Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Old Gray Mer

My husband is actually the only person who can get away with calling me the "old gray Mer".

The truth is I'm not old. I'll be thirty-nine soon, but that's NOT old.

The truth is I'm not really gray either.

You know what I found one day last week though?  Three gray hairs

And then on Sunday, I discovered three more.

I have no doubt that the stress of last month put every single one of them there, but the sad reality is that I'm likely going to start seeing more. I like the stress excuse rather than the age one, don't you?

John took no pity on me. Why would he? He's got 1,000 gray strands for each of my SIX. And they make him look extra handsome and distinguished. 

Anyway, the point of this post is to ask you a question. 

Do you color your hair? For fun or to cover up gray "blemishes"?

I've done highlights before and I love them, but I don't love paying for them. My haircut is already a splurge without adding $60+ to the price tag. Seeing those stray grays though has me re-thinking the whole color scenario.

*One more question: Is it gray or grey?

41 comments:

Mary @ Simple Things said...

I've had strands of gray since grade school but only started coloring about 3 years ago. I hate having to go so often to maintain it but I was getting REALLY gray around my face and I hated it. My hair is one shade shy of black and I felt it made me look so old. I wouldn't do it if I only had a few though. I only started when I began looking like a skunk.

JenB said...

First of all, Miss Almost 39, I found my first gray at 18. So this Miss Almost 37 doesn't have a lot of empathy for you. ha! ;)

I do color my hair and have done it myself (yes, from a box!) for years. I'm cheap, basically is the reason. I've gone through phases of having salon highlights but my cheapness usually wins out and I go back to all over color. It's definitely not difficult and I stay with my natural color, so you can't really mess it up. Although I will say I'm finding that my grays don't take color like they used to. So sad.

Carpoolqueen said...

I started coloring about five years ago. I have SERIOUS gray - way more than a strand here or there. It's gray enough that Craig's been very glad to foot the salon bill.

About two years ago I started coloring it myself when I started hunting for a new hairdresser. It's oookaaay, but I don't think the color is as good as they do it in the salon.

Maybe I just have the wrong color. My inability to choose the right color has been discussed in many a facebook status update of mine.

Gina said...

So So So SO funny that you posted this today! I am about to post the EXACT same thing!

See, I need input too.

Stacy at Exceedingly Mundane said...

I have been coloring my hair for a while. I've had grey hair since high school. I remember that they made a point of telling me that they had to airbrush it out of my senior portrait :) I didn't start coloring mine until my mid-30's. My hairdresser really encouraged me to try it, and I haven't gone back since. I think mine is probably 80% or more grey by now. I haven't stopped the salon colorings enough to find out :)

IdahoAngie said...

I've had grey hairs showing up since I was 19. I do have my hair colored. Though where the grey is I have my stylist throw in some blonde so when the roots start to show you don't notice it so much.

chickadee@afamiliarpath said...

i've never found any grey hairs but i color my hair (highlight) because it really gives me a lift and body. my hair is really flat and lifeless. but right after a color it feels great. but i pay only $60 for both cut and color. country living is cheap.

Brenda said...

I alway thought it was spelled 'gray'.
Mine started mid-30's. Didn't start highlighting until probably 40. Went to full coloring about 5 years ago. One of these days I'll say what the heck and just let it go natural. Because my hair is naturally very dark there's too much of a contrast. So I'm not there yet.
I did start coloring it myself because of the prices. Even had to quit going to my favorite hairdresser 'cause her haircut prices just kept going up every year. Can't justify paying it anymore. Consequently my hair has grown longer than I've had it in many, many years and everyone says they like it. They'd better not be lying to me!!!

Moriah @ Please Pass the Salt said...

I haven't spotted any yet but I fully intend to keep up with the hairdye. Also, do you maybe have a hair school you can get highlights for a lot less?

Jacquie said...

I color my hair... but I've been going gray since I was 25. If you want an inexpensive GENTLE way to do your own hair color, check out www.robertcraig.com. I've used it and you can even "Ask Karin" on the sidebar and email about how to pick your color and stuff. It's GREAT stuff!!

