Embracing the Gray


JULY 2021


First of all, I prefer the less-popular spelling of “grey,” but I don’t want to appear contrary or snooty, so “gray” it is.

Secondly, I am a woman of a certain age. That age being old enough to have embraced the experiences and joys of menopause. Okay, that’s a bit much. I’ve experienced menopause. That’s it.

For many years, I have dyed my hair. Usually, I choose a color that closely matches my natural color, or what was my natural color twenty years ago: mousy brown, or what the fancy hair dye people call “iced golden brown”, or some such. Whatever.

Every time I’d saunter up to the hair salon to get my color on, I’d have to suffer through either the noxious fumes of the hair color, or a burning scalp during the process, or both. I told myself it was worth it, or I was worth it. I was always pleased with my hair color, once it was all over, and I do enjoy having someone wash my hair—it’s so relaxing to me.

And then the pandemic arrived. Getting an appointment for a dye job was next to impossible. I even made one attempt at coloring my gray hair myself. It was awful, and hair dye simply does not come out of bathmats.

Eventually, I did what many other women did: I just let it go. I cut my own hair (not great, but better than my attempt at coloring it), and in time I sported a full head of gray hair with no visible signs of artificial color whatsoever. And, you know what? As time went on, I got used to that gray lady in the mirror, and I even took a bit of pride in the various shades of gray sprouting from my noggin…with a few remnants of my ol’ mousy brown peeking about.

So, goodbye to noxious fumes and burning scalps. Hello to the Gray Lady of the Mirror, and (finally!) hello again to my hairdresser who cuts my hair way better than I do.

For more great content like this, look for the print edition of the Bingo Bugle in your area: Local Bingo Bugle Publications.

Elle & Company