I noticed my first gray hair when I was 19 years old. When I found it, I was horrified. And terrified.
I called every woman in my immediate family to find out when they’d found their first gray. I needed to know if this was a fluke, or if I needed to buy stock in Nice-’n-Easy. Turns out it wasn’t a fluke – premature graying is my destiny. Women on my mom’s side of the family start graying early – and many of them gray in dramatic fashion. The women on my dad’s side say they didn’t see gray until their late 50s (my mom says they’re lying…but that’s a different story), so I definitely blame my maternal lineage for that first gray, and the others that followed. And there are others.
I’ve got quite a few grays around my temples, and several at my nape. I’ve contemplated coloring my hair to hide them, but here’s the thing: I am in love with my natural hair color.
My hair is brown, but not dark. It has a bit of red and a bit of honey brown in it, and you can see those tones when the light hits it juuuuust so. It looks naturally highlighted, even more so in the summer. I also think my hair color is the reason my gray isn’t so noticeable. The women on my mom’s side of the family have very dark brown hair – darkest brown, as my mother calls it – so even one gray is going to stand out. With this dirty dishwater red brown mop I’ve got, the grays can blend in a lot easier. I thank my paternal lineage for this hair color that can disguise grays.
I’ve talked to quite a few color specialists over the years about my gray, and they’ve all given me the same story: if I want to get a color that’s even close to my natural color, it’s going to be a multi-step process – an expensive, multi-step process. It’s not the money that bothers me…it’s the idea that I will have spent that money and end up with some horrible, botched color job, and will spend my days mourning the God-given color that I love.
Don’t get me wrong – I’m not afraid of coloring my hair. In high school and college, I experimented with color. I was a red head, a dark brunette, a near blonde. I just realized that like my natural hair color best.
So, I’ve left the grays alone for now. Thankfully, there are only a few. But, as I grow older (I had another birthday last week), I become more and more aware that I might have to address the coloring issue.
Help me out: do you dye to cover gray? Do you love your natural hair color? If so, have you been able to get a dye job that closely matches it? Or, do you just leave your grays alone? Give me some advice, please.