The Dreaded Grey Roots

The Dreaded Grey Roots

The Dreaded Grey Roots

As if it’s not enough of a struggle trying to keep our skin taut and wrinkle free, our asses perky with no sign of cellulite, let alone our bodies toned and abs flat…. Now we have to worry about our f**king HAIR getting old!  YES. I know. It SUCKS!  Now let’s just deal with it.

There are many ways that our hair ages. It turns grey. It dries up. It becomes brittle. And then… it falls out.  Ugghh!  It’s a lot to manage. Today, however, I’m just going to talk about the first telltale sign of aging hair: the dreaded “first grey.” 

I recently read an online article by Jeffrey Benabio, a San Diego dermatologist, which said that most people notice their first grey hair while in their 30’s or 40’s. And by the time we are 50 years old, more than 50% of us will have grey hair. Like any woman, I sprinted to the mirror and started examining my roots with a fine toothed comb and a magnifying mirror. Literally. At 47 years old, I haven’t noticed any grey. Not one strand. Thank God!  Then again, I touch up my roots once a month like clockwork. Who the Hell knows what’s really under there! Still, 50% seems shockingly high to me. None of my friends have grey hair (at least none that I have noticed). Then again, with every supermarket devoting shelf after shelf to keeping grey hairs at bay, it’s no wonder I haven’t noticed… Most of us are masking this first sign pretty well. I stress the word, MOST.

Last week I saw a lavender-haired elderly woman in the checkout lane of Whole Foods Supermarket. I couldn’t keep my eyes off of it. I mean HER. Did she mean to do it? Did she lack mirrors in her house? Was her eyesight diminishing along with her hair pigment? I wanted to kidnap her cart and steer it down the hair color aisle. Can you imagine me tearing through the grocery isle with a lavender-haired lady chasing after me? I was frightfully close to doing just that! I know that most of my readers are not of the lavender or blue-haired age range, but still, we can ALL learn from such mistakes.

First of all, I need to just put this out there to cover my ass. There IS a sound school of thought that says, “Embrace your grey, grow old gracefully,  blah   blah   blah…”   Um, how should I put this?…. You are on the wrong blog if you believe that shit!

The only reason to just give up and let it go grey (or white) is if you are too old to see your hair (as may have been the case with the lavender-haired woman), or you are past, let’s say, I don’t know… 90 years old. Yes, 90 seems like a good cut-off age. But only because a sweet little old, wrinkled up 90 year old lady just looks plain weird WITHOUT white hair.


So, after my own personal panic with the magnifying glass and fine-toothed comb, I started thinking about certain rules which I think ALL beauty-conscious women should adhere to when it comes to hair color.

Rule #1: If you are well UNDER 85 years old and still grey (or a various shade of blue or lavender) get your shit together.

Rule #2: Unless you are a professional hair dresser (and even then, I’d think again), do NOT color your own hair. My hairdresser once told me, “Don’t be bitchin’ if you did it in the kitchen.”

I’m not saying you have to spend hundreds of dollars every month at top salons with the top hair care professionals. Each person has their own budget. So, if your budget is 20$ per month on hair care, then enlist the help of a friend. There are plenty of videos on the internet that give you step-by-step tutorials for any color kit you can buy at your local pharmacy or supermarket. Otherwise, do the smart thing and find a hair dresser you trust. For those of us who consistently color our hair, you all know that finding the right hair dresser is like finding the right gynecologist. Once you’ve found a good one, you will stick with them forever.

Rule #3: If you are financially tied to coloring your hair at home, do NOT go lighter than your natural color. You NEED to go to a professional. It’s more expensive to be blonde. Sad, but true. Going from dark to light should never be done at home. (Unless, of course, you WANT brassy hair. Then go for it!). It’s much safer going from light to dark when coloring your own hair.

Orange-blonde hair is not flattering on anyone.

Rule #4: Write your hair appointment on your calendar. Put it in your iPhone. Write a note on your refrigerator. Consistency is key. Yes, even if you do it yourself. (See rule #2.) Many people wait until their hair looks like shit before they even start preparing to remedy the problem. If your grey is showing, then you are already too late. Depending on how fast your hair grows, you should be doing your color every 4-6 weeks to assure maximum coverage. Write it down so that you stay one step ahead of the roots showing.

Rule #5:  When trying to maintain that youthful appearance, choose a hair color that is close to the shade you had when you were in 3rd grade. If you can’t remember your shade because your color has been every shade under the rainbow, look back at your 3rd grade photos. This is pre-puberty, pre make-up (for some of us anyway), and is usually the shade most flattering for our skin tone.

So, there you have it. Five simple rules for youthful looking hair color. Fight the fight.

Live Young,
Darnell 🙂

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