Nicki Anderson

What Changes When My Hair Does? Gray- 3

By Nicki On December 5, 2012 Under Aging and Activity, Aging Gracefully, Gray Expectations, Healthy Aging

Questions I have about changing my hair color:

1. Walking by a group of guys, gals and thinking, “Brunettes, blondes, redheads gets the looks. Gray heads- not so  much.”

2. I will never, ever, ever be carded again except maybe to prove my AARP card is legit.

3. Will my current wardrobe go with my hair?

4. When I’m with my kids, will they think I’m their Grandmother?

5. What will the texture of my hair be like? Why do I have visions of  the lady from Princess Bride? “Boo, Boo, Boo!” Wait, my hairdresser wouldn’t allow it. And seriously? Either would I.

6. Why do people keep telling me not to let my gray hair be long and stringy? Hellooo? I’m changing my hair color, I’m not changing my personal hygiene habits! And yes, I still do care about the way I look. (Argh, the stereotype continues to rear it’s ugly head.)

7. Will the color be a gorgeous gray or the mousy kind? If it’s mousy, can I bail out of this  whole experiment? It’s my experiment so the answer is, “YES!”

So many questions and nothings even happened yet!  A year? Wow…

Check out my column in today’s Naperville Sun !

Nicki

20 comments - add yours
Debbie Haupt

December 5, 2012

Niki, Brava! I decided at 57 that it was too much maintenance to color my hair since then I’ve been getting more gradually grayer and guess what I love it.
So embrace your middle-age and go gray

Deb

Nicki

December 5, 2012

Debbie, I love to hear that. I spoke to someone today who said, “It’s not gray hair, it’s silver.” So I’ll go with that!

Christina C.

December 5, 2012

Good for you! I look forward to seeing your experiment throughout the year. I am still mostly brunette, even at 44, but I do not want to color my hair. I was a bleach blonde for many years when I was young, and I hated the process. I keep saying that I’ll dye my hair when my kids tell me I should, but they think I look fine…so I do too! You look great (I saw your picture below), and I’m sure you’ll look great grey. But if you decide to dye it again, well that’s your decision, too.

Nicki

December 5, 2012

Thank you Christina. My stylist says I’m probably have gray, so as it grows out, obviously I’ll have a better idea. If you feel good, no other opinion matters!

Nora

December 5, 2012

I would love to do this but I have the same concerns about texture and overall “mousiness” of results. Not as brave as you, either! If I had more gray, if my roots were definitely true silver and not a mix, I’d go for it, but I’m not quite there yet.

Nicki

December 6, 2012

Well Nora, it’s an experiment so we shall see. I haven’t a clue what’s going on under the color but if it’s not attractive at all, there’s always color!

Sue Bonucchi

December 5, 2012

Nicki, I am fascinated by your experiment and admire your courage! I have been coloring my hair in some fashion for more than 20 years. My natural color is dark brown and truth be told I am probably more than half WHITE! As soon as my roots start to show, I use a root touchup for a week or two until I can use the permanent color again, every 4 weeks without fail. I judge that as soon as those white roots show I look so much older! It is an instant self-esteem boost when I have no grey but I’d love to not be slave to the hair color. I look forward to hearing about your journey!

Nicki

December 6, 2012

Sue, I had to laugh when I read your post because I have my little color stick that I’ve used when those roots start peaking out. And I’ll admit it, I’ve even used mascara when I was in a pinch! I’m also with you in the 4 week visits. I’m heading to my hairdresser on the 20th, we’ll see what she does to let the process begin!

Betty

December 6, 2012

I quit coloring my hair about 15 years ago. Who had the time or the money?. And besides, my colored hair had the consistency of straw.

I consider myself a true platnium blonde these days. My hair is healthy and shines. It takes.work. Gray hair is porous and absorbs chemicles from water and the air. I use a bluing shampoo once.a.week. I deep condition often and I avoid sodium laurel sulfate.like the toxic dump it is. I have had some nasty comments, but mostly positive.reviews. What is more significant is that I love it. I got so fed up with Oprah after she advised everyone to color their hair. What a hypocrite.

I am a wise and wonderful woman and God himself saw fit to mark me as so with this hair. Strong women are always threatening but thats not my problem. I hope you embrace the change.

Nicki

December 6, 2012

Betty- Nothing more beautiful that a wise and wonderful woman! Yay you!

Pam B

December 6, 2012

My husband calls my gray strands his sparkles. I think it all has to do with attitude if it makes your attitude old it makes you old.

Nicki

December 6, 2012

Pam, I LOVE THAT! Interestingly enough, I saw a friend last night who told me her husband won’t let her go gray. Hmmmm. And you’re so right, attitude is key!

Faye

December 6, 2012

I felt morally obligated to gray naturally because I gave my mom such a hard time when she started to gray. “Ma, forget the dye job and age gracefully!” said my black-haired, 25 year old self. Now I am 52 and almost complete silver. I might feel differently if I were single and felt that I was being overlooked for the un-gray, but my husband seems to like it and the nicest comments do come from guys my own age who seem to appreciate the honesty of my natural hair color.

Also, if I dyed my hair its original color, I would always risk looking like I had bird poop in my hair.

Nicki

December 6, 2012

Faye- Like you, I had a gentleman come up to me last night and said he’d been following my FB page and blog and thinks it’s great. Bird poop, I don’t think that’s in the Clairol line of colors. 🙂

Donna

December 6, 2012

Congratulations on your decision to embrace your gray! You do not have to look frumpy. You have beautiful hair, and I’m confident you will rock the silver with style.

Nicki

December 6, 2012

Donna thank you. Let the silver shine through!

Maureen

December 7, 2012

Nicki-
I read you column with great interest. I turned 60 this year and have been thinking of the day that I’ll give up the hair color routine and go gray. I’m curious to discover what your stylist has up her sleeve to make the process more gradual. I’m glad that you aren’t going ‘cold turkey’. There is nothing worse than that ‘she needs to color her hair’ racing stripe on your head!!
Good luck! I’ll be following all of the steps along the way.

Nicki

December 7, 2012

Maureen, trust me, I still have my pride, no silver zipper for this chick. I have an appointment with my hairdresser on the 20th. She said something about doing “low lights” which is Greek to me, but I guess there’s a process so that it grows out more naturally. Here we go!

Sue Bonucchi

December 8, 2012

Nicki, I am curious how your family views this. My young adult kids are the first to tell me when I have to touch up my roots (as if don’t know!). My husband knows better than to say a word.

Nicki

December 8, 2012

Sue, two of my kids think it’s great. The other two, indifferent. But Bill, like your hubby, stays silent. 🙂