed that on to me so my hair is about 10 yrs ahead of yours in changing color. Ack! Don't think I'm ready to go white yet but when I do I hope I look like Paula Deen!

Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy said...

Kathy, you are beautiful! I too have been coloring my hair (but at home) for over a decade. It was a mousy brown. I wonder how much grey I have, but am not ready to find out yet.

I think that your hairstyle looks great just as it is, but I recently got mine cut into a mid-length shag.

Kathy M.

Paula said...

I think your hair is gorgeous, Kathy~ of course, I've been coloring my hair since I was 20 to hide the gray and just recently let it go natural, so I'm a little biased. :)
I'm 42 and have almost as much gray as you do, but I've come to the conclusion that this is "me" so I've started wearing mine proudly. (Although I know what you mean by being shocked sometimes at what you see...)

Carol............. said...

Actually I can't wait till my hair is white! I have to color the roots so mine is almost white! A big pain.

Unfortunately my family does not go "light" and my grandmother still had fairly dark hair at age 88!

Your hair is gorgeous and I like the Bob-cut idea also. You can always grow it back.

I also think the lighter color seems to soften our look when we get a bit older (however, better! lol).

Chris said...

Hi Kathy, well, I think you are beautiful just as you are. I say, be natural and age gracefully. I finally let my hair go naturally grey a few years ago after dying it brown, lighter with each year of course, until it was just pointless. They grey came through faster than I could earn the money to pay for another dye job, LOL It seems that most comments are for you to be natural. Thanks for sharing. http://chelencarter-retiredandlovingit.blogspot.com/

Thistle Cove Farm said...

In the 7th grade I tried Sun-In which turned my hair a vile green. Never again have I colored my hair! My hair used to be blond and strawberry reddish but gray and white are added often. That's okay; if it makes God happy, I'm happy. Dave never wanted me to color my hair nor even to wear cosmetics. The one time I wore, for me, a lot of cosmetics and then met Dave and his mother at a party, Dave didn't even recognize me! He looked me straight in the eyes and then away; I had to speak to him for him to know me. He was so shocked and then embarrassed but I found it funny.

Cynthia said...

I stopped coloring my hair about 10 years ago at the request of my guy. He thought it made me look older, and he preferred the "natural" me! I'm 54 years old now, and although I am not 100% gray/white, I'm about halfway there. I get nothing but compliments on my hair, too. It is about 2 - 3 inches past shoulder length which seems to work for me. I think it is smart to keep in mind, though, that when the hair is gray, it does tend to make one look a bit washed out. I mostly wear black clothing pieces, but use pops of color, i.e. a bright jacket, or lipstick, or necklace. Don't overdo it, though! You don't want to come off as a clown! Hope that helps, and I think your hair is beautiful! I loved the article about Iris Apfel on the "going gray" blog that you shared. She is such an inspiration! Did you see the gorgeous husband she has? 97? Are you kidding me? They are a "rock-star" couple if I've ever seen one.

GardenofDaisies said...

I love your gray hair!! I haven't tried to cover my gray for several years now. I really prefer the natural look.

PeregrineBlue said...

are you alright? worry when you don't post. hope the weather is easing up a bit and that chip is doing his part in making things easier. much love and thoughts.

Della said...

Being a retired Beautician it was a very hard decision to let go and go Gray/Silver.. Members of my family like yours were not in agreement. That was 6 months ago & I still find myself getting up in the mornings turning on the bathroom light & turning to see who that is in my mirror...Then I laugh smile and say I love my Gray!!! I now have more time to embrace the abundance of color's in my world that never fade or grow out... Good for you!! Silver is Simply Splendid..

Connie said...

Your hair looks just fine the way it is, so wear it at the length and in the style that make you comfortable. You look great! And besides, who cares. At our age, we have earned the right to be our (age-ed)selves.