Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Hi Ho Silver, Away!

As you may know, I've been conducting the great silver experiment on my head. Since last winter, I've been letting the snow collect on my rooftop, refusing anything except some foil highlights to help blend the roots that were growing in. My older sister, too, has been conducting the same experiment, and she's pretty happy with how hers has turned out. In fact, she's cut her hair pretty short and says that it looks a little like Jamie Lee Curtis (although she has yet to send a picture to me).

We didn't embark on this experiment because of the environment (see Is Going Gray Greener?) or because of outright laziness. In our family, we tend to go gray (or silver) very early. Our younger sister was completely white-haired by the age of 30. Likewise, both brothers went white (really beautiful) early on. My older sister and I continued to dye ours. It's what we do in our society, right? And then I developed an all-over body itch that started after I colored my hair at home, trying to save a little money. After 2-3 months and 4 doctors, I had to stop taking Lyrica. The doctors didn't know if that was the culprit, but it was the last medication to be changed (dosage raised). They could not be certain, though, that my hair dye wasn't the culprit either. So, as I detailed here, I began the Great Gray Experiment....sorry, Daryl, the Great Silver Experiment! My sister was inspired (she has an autoimmune disorder) and decided to do the same.

And here we are...months later. I'm disgusted with my hair. A friend recently described it as salt-and-pepper. My hubby likes it well enough (so he says), and I feel an obligation to my sister -- but! I really, really don't like it. I don't have enough silver yet for it to be dramatic, and I don't like how washed out I look to myself. Besides...I have a very young looking husband. No one guesses that he's in his 40s with a 21-year-old and a 24-year-old. Me? Oh yeah, they can see it. They even guess that he and our son are brothers. Ugh! And I'm Grandma, I guess. This picture is of us (hubby and I) on my graduation day last May (2007), before the experiment. At least we look like we could be in the same decade.

My current look is visible in my picture in the sidebar.

What am I getting around to? I am making a hair appointment to get many highlights in my hair. This will prevent the dye from getting into my pores while still giving me that more youthful look, something like what Hillary has. Not bad for 60, eh?--
So what have I learned? Well, first off, I've learned that it's pretty easy to go gray. In less than a year, I was able to blend out those roots and let my natural color come through. It's not as hard as I thought it would be. Second, I learned that nothing has really changed for women. We are still expected to keep up appearances, at least until were at a more advanced age. Women in their 40s just don't go gray! If we do dare to take that step, we are thought to be much older than we actually are. From the looks we get, you would think we were breaking some cardinal law. I find that I'm really hoping the hair dye doesn't cause that widespread itch again. If it does, well, I guess I'll have to live with the snow on the roof!

Finally, I learned that life is amazingly simple when one doesn't have to run to the hair salon every 3-4 weeks to get those roots touched up. I didn't have to buy any special shampoo to keep my color vibrant and didn't have to go to the salon unless I felt like getting a haircut. I saved a lot of money. A lot.

Sometime next week, I'll be walking into the salon and plopping my butt down in the chair.

What will I say?

Well, "Give me the Hillary," of course!

Peace - D


Jo said...

I think you are much too young and pretty to go grey, err, silver just yet. I think it's a look that very few women can really pull off. Daryl looks beautiful and stunning with her silver hair and Helen Mirren does too, but for the most part, most women - including Jamie Lee Curtis - just look grey, and a bit tired.

I think there are probably hair dyes that would be quite gentle, and you might not get an allergic reaction.

Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

... Dylan Thomas

You have a very beautiful face. Frame it with beautiful hair. You have a long way to go before you get old, or want to look old.

Jennifer H said...

My grandmother was always my inspiration for getting my hair colored. For as far back as I remember, she had blond hair (not her natural color), and maintained it up until right before she died in her early 70s.

I stretch my hair appts out to about every 6 weeks (if it's 7 or 8, I can really tell the difference). But I would say that I do it because it makes me feel more confident, not because society expects it. You could argue that it's impossible to separate the two, and you'd be right, I think.

You should do what makes you feel good. If going silver would have been the thing, then who cares about what anyone else thinks.

the walking man said...

Tell them to give you "The
walking Man" they'll thin the grove some on top and weave twelve inches of brown into the back...the beard though will be extra.

RiverPoet said...

Josie - All that and you quoted my favorite villanelle, too!!! Thanks. I do think I'm much too young to go into that good night. :-)

Jennifer H - Exactly. If it would have been okay with me? Then no worries. But it's not okay with me. It makes me feel old and tired when I look in the mirror. My sister is going to give me a hard time, though!

Walking Man - I wonder how I'd look with a beard. Hmmm......

Peace - D

Akelamalu said...

You could have it 'done' grey and see what it would like all over. Then if you don't like it just have a colour on it. OK I admit it, not one of my better ideas. :(

Daryl said...