Wouldn't want anyone to put you out to pasture or anything!!

Carpoolqueen said...

Oh, and I was taught to spell it "grey" by a Kenyan woman and then I came to the US and got it wrong on a spelling test. Apparently in the US, it's "gray".

You can tell I've gotten over the incident and I'm not bitter about it anymore.

stephanie@{Olive Tree} said...

I don't color mine and I have quite a few - my husband wants me to leave so for now, I am. That may change if we have another baby, depending how grey I am!

And grey/gray - you are on your own there!

Cathy said...

My feeling is we've got enough to worry about as women when getting older, so need to live with the gray if you don't want to! I fully intend on coloring. I'm only 33, occasionally find gray, and all the females in my family gray really early so I'm just preparing myself now.

Amber said...

I've been coloring my hair for ages. Just for fun. Just last fall I decided to go back to my natural roots. They rigged up some nifty new color thing to stain your hair back to your natural color. I love it. But...now...alas...the gray hairs are popping up. Ick. All wirey and standing straight up on my head.

If you color...it is hard to stop. Just beware.

Trish said...

i have GRAY. I blame them on my children, because 10 years ago I had neither (gray or children).

however, they don't bother me. i do love the luxury of having my hair higlighted and that usually distracts from the gray, but I hve not had that done in over two years...

Gretchen said...

It's a religious experience, actually. Grey/gray hair is of the earth. Therefore, I always explain that i'm having my hair brought back to the way that God intended it to be.

To be honest, I think I have about as many grays as you do, but I don't care. What bothers me more is that my hair is darkening with age...er...stress. So it takes more to highlight it.

I say, if it's an expense that you really, really love, it's probably worth budgeting in somehow. I try to go 4X a year, and do partial foils 3/4 times. Because a full foil--she is spendy.

Kendra said...

"Gray" is the Americanization of the British spelling "grey". (My mother is a retired grammar/ English teacher. I know too much about crap like this.) So, having GREY hair makes you fancy and European.

If you want a good tip for home color, you go lighter than you think and mix 2 colors together. For example, my color is 2 parts 4 G and one part 6 G. That gives you a medium auburn brown. My God-given color is a less than spectacular ash brown that has been attacked by GREY since I was 28. So, every 6 weeks I get it touched up at the salon. Not at home. I've done that before with miserable results, like Snow White black. I'm not brave enough, and the 65 bucks I pay are SOOOOOO worth it!

snoodlings.com said...

I do believe my hair has been every color that hair can be...except for black and Easter egg colors like blue, pink, purple, and green.

I'm most fond of the highlighting process. I like to have lowlights with the highlights every other. However, I do not speak up at the stylist and therefore, end up with whatever they give me which gives me something to complain about for weeks after. Apparently, my current stylist thinks Marilyn Monroe colored hair would be a good look for me.

Of course, I also was really impressed a few weeks ago at how long my highlights are lasting lately. Why, some still seem to go all the way to the root! How is that possible? Upon closer examination I found that those aren't highlights those are....gasp, white hairs! Apparently not only is my hair aging, my eyes are, too.

Grey's Anatomy/Gray's Anatomy...potato/potato.

Becca~TimeWellSpent said...

I do have some white hairs and I don't color. In years past I've highlighted a couple of times for fun but two years ago I quit with the intention to just wait until I really need to because of the cost mostly.
So far the few I have don't bother me and aren't that noticable (I hope:)

Tiffani said...

What does blondie Gretchen know of gray/grey hair???

Girl, I am 34 and have sooo many gray hairs it's not even funny and Adam doesn't have a single.solitary.one.

My grandmother (who has BEAUTIFUL white hair) says that represent fortitude and honor.

I do not color. I have considered it, like you, b/c of the little hairs that be but can't talk myself into the money part..

Enjoy your "hairapy"!

Holly said...

Never colored my hair...and the gray is exponetially increasing at this point in my 38 years. I believe as long as they'll lay down and behave, I'll continue to leave my hair the way it is.

lisa@littlesliceoflife said...

