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lavender hair

My Particular Shade of Gray

Aging is a humbling experience.

(I see teens and twenty-somethings who primp and angst about their appearance and want to yell at them, DON’T YOU REALIZE HOW GOOD YOU LOOK WITHOUT EVEN TRYING?)

First it was spider veins showing up on my thighs.  Then crow’s feet near my eyes. I’m emotionally bracing myself in case I one day sport a turkey neck.

Great. Our bodies are ultimately conquered by creepy-crawlies and carrion.

The latest offense is my hair. I can no longer pretend I don’t see, um, SILver. Yeah, that’s the ticket.

Should I Go Gray?

I stopped coloring a few years ago when I first noticed that winter was coming. It was fine when I WANTED to color, whether that was to don a more chestnutty brown than I had naturally, or a reddish mahogany that was more striking than my genetic coloring. But HAVING to color, having to hide the fact that hair-by-hair, my pigment factories are slowing down production, well that’s not fine.

I didn’t want to be one whose face and hair looked like they were minted in different decades. Have you seen examples of ladies who appear to have 30 year old hair and 60 year old faces? If I wanted the parts of my head to age together, I’d need to stop coloring and let the gray start to show, if only to match my face.

Now, though, I can now imagine myself coloring again. And it’s not because I’d be coloring my hair to look younger, but to look, well, purplier. I’ve never taken my hair lighter than it is because I would never strip my color to do so.

But now, now that my own color is planning a final exit and eventually won’t be present to be stripped? I began to wonder how could I turn the lemons of not having color into lemonade — maybe even LAVENDER lemonade.

Once my hair goes all gray, I can see myself doing this.

lavender hair

Or maybe this.

taking gray hair purple

My daughter is petrified that I’ll actually do go through with this plan Mommmmmm, what will my friends say??

Which simply adds another hashmark in the plus column.


This post is part of #Microblog Mondays. What’s that? A post that is not too long. Head over to Stirrup Queens to join the fun.

Lori Holden, mom of a young adult daughter and a young adult son, writes from Denver. She was honored as an Angel in Adoption® by the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute.

Find Lori’s books on her Amazon Author page, and catch episodes of Adoption: The Long View wherever you get your podcasts.

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19 Responses

  1. I love them both . I would love to be all purple right now (well, dark to ombre purple think Katy Perry) but health reasons have me being kind to my hair right now. Going grey can be wonderful and it is all the rage right now. Check out the blog Advanced Style for some seniors with amazing grey/white hair or Pinterest for young 20 somethings with same. It is the same ugly grey of years gone by. (I write this with about an inche of nasty regrowth that needs to be touched up. When my time comes — and it is at least 20 years away – I will def go grey completely). Go lavender!

  2. I used to run with a bunch of moms out here in the suburbs and every once in a while we’d have a girls’ night out, too. So one day they invited me to a gathering and little did I know it was an “intervention” on me. They somberly, one by one, told me that it was not a good thing to “let oneself go”. Meaning, I needed to get to a good colorist immediately to rid myself (and them, too) of my gray hair. I remember very clearly laughing at them and saying “All it will take is ONE celebrity to go gray naturally and all you b-words will be doing it too!” Viola! It took ten or more years, but Diane Keaton anybody? I’m with you, Lori. Nothing looks sillier than a 65 year old face with 30 year old hair. #rebelattheroots

  3. I’m too lazy to color my hair, but thankfully my grays are silver/blond and so blend in decently well still. I do love the idea of coloring my hair a crazy color…and that I have been pondering for some time. Yet, I’m too lazy to just go and do it (myself).

  4. I love a beautiful silver gray, and when my color exits completely (right now it’s little sprigs all over and some skunk stripes starting at my temples), I think I will do a nice gloss and maybe add some silver in to make it not so washed out looking. BUT, I love love love the second lavender shade. Subtle…but not at the same time. And it looks really nice with your coloring. I say go for whatever makes you happy! (I think it’s happiness that causes that crow’s feet nonsense, happy crinkling of your eyes. Although I also live in fear of turkey neck. The crepe-y-ness is starting and it’s just not okay…) I can’t wait to see what you decide to do with those lovely locks of yours.

  5. I was super excited to open this post in my reader as I saw you with lavendar hair!!! Absolutely love it and hope you consider it (even if T dies a little from the shock)!!!

    Ironically enough, I’ve found not coloring the grays leads to negative responses from my students. They respect me and treat me better when they don’t see the grays (complete with make-up and heels). On one hand, I can understand where they are coming from as an instructor that isn’t well-groomed gives an air of not caring. But on the other, the stereotype they are prompting is frustrating as I’m more than my appearance.

    I agree with you that appearance should match one’s age. Now I just wish our society could accept people aging and see the beauty in it vs. prompting the pursuit of the fountain of youth

  6. Cracking up. I say go for it. It will always wash out or grow out at some point.

    I am very grey right now — beyond my normal Rogue-like streak. I don’t love it, but I also don’t like the idea of colouring it.

  7. I am unwilling to make the financial commitment that coloring my grey would involve. That’s a lifetime of expense. I have the above-mentioned skunk stripe and I don’t care. I don’t really care much for the not-found-in-nature hair colors, but the ombre movement is beginning to change my mind. (On the other hand, I can’t stand the ombre with more natural colors. Weird.)

  8. Oh please don’t do the stripe thing people! Letting your hair go grey is not that difficult, unless you absolutely can’t stand the idea of short hair. If you’re willing to cut it short, it can take just six months. I did it and I love it and no more dye time and expense. I actually feel sexier now. Weird, I know, but it’s true.


  9. I’ve been turning silver since I was 21, I’m a bit salt and pepper now. My biggest question is whether I should start wearing make up. Dyeing my hair can wait until I’ve figured that one out!

  10. My cousin’s daughter (age 28) is at beauty school & recently had her hair a shade of lavender, along the lines of your first photo. 😉 And another cousin’s wife, who is about the same age as me, regularly changes her hair colour — last time I saw her, it was pink. 🙂 I say go for it (sorry, Tessa!).

    I haven’t had my hair coloured since Christmas… I usually get it done two or three times a year, usually before I visit my parents (my mother has regularly coloured her hair for YEARS), and we will be heading there again in July. I’m debating whether to do it or just let nature take its course (& put up with my mother’s inevitable lecture, lol). Then I think about our nephew’s wedding next year & think maybe I’ll just keep it up until then. I don’t think I will mind being grey, once it ALL gets there. It’s this in-between crap that bugs me. 😉

  11. I’m happy to have a couple of women in my circles who have lovely long grey hair. I feel like when I was a kid, there was this unspoken rule that once your hair changed color, you had to cut most of it off and do this remnants in this complicated curling thing. I just haven’t got the patience!

  12. I’ve been experimenting woth temporary blues and pinks. My family is horrified, but I love it. As you said, that’s 1 for the plus column.

  13. My grandma was completely grey by the time she turned 18, so I wasn’t surprised when I found my first grey hair at 22. I put off coloring my hair until I was 29. I didn’t want to deal with the constant maintenance of it all. But the grey hairs have multiplied, so now I go to the salon every 6 weeks. The thing I hate it I finally feel like I’m in the prime of my life and now is when my body has decided to declare war on myself.

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