I’ve been going grey since I was 15 – in fact I carefully packaged up my hair and have kept it for 20 years now.
By the age of 22 I remember trying to count the number of grey hairs in my fringe (bangs) and lost count there were so many. That was the point that I started permanently dying my hair to a lovely dark brown.
Over those years, it was something I only needed to do every 6 weeks, but as the years have rolled past, that time between dyes has gotten shorter and shorter til now it was only 2 weeks before I’d start looking like a skunk. Now every time my roots start showing my kids will tell me to dye my hair as ‘grey is for grannies’ and as much as I sometimes think that I could be one of those women who rock the silver, I’m aware that people still think I’m in my 30s, the minute I go grey, nobody will ever think that again (there’s my vanity talking) so I’m not ready to take that step.
Now I love the idea of ageing gracefully, but I don’t think I’m going to be able to do it. I’ve been trying to figure out what to do with my hair for a while. Should I just clipper it short down to the roots and let it grow out grey (kind of radical), I decided the answer was no. So the other day, I made a decision that I wasn’t going to be dying my roots fortnightly (that means every 2 weeks), instead I would try and work with my white roots and work my way to platinum blonde.
Given how many layers of dye are on my hair, this is not a quick and easy process, without turning my hair to jelly or straw and it all breaking off. So stage one (bottom of the collage pic, I started removing the colour, and then I stripped it slightly more. Of course this has revealed all the red/yellow tones and pigments that are in keratin and I’ve had a major haircut (top right) to get rid of the ends as trying to strip all that colour from them would have killed my hair.
Now I have to wait another week for my hair and scalp to have a little rest from all those nasty chemicals, and then I’ll be (I hope) getting rid of much of the orange tones and going to a more pearl blonde (highlights) and some ash blonde lowlights which will suit my skin-tone and my wardrobe!
My plan is to go more what I’d call – Helen Mirren blonde.
Read part 2 of Not Going Grey Gracefully.
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