Monday, November 9, 2009

Sonnet #1: A Reluctant Crone's Dilemma

To color, or not to color: that is the question.
Whether 'tis nobler in mind to suffer the slings and arrows of an aging head with only a sparse few grays, or to take chemicals against a sea of potential grays, and by opposing end them?
To dye, to fake; to fake: perchance to deceive.
For who would purposefully bear the whips and scorns of time?

All of this is because I'm debating coloring my hair. Yeah. Nobody ever accused me of being not quite dramatic enough. You might even say I had quite a dramatic streak. Streak... that brings me back to hair color now, doesn't it?

Here's the thing: I colored my hair all the time when I was younger. A few of my friends were graying and I just didn't want to know about it. I figured if I kept color in it all the time, I'd just never know when I started to go gray. It seemed like a foolproof plan. When I had my kids and quit working, keeping up with color just wasn't a financial feasibility. I decided to see what was under there - under the color and the perms and all the other ridiculous affronts I had been imposing on my tresses. Turns out what was under there was not one single gray hair. I couldn't believe it. I was into my thirties and most of my friends were a little if not a lot gray. Not that anyone would've known that, of course. Fans of the color they were and are. I don't fault them for that a bit. But I didn't have a one. How 'bout that? Growing the perm out was a little more traumatic. My real hair was shiny. It was soft. It was not gray. But it was as fine as a toddler's. I considered using little velcro bows to try to manage my coiffure.

I haven't colored it or permed it or indulged in any other chemical processes since that day. (Ok, there was that one time, when I was asked to be a hair model - a before and after sort of thing. It was crazy fun and he did a great job with the color. I wouldn't mention it, but a couple of you know I did that and I know how you are. If you think I'm lying about that you'll figure I'm lying about everything. And I'm so not. I'm all about full disclosure. But that was years ago and it has long since grown out, so - sew buttons on ice cream.)

Now I'm no longer in my thirties and I only have a little bit of time left in the forties. My head is no longer completely devoid of grays. But I've gotta tell ya here, at the risk of seeming immodest, there are precious few of them. And I'll tell you something else - a secret, almost - I don't really hate them. They're not gray so much as they're silver - white even. They're not the bane of my existence. Sometimes I even think they're sort of pretty. Don't have a heart attack and die from the shock. I guess that's what happens when they don't start to show up until you're ready for them.

But lately - lately my crowning glory is not looking as shiny as it used to. Some days it's downright dull. It is still soft and it still behaves badly when I try to style it, but now it isn't lustrous. And I want it to be. Is that so wrong? The fast track to shine is color, right? And if it covers those couple few grays that insist on framing my face, well, that wouldn't be the end of the world I suppose.

All of this led to my Shakespearian inspired sonnet. Hamlet never had a dilemma like this. Plus, in the immortal words of The Boss, "I'm just tired and bored with myself".

Shakespeare and Springsteen in one post. Yeah.

31 comments:

Sharon said...

That's great! Shakespeare and permed hair in one post too!

I have blond hair that comes out of a bottle, which I artfully use to cover up the gray hairs which arrived on my 30th birthday. But, like you, I kinda like them. I sort of feel like I earned 'em!

Tater Tot Mom said...

Love the Shakespeare!

My parents are both horribly gray and I never knew how early that was going to happen to me, I just knew it would happen. I've had to color since I turned 30, which I hate because I loved my hair color. It was deep brown underneath and a reddish brown on top and at the tips. People used to think I colored my hair like that when it was just natural. Now, I have to get my color from a box because the grays are completely taking over! Oh well...

You could always use that shine stuff...maybe that would help?

Mandy's Life After 30 said...

Oooh, that was good stuff! You should submit that poem to a literary magazine. Either that or send it to "Cosmo". It was utterly amazing and descriptive!

Well you know my recent hair situation - my do-it-myself coloring. I don't have any regrets but I don't feel as if I've yet "earned" my grays in the way that you have. I'm 31 and still want to act/feel younger than I am, I suppose. But for me, it works. I have very thin, dull hair so coloring it gives it thickness and shine like you describe.

Best of luck to you in whatever you decide. What does the rest of the Alice family think? Are you letting Alice Cooper, Alice, and Alice in Chains weigh their opinions in??

mama-face said...

YAY. I am even more excited for my hair app't on Wednesday. I have no idea if I have a gray hair or not and I probably never will.

Go for the color! The great thing is that it will grow out. Which is also the bad thing.

How's the book coming? :)

MiMi said...

That's awesome. Color your hair at home, it's cheaper and way easy and works. Usually. You read my post today and you know I effed mine up. So ignore that, it's really idiot proof.

5thsister said...

I was so in your shoes about 10 years ago. I justified not coloring because I earned every single gray head on my head! Still I go through phases. I color, let it grow out just to color all over again. I will tell you that I never had it done in a salon because I cannot justify the expense. However, a $10 package of L'Oreal Feria suits the budget just fine and dandy. Good luck with your decision making.

PS...Your ode to Shakespear was a delight to read, btw! Great job!

Unknown Mami said...

You can get it colored if you want to, but you don't have to. There are shine treatments you can do too. Sort of like a clear gloss.

kys said...

Darn. I was going to say what Mami did. Also, have you ever tried Moroccan Hair Oil? It sounds like your hair is similar to mine. I use it and it helps with the shine. It doesn't make my hair oily, either.

