Monday, 14 June 2010

silver hair is a glorious crown

i was in my early twenties when i got my first grey hairs. for a while they were countable on one hand, then they were quickly multiplying and i started my on and off affair with dye. when the grey showed it made me look tired (or maybe it highlighted pre-existing tiredness) so i would pick up a supermarket colour and haphazardly colour my hair. i started with dark brown and over about ten years i stepped down the colour scale.
sometimes i chose the brand that was on special, sometimes i thought the ones with no ammonia would be less damaging, once i bought the brand with the free make-up purse. my attitude to brands and colours was casual and my attitude to the process was ambivalent.
i would toy with the idea of going grey but it didnt seem right, it was too early and the kids didnt want me to appear any more eccentric than i already was so i continued with it but i didnt like it. i didnt like the multitude of little plastic containers, i didnt like using chemicals, i didnt like the regrowth and i didnt like being obliged to fix the regrowth.
a couple of years back i started getting it salon coloured, that made it a whole lot easier but it required me to spend hours in the salon, not to mention the money it costs.
this year i didnt want to spend the time or the money and my grey roots got longer and longer. there would be a time, i thought, when i would look in the mirror and find it unbearable but that time never happened, i started to toy with the idea of going au naturale, the grey around the edges seemed soft rather than tired, the coloured section seemed almost garish so i went and got some foils, teeny fine foils of blonde and hazelnut, they blend the roots with the growing out colour but the grey is still there. the hairdresser was not happy, she naturally wanted to send me out into the world looking coiffed and perfect.
i wanted something that reflected the reality of my attitude, my age and my looks. i wanted to acknowledge that i am not a perfectly coiffed kind of person, neither am i anymore a dark haired, pale skinned beauty. i was also taken with the biblical statement that silver hair is a glorious crown (proverbs 16:31) so for the moment i am going grey, whether i will stay committed to it i dont know, one day i might hate it and go goth black or soccer mum foiled chocolate but right now it feels right. it looks soft and natural, it is who i am more than who i used to be, it matches my stretched stomach and my wobbly legs, it matches my crepey eyes, what i hope it matches the most is the woman i have become, a little softer and a little wiser than the pale skinned, dark haired girl of old.


  1. Amen Kylie! Awesome! Just nailed it for me...I have three inch roots right now...lots of salt a tad of pepper growing in under the bottled blonde. My hairdresser suggested doing what you are doing...highlight to blend it all together and "go out" that way. This suits me just fine. A tad quirky. Just a stage. Dare I post a pic of me in a headband covering all the color just showing the more salt than pepper? I don't care if I have a one year old. I'm going to wear my hair any damn way I want. If some jerk makes reference to my son's "grandma"...I'll tell them I am a "Grand" ma! ;) Good for you least for now!

  2. hi mollie,
    yeah, post a picture!
    i have taken several but cant really get the lighting right or something....
    the photos dont look the same as i do.
    my highlights are a month old and i still like it so it stays for now.
    it would be great to have some company on this but if you change your mind what the heck? a new colour is just a silly plastic container away :)

  3. I tried it for a while, remember? But then I caved. In fact, I went back to the dark brown just this weekend!

  4. i remember!
    so the picture on your that the dark brown or a lighter version?

  5. Nothing wrong with grey, it can be very distinguished. I still remember a music master at school who had a magnificent mane of grey hair and I thought it gave him a wonderful air of expertise and experience.

    Weirdly enough, at the age of 63 I'm still dark-haired with very few grey hairs. It must be something in my diet.

  6. nick,
    greying is largely genetically determined but some say it is slower if you have heaps of antioxidants and being vego puts you in a good position to be high in antioxidants.
    my chocolate and coffee habits obviously dont supply the right antioxidantsor i'd never grow old :)

  7. The people who are interpreted by their hair colour as being distinguished really "have a mane of silver hair." ie not quite grey.

    Even if one does have grey hair isn't it better than being bald?

  8. The lady that cut my hair when I lived in CA had a graying male client and his young daughter in her salon. They were talking about whether or not he should get his hair colored. His daughter spoke up: "No, daddy, don't get your hair colored. You look so extinguished this way."


  9. Kylie, I do appreciate the bible quote very much.

    I've been grey for years and years, prematurely.

    I get a professional dye job too, after years of doing it myself (the cost is SO high in NYC, but it looks great).

    However, you've given me some definite food for thought.

  10. I'm starting to get some grey... I don't care.

  11. dad,
    silver sounds better!

    i'm sure that in some eyes grey and extinguished are synonymous!
    seriously though, i think greying guys are regarded as distinguished and women closer to extinguished

    it's interesting that when i decide to quote the bible it's often old testament....dont know where i'm going with that except maybe i was a jew in some other life?
    i do really love a new professional colour but realistically it doesnt last all that long and i'm just opposed to spending weekends in a salon

    as you go grey you'll just look like the distinguished big shot that you are :)
    thats a good thing, truly

  12. Well as you know i did go completely silver and I loved it! Other people like it too- but in the end i decided it made me look 20 years older than I felt- so I went dark blonde. I was glad to have let all the old colour grow out first because it was then easier to go much lighter. And now the roots don't show so much.
    I did grieve for my silver for a while though! Can always get it back!

  13. Leah,

    Come and live in Sydney Australia. I'm sure the cost of a hair dye job would be cheaper!

    Besides we have a synagogue ot two for our Hebrew folk and even some mosques and cathedrals if you reeeeeally wanted them..
    You are a good contributor to Kylie's blog.

  14. you made fun< i think< that was making fun of my cahmiere sweaters. and now you will probably make fun of my hair when i tell you i still have a full head of healthy hair at my age and the girls simply swoon when they see it>>>all natural, all mine and pure chestnut brown>>>

  15. putzy, i wasnt making fun of your cashmere. i can be a sarcastic cow when i want but online my intentions are all good. always

  16. Thanks John! My husband often says he dreams of relocating there...I hope at least to visit someday!

    : )

    Hi Kylie!


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