Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Hair and Hair Dye and Getting Old

By some strange coincidence, I read an article about gray hair and dyed hair this week, the same week I also kept one of my rare appointments with my hairdresser. According to the article, dyed hair is one of the big symbols of eternal youth (I exaggerate, but you know what I mean).

I've never been one to dye my hair. By the time I retired some eight years ago, I was virtually the only woman in my department still proudly flaunting her natural hair color, even though mine was tinged with quite a bit of gray by then. "Natural highlights," I called it. I didn't give in until a couple of years ago, when I was talked into highlights: more or less blonde streaks among the brown and the gray. Since then, my hair has been a variety of mixed colors, sometimes reverting to a dull iron-gray. I seldom pay atttention; I don't have much of a social life, and I usually avoid mirrors.

My mother maintained dark brown hair well into her late eighties, long after dark hair ceased to flatter her sagging face. In bright light, it resembled no natural hair color known to man. She finally let her hair turn its natural white as she neared ninety, and it looked beautiful.

I like white hair, but mine doesn't seem to be heading that way; it's just dull gray. My pale, sagging face surely couldn't stand my former dark brown any more, and trying to keep it that color would drive me crazy anyway. I would resent the required time more than the expense. To say that I have no skill in taking care of my hair is to put it mildly. Mine usually is a mess.

Today I looked at my reflection in a mirror in good light. Guess what? My hair appears to be mostly a sort of strawberry blonde. Perhaps my hairdresser was having a bad day when she did that. Anyway, I just shrugged. Who cares? Since I don't have a Web Cam hooked up to my computer, nobody can see me. I'll just keep typing away on my latest project.

Somewhere past seventy, the struggle to look young seems to become a lost cause. I guess what I plan to do is to age gracefully. And yet--perhaps I could use an Extreme Makeover. After all, my motto and the title of this blog is "Never too Late!"

Copyright 2007 by Marlys Marshall Styne

7 comments:

seniorwriter said...

To Alice:
Your comment got rejected by mistake. Feel free to submit it again! If my husband were still alive, he'd probably prefer me with dyed hair too, although strawberry blonde might be a bit much for him!

Thanks for ordering my book!

cyberpenguin said...

Hi there Marlys,
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seniorwriter said...

Thanks. I think the older version of my blog did have an RSS button, but I'm not quite sure how to get one on my newer-version blogspot blog. As you can probably tell, I'm no technological expert.

Marlys

Collette said...

Hair color is never under my control even when I think it is. I can buy a box of "medium brown" hair dye, and, after I use it, my hair is dark brown. But that's OK because in a week or so the color washes out to a nice medium brown. Unfortunately, that color fades into light brown. Finally, all the color washes out and leaves behind brazen, split hairs flying out in every direction. This is when I decide it's time to take control again, so I cut the split ends from my hair and buy another box of "medium brown" hair color.

seniorwriter said...

Ah, yes. I don't think my expensive hairdresser has my color under control either, but at least my hair seems to remain in good condition. I'm still hoping for lovely white hair someday, but I'm not in a hurry!

Smilema said...

I spent many years trying to keep up with the color of my hair. Since I have dark almost black hair, the gray would show almost a week after having had my hair colored. Finally last year I gave up. It took about a year before my hair was completey free of coloring material. Now I use the time I spent coloring my hair for other more pleasurable activities. I work at a public library where I have the opportunity to sit and read for hours while getting paid. Reading is my one obsession. I found your site today and can relate with your comments about life in general. I am 74 years old and have yet to feel a fit with what society expects of someone my age. Kudos to you for finding your self. Keep up the good work at encouraging us to live life as it is meant to be lived. Thanks.

seniorwriter said...

I don't fit into any of the usual stereotypes of old people either--and I don't want to! "Doing your own thing" seems to be as important now as it was earlier in life.

Thanks for your comment.