Interestingly I get asked all the time if I dye my hair .. sometimes when the snark in me is strong I say yes, I do and I use Clairol #60 ... I had a really horrific experience with dying my hair when I was in my 20s .. since then the strongest thing on my hair has been plain henna which I used to use to make it shine ... now I dont use anything ... tho occasionally I see someone with hair color I feel envy over and think 'maybe' .. the reality rears its head and I know I wont do it .. toooooo time consuming for someone whose hair grows as fast as mine.

My advice to those who wonder about going SILVER is to say color your hair an ash blonde shade and then let it grow out .. the silver will blend with the ash blonde and you wont feel drab or colorless ... AND I suggest wearing brighter color clothes and a slightly stronger more vibrant blush or lipstick


Daryl said...

BTW ... Helen Mirren's hair is not Silver or Gray/Grey .. its blonde

Baroness von Bloggenschtern said...

I'm kind of worried about all that you might receive if you say "Give Me the Hillary".

Just sayin'.

And for another 2 bits:
1. Love the new template
2. When you light up the room with your beautiful D smile - who gives a crap what color your hair is? [she said, just having recently had highlights put into her own s&p hair :)]

Jay said...

The reason I'm not about to let mine go grey just yet is that I'm pretty sure I'm salt and pepper under the red hair dye and it's not a good look. It does tend to make you look washed out, and older, and I'm not ready for that.

My family tend to go a nice silver, and when I'm totally grey I'm okay with that, it's just the in-between stage I'd like to skip.

BTW, I've heard that professional hair dyes are less likely to cause reactions than home kits, which is why I've never dyed my hair at home. Another thing I find useful is to get a semi-permanent colour, because that way you don't have to get the roots retouched, since the colour fades as your hair grows. Yes, you have to style carefully or you can just see it, but it's better than repeated dye, for me.

Lavinia said...

I wish I had the guts to go grey. But I don't. But I do admire those who do.

Marty said...

Some women look great when they go grey. I think that my wife would look stunning but she does not even want to try - she is a beautiful red head now (her natural color) but red heads are some of the first to go "silver."

MamaGeek said...

Oh do I feel ya. I'm already showing gray and all of a sudden I can no longer keep up with yanking them out.


But you? LOOK awesome.

Maggie May said...

I personally don't like roots, so I have decided like you to go the silver path. Good luck to you.

RiverPoet said...

Akela - I think I'm going to go with a heavy highlight job all over. Close enough, eh?

Daryl - As always, thanks for the tips! I'm going to try the all over highlighting - lots of it - since mine is not yet "all" silver.

B von B - You're a sweetheart! And welcome back!

Jay - Yeah, I think you're right. I'll know when the time is right to do this permanently. And hopefully you're right about the professional dyes.

Lavinia - Like me, I think you'll know when the time is right.

Marty - You're a rare man. I hope Debbie appreciates you!

MamaGeek - As I wrote to you separately, I most certainly appreciate the compliment! And if I had to yank out all my silver threads? I'd be bald...

Maggie - We want pictures!

Peace - D

Dianne said...

A heavy hightlight all over sounds like a good idea. I did that for quite a bit but I really am such a white woman that I needed to go darker to warm up my complexion.

My gray comes in coarse and ugly and in 3 different tones.

I can't even go gray properly!

SandyCarlson said...

Well said! An old friend with whom I have recently become reacquainted told me he can't believe how dark my hair is. When we were young, I was blonde. The salon people tell me grey is next. I find it best to avoid mirrors these days!

david mcmahon said...

If it is of ANY consolation to you, I started going grey in my early twenties!

And thank you for your great question about the colours of Dawson City.

It is early morning here and that is the first question I will ask today. Watch my blog for the answer!!

Not Afraid to Use It said...

First of all LOVE LOVE LOVE the new template. Sorry I've been so long in coming by. This virus is still kicking my ass.

Secondly, if going to the salon every 4-6 weeks makes you feel better about yourself then by god GO!! There are so few things that we find give us satisfaction. What else are you going to spend the money on? Spending some on yourself now and then is what you deserve.

And thirdly, and am truly sorry if my S&P remark made you feel badly. It was never intended that way at all. I hope you know that. Hugs.

RiverPoet said...

David - I can't wait to hear the answer! And I saw the pic of you from when you visited Leslie. You look distinguished with your gray temples!

My dear, sweet, NATUI! As I wrote you, it was another dear friend who said that, but yes, I guess you described it that way, too, when we met for lunch. I had completely forgotten! I was kind of going for the hot cougar look, and it's not turning out that way. Ugh. Time for the salon!!!

Peace - D

Ruth D~ said...

So . . . I'm late . . . but what are you *talking* about you look washed out and older than hubby? He looed young, but so did the chick beside him. Damn. It's what inside that counts. Isn't it? :>)

Hilary said...

I think you look lovely no matter what your hair is doing. I've been very lucky with grey. At 53, I have them, but they're still in the yamk-em-out stage. I'll be checking into the dye options as soon as I can no longer keep up with them though.