Sunday, March 13, 2011


While on my Mission I cut my hair short. I had some roommates, "the Spanish sisters" or "Las Hermanas", convinced me to cut it like one of the models in a L.L. Bean catalogue that we had received in the mail (Yes those even come to Missionary apartments). Up until that time I had always had my hair bobbed. It was short or sometime left to grow a little past my shoulders. I sometimes had bangs or sometimes let them grow out with the rest of my hair. So this change to very short layers was quite a change for me. A few months later it was popular for the Sister Missionaries to add highlights. My companion and I bought a box of do it yourself high lights and played beauty shop one preparation day and both ended up a lot blonder. I had never dyed my hair before. It would go lighter in the summer because of sun, and when I was little it would sometimes go greenish because of so much pool time, but that was the extent of my hair color changes.

The trouble with highlights is that they grow out and then you have to do them again. So a month or two later I had to fix my roots again. And each time I did this my hair seemed to get lighter and lighter. I wouldn't call my hair dark. It is brown and has gotten darker over time until now I can't even claim to be blond at all (unless I add hightlights) I went home from my mission looking pretty blond.

While at BYU during that year after mission I couldn't afford to buy hightlighting stuff so I let it grow out and before long I had just boring old brown hair. I kept it short and layered. I did pay for haircuts but only when I couldn't stand my hair any longer and finally broke down and paid for it to be done. I just hated the hassle and expense of dying it. I haven't dyed my hair since my mission.

Now it has been 13 years and 4 kids later and this is now the color of my hair.
I can't even pretend I just have a few gray hairs. It is starting to look somewhat frosted. I certainly look like I have highlighted but instead of blond it is with gray. I don't really notice or think about it on most days.   I really should dig out the curling iron everyday but I usually make due with just a round brush and the blow dryer. Sunday is the usually the only day I take the time to curl it. When I have that fat curling Iron with chunks of my hair in it I really see the many different colors in my hair.

So what do I do? Most people color their hair and hide that pesky gray. I really don't want to do that. I have visions of 70+ year old Sister Gray (that was her actual name) when I was a child suddenly coming the church with black hair. My Sister and I jokingly asked my Mom if we should start calling her "Sister Black". I don't want to be one of those ladies that continue to try look young when they really should be embracing the change into seasoned woman. Now I am not that old and still have young children. I don't want to be mistaken for their grandma.

So do I cover my grey and try to look younger than I am? Or do I just let nature take its course and watch my hair go from frosted to hopefully snow white. That is what my Grandma and now my mom have. It is lovely white hair. That is one of the memories I have of my Grandma. I was sitting behind her in a Relief Society Meeting and looked at her beautiful white hair. I remember thinking... "I hope my hair looks like hers one day". I just don't know if I am ready for that day to come too quickly.

For now I will just continue to go gray gracefully. I am sure nobody will even think twice about it. My husband is almost completely gray and starting to really thin out. So I guess we will match! Not the thinning part, I hope!!!


Bibliophile said...

Looking back, I think I should have just let my hair turn white naturally. I don't think having totally black hair at that age of fifty is very smart. I think as you age, you need to let your hair change in its subtle ways, and your makeup should lighten up, too. The aging process looks better when you don't force the 'youth look'. However, once you let the white hair out, you will find that the world looks different because people treat you differently.

Flem said...

I don't know what the right answer is, but I am pretty sure I am going to color my hair the second it shows signs of graying. I am vain like that.

I heard that gray hair doesn't hold dark coloring as well so many women go lighter as they get older to avoid the stark "Sister Black" kind of look--that wouldn't be a problem for you because your hair has always been lighter anyway.

If you were taking a poll I might go with mid-30s as a bit young to go all-white, but I do admire those who let nature take its course without intervening.

Kodelle said...

I have rather long brown hair with lots of red tones to it in the sun. I have always had my hair long and have always loved the color. I am also going greyish-whitish at the roots. I like the natural aging look as far as that goes. I think it shows a certain sort of confidence and fearlessness in this youth/beauty obsessed society. I had a great aunt who had pure white hair that hung to her knees. I loved to help her brush it and thought it the most beautiful thing. I want to be like that and wear it like a badge of honor.