(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.

2 thoughts on “Red

  1. Lucy

    I’ve heard of this before! My nan (now deceased) had dark brown hair when she was young. Sometime during her 40s it turned bright red from the roots. Everyone assumed she had dyed it because it was quite bright red all over, not just subtle streaks, but it was natural. She was Irish and had red hair in her family, but I don’t know how relevant that is – she was the only one in the family that this happened to. After a couple of years, her hair turned a very attractive silver, also very quickly. By the time she was in her late 70s her hair was silver with white highlights, and still very thick and shiny. I would be interested to see how your colour develops.

    By the way, I love the pedantic rants!

  2. elsiem

    That is very exciting! I hope that happens to me too. Although the thick and shiny would be a new development altogether, sadly.

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