I finally took the plunge a couple of weeks ago. Got a stain. She added some "warm" to it...whatever that means. I. LOVE. IT! I didn't realize how much gray I had and how ashy my hair was until it was the color it used to be. I feel sassy now! :) It gradually fades so I don't have to worry about roots growing out. DO IT, MER!!

Jennifer said...

Hey Mer! I do my own color. Actually came about because my hairdresser many moons ago showed me how! Yep, she showed me how to do it. Main reason is that I was supposed to go monthly....at $30 (remember it was many moons ago) and the fact that I had a newborn made it virtually impossible to go monthly so I stretched it to 2, sometimes 3, and sometimes (EKKKK) 4 months. She would roll her eyes when I walked in... ROFL. So she showed me how and I do it now. We have since moved and I have a new stylist and she always compliments the color. So I continue to do it. :)

Stephanie said...

I've just started to notice grey hair on me. Like others I thought they were highlights, but no! I've never colored my hair - not even for fun. I'm not a hair person. I get mine cut at the $14 walk-in place. I will cover the gray when it gets to be too much, and I guess I will pay someone - since I don't trust myself with that. I want to add some red to it - to match my kiddos. Hubby wants me to let it go natural - not gonna happen!

As for the spelling, I use both, but I'm a self-proclaimed HORRIBLE speller. So, I'm just glad when people know what I'm trying to say.

Michele said...

I've highlighted my hair one time in my life just b/c I had always wanted to do it. I get lots of compliments on my red hair. When I got home Jon said to me, "I don't understand why you paid $$$ to have your hair highlightered. People pay money to have your hair color." He made perfect sense, so I haven't done it again.

That being said, if I did find a grey/gray hair or hairs . . . I would be calling my hairdresser immediately . . . 'cause I'm all vain like that.

My MIL just colors her out of a bottle to save money.

Christi said...

I used to pay the big bucks for it, but last year I tried doing it at home, and decided that for the savings, and convenience, I could live with the results.

Maybe someday I will do the salon thing again, but for now, the box is working for me...actually, it's on my Wal-Mart list for today! :)

Fran said...

totally color my hair...have to.

i'm gussing it's gray.

Sitesx6 said...

I'm with you on the high price of cute hair...my cut alone saps my beauty budget.

I used to get my hair cut every 5 weeks...I changed it to every 8 to save money. I just put my hair in a pony tale for the last week before a cut-to help the ugly.

I tried to color my hair on my own to save money, but I WAS NOT HAPPY with it....it NEVER lasted, it looked icky and faded after a week.

So, I get my hair colored every other cut - so every 16 weeks.

Stupid economy is hard on my looks :)
Kelly

Mich said...

Totally feeling the 39 birthday breathing down on me too.

I've always been blond, but started highlighting about five years ago because my hair was getting darker... And not the pretty color my sister's is either.(she has a red tone to hers) Mine I think they call dishwater?!!! Self esteem goes down the "drain" with that kind of hair color!!!

Even with the blond highlights, I will find a grey here and there...

I grew up in an International world, so I grew up spelling it "grey." I think the American version is "gray."

Nina Diane said...

unfortunately, I do color my hair. I have to because of all of that gray/grey hair. I wish I had the "pretty" gray/grey hair but I don't. I have that old looking gray/grey hair. And by the way, I don't know which gray/grey to use either!!

His Girl said...

I do color it. I'm just not ready to be as grey as I am . Evenutally, maybe... but not quite yet.

Jeanie said...

It doesn't really matter...gray or grey. They are both acceptable spellings for what is a horror on the head in my opinion. I don't mind grey hair on other people but I hate it on my own head. I don't have that pretty silvery grey hair, mine is that horrible gunmetal grey. I get highlights every 10 weeks and color about every 4 months. I can hide the greys in my highlights because my hair is light enough. The cost always causes me to take a deep gulp but since I'm pretty frugal in most other areas of my life, it is deemed a necessity.

