Last week, in New York, my hair (with a little encouragement) did this:
The week before, in the Bahamas, my hair did this:
See? I always said I was Monica.
So Glad You're Mine
So I went to see Koto the genius hairdresser yesterday, and she took one look at the grey and said “needs colouring”. I explained that I had stopped dyeing it because it looks so awful when the grey grows back through at the roots, and she said “that’s because you’re dyeing it the wrong colour. You need to blend in the grey, not hide it.”
Since she is a genius, I told her to do whatever she liked, and as always she was completely right. She gave me blonde highlights, which have softened the overall effect by diminishing the contrast between the dark hair and the grey. Why this is so clever, apart from the fact that I love the way it looks, is that when the roots grow through they will be darker, and dark roots on fair hair is a much more acceptable look than grey roots on dark hair. Even better, the greyer it goes the less it will need dyeing, which is the opposite of what happens when you try to hide the grey and keep the original colour.
The grey is all still there, it just looks nice now, and less like a mad witch’s hair.
Excuse the severe expression. Taking the photo was rather a complicated manoeuvre.
(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.