(Please excuse this more than usually navel-gazing post, which I am really writing for my own benefit rather than because it’s interesting to anyone else.)
I was in my late teens when my first grey hair appeared. My mother’s generation all went grey quite early on – though you’d never know it from looking at her – so I was prepared for the same experience and I always consoled myself with the thought that grey hair is a lot easier to hide than wrinkles (which none of them have, even though they are all in their fifties and sixties).
So for the last five years or so I’ve been dyeing it, partly to hide the grey and partly because it’s fun, but a few months ago I realised I didn’t even really know how grey it was, and I decided to stop dyeing it and see how it looked when left to its own devices.
Well, it looks like it’s greying. It’s still mostly the original nothingy dark brown, but the grey is noticeable if you’re within a couple of feet. There are also coppery-coloured streaks which are the remnants of the last dye job, sometime last summer.
At least, that’s what I thought, but last night for the first time in ages I looked closely at my hair in a mirror, and I noticed that the coppery streaks start at the roots. Somehow, at some point over the last decade, I have developed coppery streaks in my hitherto uniformly dark brown hair.
Red hair is a family trait on my father’s side, so it’s not odd that I should have it, but it seems odd that it should only appear now. Could it be a step on the way to grey? Might hairs grow coppery before they grow white? If so, I hope there is a halfway stage where I’m half white, half red. That would be brilliant.
I will watch closely and record any further developments here.