Both sides of my family has a tendency to go grey early in life, and by the time I was in my twenties, I was already an 80% greyhead. I started colouring my hair in my early teens so it feels like I’ve been doing it forever – I ran through some of the permutations in Daily Prompt – Style Icon last month. In my twenties, I just wasn’t ready to rock the silver look, so I kept on with the regular dipping.
As anybody who dyes their hair knows, there is some strange law of physics that dictates your roots will grow out faster than the ends. By the time I was in my mid-40’s I was ready to accept that my rich dark tresses were largely the product of my imagination and regular application of nasty, messy stinky goo and it would be ok to relax and go natural.
First I tried cold-turkey – just stop doing it. The result was that within three weeks, my barnet was beginning to resemble an elderly Yorkshire Terrier. Amendment to that law of physics – some of your roots will grow out faster than the ends.
Next was a complete change – if I went ash-blonde, I reasoned, the contrast between top and tail wouldn’t be so obvious. That was true, but my eyelashes and eyebrows resolutely remained as black as they ever were. I looked like a zombie – back to the goo, pronto.
The next steps were to try lighter variants of my own colour, which resulted in a return to the Yorkshire Terrier look. There are only two options left to me: crop the whole lot back to the ends of the grey roots – not an option at all, because when my hair is short, my somewhat small skull above my rather broad shoulders makes me look like a pinhead; or hide my hair under a hat or scarf for the approximately 5 years that it would take for the grey to grow out to a length that I can live with – not ready for that either.
So just before I wrote this post, I gritted my teeth, applied the goo and said to myself “maybe next month…”