The Tyranny of Hair Dye

You know things are bad when I start touching up my gray roots with brown mascara.

Every month, I go through this phase when my hairline isn’t gray enough yet to shell out for a color touch-up at the salon, yet I can see it and it looks awful – like some old Frankenstein staples on the crown of my head.

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SCARY!

I resort to various cover-ups. I can part my hair in a different place. That usually buys me a few days. A ponytail looks OK too, although not for the office. And then I hit the area with some mascara or brow powder… just to get through the last few days until my salon appointment.

I used to pull out gray hairs when I saw them. That was a long time ago. If I did that now, I’d be bald.

I used to color my hair myself at home. That worked pretty well at first, but it smells bad and I ruined quite a few towels, pillowcases and shirts. Over time, my hair color became this strange mix of layers, like sedimentary rock formations at the Grand Canyon.

Nowadays, my stylist Tiffany is happy to take two hours of my time and $100 out of my pocket for a touch-up every six weeks.

Once in a while, pondering the hours and the expense, I consider going gray. Then I get together with my friend, Sharon, who said “fuck it” when her kids went to college and let her gray hair grow out. She looks old. She doesn’t care. I wish I could be as zen about it as she is.

Almost every man I know my age has some gray hair. Unless they’re bald, in which case they’d probably take gray hair, no questions asked. (File this in the “Count Your Blessings” bucket.) I know one man who dyes his hair. I hadn’t seen him in a few years, and then I ran into him at a party. His hair looked so ridiculous I nearly had a stroke from holding in the laughter.

I guess I will dye a little longer. Maybe say “fuck it” when I’m 50?

Author: shoes15

I live in Connecticut, USA with my husband and my dog, in an old house outfitted with a sewing room, a garden, an orchard, and a big liquor cabinet.

3 thoughts on “The Tyranny of Hair Dye”

  1. I get tired of colouring my hair too, but I hate grey hair for me. I go to a salon run by a hair school, and pay about $30 for a root touch-up. Some are independent schools, and some are affiliated with Redken or Aveda. It might be an option to check out!

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  2. I color my own. I just don’t want to spend the $100 every 6 weeks, and it would be a budget hit if I did. I use Olia, which doesn’t smell bad at all. I keep one ratty old shirt that I put on every time for coloring and I just rinse while I’m naked in the shower so no towels are ever harmed because there is no residue (either on me or in the shower).

    There are lots of “root touch up” products out there now, which is only slightly harder to do than mascara (!) and give really good results. You should maybe look into those? If you find one you like, order a few from Amazon so you’re not hoping the right color is in the store when you need it.

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