I am excited to report to you that I have something in common with Queen Elizabeth of Great Britain, Jamie Lee Curtis, Jane Fonda, and Ali McGraw. No, I possess not a drop of royal blood. Of that I am certain because Ancestry.com confirms it. No, I am not a scream queen actress, an Oscar-winning actress, or a Love Story actress. What I have in common with these noteworthy women is………………I have allowed my hair to grow out to its natural silver color.
This may not seem much of a big deal to you, but for someone as vain as me, it is monumental. I was born a cute curly blonde, and remained so until around the age of 6, when my hair began to darken into what is known as “mousy brown”. I have never gotten close enough to a mouse to know exactly what color mousy brown is, but its connotation cannot be that great, as I have never seen a home dye kit with a color labeled “mousy brown”.
So at the age of 15, I purchased a box of Nice n Easy hair dye labeled “ash blonde”, and my journey as a blonde began. Over the years, I have gone to multiple hairdressers in attempts to get a more professional blonde look. They have resulted in ( and you know me well enough by now to know that I do not make this up for your entertainment) green hair, purple hair, white hair, strawberry blonde hair, and occasionally just the right color ash blonde that I was seeking. Right or wrong, I was convinced that I looked at least 10 years younger in my lovely blonde hair. Not that by many years past age 15, I had any idea what my natural color was. I stuck with the hairdresser who nailed the correct blonde color until I moved to Florida 15 years ago.
And thus began another search for a hairdresser who could duplicate the magic of my Massachusetts hairdresser. The search did not go well. Once I moved here permanently, I gave up sunbathing due to the intensity of the sun, but somehow, the day-to-day activity of simply walking outside in the sun for any length of time stripped the color right out of my hair. $100 into the hands of at least 5 different hairdressers over the years, and in less than two weeks, my hair faded to colorless. Kind of a white blonde. Except of course, for the times it was purple. No green or strawberry in Florida as I had experienced in Massachusetts. Just purple.
I decided that if my hair was going to be white-blonde or purple, I may as well pay $9 for a home kit instead of $100 for a professional job. I figured I was saving myself $91 for the same botched result.
Then along came the 2020 Coronavirus pandemic. Every time I turned on the TV, there was another story about a celebrity who could make millions of dollars singing, dancing, talk show hosting, cooking, or whatever else their talent was to entertain us, but could not manage to pour a bottle of dye onto their head to change their hair color. They were bemoaning their inability to get to their high-priced stylist, who I am sure charged a whole lot more than $100 to transform the color of their lovely locks. So many of them not only let their hair grow out to their natural gray, white, or silver, but they liked it enough to keep it that color.
Which got me thinking…………..my hair had been through Hell for almost 2 years. It fell out from the massive weight loss, a variety of life-threatening illnesses, and a cocktail of medications, which forced me into wearing a wig. A wig everyone said was better looking than any hairstyle or color I had ever had. When my natural hair finally grew in, as I have mentioned many times, it was in the strangest way. Thin, curly on top, spiked on one side, smooth on another side, and a color that is known as salt and pepper, which just means a combination of gray and silver.
When the wig started to deteriorate, I had a decision to make. Do I buy another one or go the celebrity route and wear my natural hair color? A good long look in the mirror surprised me. That salt and pepper color was actually a bright, shiny silver and did not look half bad.
Sure, it still stuck out in every direction and fell flat as a pancake five minutes after being curled as it had for my entire life, but I knew a perm would fix that situation. But still…………..I don’t have Queen Elizabeth’s, Jane Fonda’s, Jamie Lee Curtis’ or Ali McGraw’s 24/7 on-call hair stylists or makeup artists to make me look young (er), young (ish), or any way else my blonde hair was fooling me into thinking I looked, so it was do or die time. The final decision was made in favor of the natural color when I realized that if I didn’t like it, the fix was a $9 box of “ash blonde” hair dye.
I made an appointment for a perm with my regular hairdresser, the one who has been doing my hair for 13 years. The result was a softly curled, brightly silver, shiny hairdo, which I actually liked, as did my friends who have seen it. Or at least that is what they told me.
Stay tuned for next week – Blonde hair dye is going onto my grocery list………….just in case.