My husband has joined an enviable rank of men whose salt and pepper hair make him both “distinguished and alluring.” His beard is 60% gray, it turned gray suddenly, and he didn’t blink an eye. He’s 42. His gray hair is not a referendum of some great turning point in his life, nor is it something he dwells on. I think, in fact, he likes it.
I, on the other hand, am freaking out over the silver strands which just a few days ago were less than a handful, but are now an abundant nuisance. They are unmanageable plus they’ve overstayed their welcome. I don’t know whether to pull them out, ignore them, or color them. They don’t make me feel “distinguished and alluring” — I feel quite the opposite. I think they arrived too early, I don’t know what to do with them, but mostly, I think they are a referendum of some great turning point in my life; such as, perhaps this rose is past her prime. Oh, and it’s time for a dye job.
Back in the day, when gray hair and cellulite were hypothetical concepts (along with children and wifery), I envisioned my middle-aged self as an über-chic, silver-haired fox-lady like Diane Keaton or Lauren Hutton. HA! I vowed never to enslave myself to dyes or spandex, then again, I never counted on the power of gravity or vanity — with an emphasis on the latter.
So here I am, employing my investigative journalism skills not on a worthwhile assignment, but on the virtues of a henna rinse versus a dye job. Should I let my hair turn gray and f**k conventional mores? Nearly every other commercial on tv or print extol the virtues of low maintenance color in a bottle — are they right? I’ve never colored my hair except for an unfortunate incident back in the 80s when I attempted to recreate Bono’s punk bleached mullet.
But who am I kidding? The probability of me embracing my gray is as likely as B ever coloring his gray: nonexistent.