Fifty Shades Of Grey, But Not The Good Kind

When I think of Fifty Shades of Grey, I’m not thinking of the mouth wateringly naughty best seller; the one I just couldn’t put down. I’m referring to the ever burgeoning growth of silver on the top of my head.

I blame it on my father. You see, I inherited many good things from him; his wit, his warmth, his fondness for fresh baked goods, and the one thing I didn’t want, his prematurely grey hair. My mom, bless her heart, didn’t get her first grey hair until she was 50.

Fifty shades of gray, but not the good kind

My first rogue hair reared it’s steely head when I was just 23. They visited now and then in my thirties, and then came back with a vengeance in my forties. I have a silvery stripe that grows smack in the middle of my head, like a skunk. It could be growing down the back too, but I don’t look there. Why upset myself.

It used to be that I could go six weeks in between salon appointments. Over time, it dropped to five, then four, and now three weeks. I can actually see the silver line creeping up between the dark hair at week two, but I draw the line right there. Dyeing my hair every two weeks would put me over the edge, and I’m teetering on the edge as it is. I don’t need encouragement.

Fortunately for me I’m tall, and when I wear heels no one other than my 6’4 husband and son can see my silvery crown. Sometimes I forget it’s a symbol of old age, because in the right light it actually appears to sparkle, like tinsel. When I’m feeling good about myself, I call it my bling.

The question is: At what point will I say to hell with this and stop coloring my hair? I casually brought up the subject that I might not color my hair anymore at the family dinner table one night. It was if I said I was running off with a band of gypsies and never coming back. They were devastated. “Are you SERIOUS?!” asked one child. “Don’t EVER do that,” said the other. My husband just looked at me dumbfounded, because from him, there was no right answer.

Would I look like a silver fox or look like my sweet old grandma (may she rest in peace)? We may never know. I don’t want to look young, I just don’t want to look old. My kids don’t want to see me look old, either. Is that too much to ask? I may be nearing half a century, but inside I’m still 25.

As they saying goes, “You’re only as old as you feel,” and I would feel very old if I let myself go grey. I can’t speak for others, but for me, it would feel like I was giving up. A man turns grey and he looks more distinguished. A woman turns grey and her shelf life is up. It’s just not fair.

Am I ready to see myself that way? Willing to give up my vanity? I say nae. I’m not giving up my Lady Clairol any time soon. Not while everything from my eyes to my derrière are starting to go. Not while I’m becoming painfully aware that the last remnants of my youthful glow (thanks to years of exfoliating) are holding on by a thread. Vanity might be all I have left.

Perhaps, I should change my perspective. After all, I’m lucky I still have hair. Maybe it’s time I buy Fifty Shades of Grey’s Book 2 & 3. I’m going to need something entertaining to read since I’ll be spending so much time in that salon chair.


  1. says

    Congratulations on the article in the Huffington Post. I agree with you about keeping up with the salon appointments. I don’t want to look old either. We are all facing the advancing years with images of older women looking phenomenal. It’s tough to keep up.

  2. says

    I am 41 and can still tweeze the stray grays – but I know I’ll have to head to the salon at some point. It helps to have curly hair – those gray suckers hit in between the curls and are harder to see. When I eventually get my hair colored, I’m going to embrace it and get those highlights I always wanted!

  3. says

    I feel your pain except as a male, I just cut it shorter and shorter to keep it from being obvious. Your hubby sounds smart for not saying anything, we know when we are stuck between a rock and a bigger rock. My wife dyes her hair because of stray greys, not sure if I would want her to stop but if she did then I would be fine with it. If yours is just on top and down the back it could look like a fashion style….

  4. Jen says

    I had to laugh at the description of how you drew the line @ 2 weeks – I did the same thing! Unfortunately I’m not tall and that time came 2 weeks after dyeing it last Halloween. I haven’t dyed since then… It’s taking some getting used to but it is pretty freeing (I’m only 37)

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