Suzanne said...

It's usually gray, and it's easier to higlight then to color all over, and easier to do roots. It is an added expense, but one that is worth it. You deserve to look and feel good about yourself, and if paying for highlights is what it takes, then do it. (It's less expensive than botox! ;)... )

Suzanne @
http://sugarloafcottage.blogspot.com

Angie said...

I'm pretty sure I don't have gray yet. But I'm about to go check because now I'm paranoid. I think I'll have to start coloring if...
a. people think I'm Gary's mom
b. people think I'm my kids' grandma
c. my kids accidentally call me grandma
d. Gary starts suggesting I wear hats all the time
e. my kids take a sharpie to my hair to cover the gray (which would be really unfortunate since I'm blonde)
f. any of the above.

Robin said...

I had my first gray hair at age 12. I have colored/highlighted and gone natural. This last year it really started to bother me and I decided to home color it. A friend who is a hair stylist recommended Natural Instincts, which is semi perm and will wash out. I love it. I usually alternate shades ever time and i think that keeps it from looking too colored. I have nightmares from being around an older aunt of mine (in her eighty's) with jet black dyed hair.

Lori Motl said...

I color. I have more than 6 gray hairs, but not a head full. I thought I wouldn't mind going gray.

I MIND!!

I'm just mousy, dull brown with gray.

Boring. I've colored at home and the salon. Salon looks better. Home is just more economical. When I lighten at home, my hair gets REALLY dry. So if I can afford it, I head to the salon.

Jackie @ Our Moments Our Memories said...

So far I haven't had to color my hair - but I can tell that's not going to last forever - I keep finding more and more of those wiry, shiny silver hairs all over the place. I so dread the time when I'll have to color it, because I am so low-maintenance - and like you, I figure I spend enough just having a decent cut!

And I always spell it gray, but I'm not sure that's proper. :)

Kellie said...

Oh sweet friend,

I wish I could tell you I just color my hair for fun. But the truth is that I am probably as distinguishably gray/grey as your John.

The Mister is also very grey/gray. And on him it looks so very fine.

I have been going gray/grey for YEARS. Way before I turned thirty.

So no, no, I don't color for fun, but for absolute vanity.

;)
Can't wait to see the correct spelling!

Jillian, Inc said...

I color and cut every 6 weeks. My hairdressers says I have lots of grey, but since I've not seen my natural haircolor in 20 years, I'll just deny that. I am blonde (not naturally, but who's counting) so the grey is easier to cover than with darker hair (or so I'm told). I will never go naturally grey, I don't think. My mom, on the other hand, was totally grey by the time she was 45 (and I was only 4 years old) and I thought she was the most beautiful thing on the face of the earth. (And I won't even begin to tell you the cash I lay out for my hair. *yikes*!)

Christen said...

that's funny you posted on this, gray hair is a little quirk of mine i guess. i am probably an exception to the norm and maybe old fashion. i absolutely adore gray haired women! i spot them out in a crowd and just think it's so beautiful. i gravitate towards them. i've always said i will never color my hair because i'm happy with what God gave me but people would say oh you'll change your mind when you have gray, nope started getting a few (in my 20's!) and don't plan on coloring. i think it looks fine around middle age, but i really think elderly women with colored hair just doesn't quite look right, their face just doesn't match their hair ya know? i just love it, maybe because of my white haired grandma or something. it is a crown of glory after all. but to each his own. i always wondered about gray/grey too.

Rae said...

I meant to comment on this post two days ago!!!! Oh well, better late then never! I found my first grey hairs when I was 22!!!!! Please feel sorry for me! I would love to be able to afford professional coloring but alas I cannot (much to the chagrin of my hair stylist!). I have been using Natural Match and think it covers the grey hair quite well as well as adding highlights. I will need to dye mine again in the next two weeks. Seems like I just did it......

Good luck!

P.S. My husband is almost 100% grey and he looks dashing!!!!
P.P.S. When I lived in Europe we always spelt "gray" "grey". And favourite and colour.....