Melissa B. said...

Take it from me. Blondes really DO have more fun, even if they're processed! And as far as Bruce and the Bard? I think Springsteen is Shakespeare's progeny. Seriously.

Becky said...

I think little streaks of grey or white is pretty:)

Ask me if I feel the same way though when it is on my head:( IDK.

BONNIE K said...

My husband will periodically ask (usually when I complain that I HATE coloring my hair) why I don't just stop and let it go gray. Well, I'll tell you why. I just don't like the look. Some people gray gracefully. I'm not one.

The Redhead Riter said...

Color. Color. Color. You are too vibrant and young spirited to even start thinking about getting old!!! COLOR!

I have a little surprise for you on my blog and a GREAT BIG BUNCH OF BLOGGING BUDDY ♥

http://theredheadriter.blogspot.com

Sir Hook of Warrick aka "David K Wells" said...

I watched my dad use Grecian Formula for Men and then, I swear...black shoe polish, to keep the gray away. He had to have a towel on his favorite chair to keep the chair from turning black. I swore then, that I would gray gracefully...and I'm glad I did.

There's nothing sexier than a person who is comfortable with who they really are. Be proud, be gray...be brave!

Sir Hook the Leading Man of Gray's Anatomy of Warrick

blueviolet said...

If I had sparse gray and they were that beautiful silvery white color, I wouldn't color my hair. I think that's beautiful.

carma said...

I say leave it! Too much work. My husband likes to stand behind me while I am working at the computer and pluck my 3 or 4 grays, but they really don't bother me. If I was to do the same with his 500 grays, it would take a lot longer :D

JennyMac said...

Love both William and Bruce. Maybe Bruce a little more...LOL.

I am starting to see some gray. I colored my hair at home. First timers mistakes were made..for sure. haha.

Shannon Baskind said...

Another Shakespeare quote that applies herein: "Love looks not with the eyes but with the mind."

Color or don't, whichever suits your fancy. Just know that we love you, and you're beautiful either way!

Gibby said...

As I sit here typing this comment with my 3-month-old root showing. Wait, is that glitter in my hair? Damn kindergarten projects.

Oh no, wait. That's not glitter in my hair...sigh.

Tater Tot Mom said...

Tag you're it! Stop by and see!

WhisperingWriter said...

I color my hair because I'm already getting gray hairs. My Dad started to get his when he was 17 so I wasn't surprised when my grays started popping up when I was only 23. So yeah, I just get highlights basically..

otin said...

Your Thinner comment on my site was not taken bad. I have just had a cold and I saw the word "Thinner about 6 times and just got frustrated!

Pam said...

You can have some sort of a shine treatment put on your hair. I've done it and it works pretty well. There are also shine enhancing shampoos and they work OK as well. Since you like your grays, but are just bored, maybe you need a new hairstyle. Something very unsuburban and maybe a little bit rocker babe. Just a thought!

Pam said...

OH and I forgot. Only you could write such an awesome post that includes The Boss, The Bard and gray hair. You never cease to amaze me.

Tsquared417 said...

DO IT AND DO SOMETHING FUN!! It's just what you need!!! (Not b/c your hair isn't great the way it is...but b/c it will be fun...)

Sandy said...

The Bard and the Boss in one, only you!

My suggestion, not that you asked, would be to try a temporary color. If you want to have it done professionally, ask for Shades EQ. It washes out after a few weeks and doesn't leave you with the dreaded ROOTS.

My hairdresser told me just last week that there are very few past 50 that can use Shades EQ. However, that's all I use, and it's less about covering the white (not gray in my case) and more about body and shine. I am very fortunate to be several years into the Red Hat Society and have lots of my natural red left.

I hate being in the hairdressers sitting there with my color on 'cause I can just hear everyone saying....."I KNEW her hair wasn't really red." Oh yeah, want me to prove it?

The Grown-Up Child said...

I say: Do it! If it will make you feel good about yourself, I'm all for it. I started coloring my hair to cover grey a few years back. So far I just get highlights, but my hairdresser oh so eloquently messed them up last time, so I'm debating getting all over color next time. The only thing I do is stick close to my natural color.

It's me, just tweaked! Can't wait to read what you decide. ;)

Traci said...

Tammy,

I'm impressed by anyone who can combine the Boss and the Bard (truly two of my favorite things -- I still have my 5 LP set of BS and the E-Street Band from '85 and my original Riverside Shakes) with haircolor. You, like Shakespeare, are a wordsmith, my dear. A wordsmith.

You know my feelings on haircolor. I have waxed rhapsodically on it already. :-)

Vivienne said...

The Bard & The Boss? You are so cool. I hate my grays, but only because they are only in a quarter-sized clump on top of my head. It's bordering on Cruella-De-Ville-ish if I don't color it.
Try Clairol Natural Instinct's "Shine Happy" It isn't color, just shine. Which makes me happy. :)

kanishk said...

Love the Shakespeare! Work from home India

Sara said...

You are a lucky lady.

I'm 24 and I have white hairs sprouting from my temples.

Fate is a cruel mistress and she doesn't give a rat's ass about my plight.

This may have inspired a post of my own. Perhaps I should embrace it. Or just whine about it. Definitely one of the two, though.

ChocolateAddict said...

Following you from SITS!

You can always just do a glaze, or do a color in the same range as yours with a different tone to get very subtle highlights.