I spent the first half of my life paying for platinum highlights to be painted into my mousy blond hair.
Sometime around 1980, I began to develop a skunk-like stripe of silver across the top of my head. I liked it for about three years. People would comment on how “interesting it looked.” But, were they holding their noses while they delivered the questionable compliment?
Then without warning, the silver began showing up everywhere. I began paying for brown highlights to be put into my formerly blond tresses. All this time, the silver stuff was crawling across the borders of my hairline like drug pushers from Mexico. You can’t stop them.
I was getting whiter and whiter, and one day I caught my reflection in a mirror at Wal-Mart. It scared the life out of me. I looked like an apparition from the Return of the Zombies.
Now I’m hearing that silver – even gray - is the hottest thing going. Since the baby boomer generation will begin enrolling in Medicare like there’s no tomorrow, there is a nationwide effort afoot to make silver the new black – or blond for that matter.
Hey, we’ve got the numbers to make it happen. Miss Clairol, eat your heart out. The march of the gray foxes is about to begin, and more and more of my friends are electing to “go gray.” We burned our bras in the 70s, and now we are going au naturale with our hair. (Hey, while we’re at it, let’s bring back the bra burnings.)
It’s kind of a feminist statement I guess. After all, men have been going gray for years without any help, and it’s considered “distinguished” – well, all except for Donald Trump who not only colors his hair but has the most ridiculous “comb over” I’ve ever seen.
I caught the Trump on television the other day. He was attending a ballgame where windy conditions were playing havoc with his locks (er make that “lock”). During the National Anthem, that lock stood at attention and never did settle down.
So, should women of a certain age give up and go gray? I’m getting weary of the hassle, the frosting, the foiling. Plus, I figure I’ve spent about $65,000 coloring my hair over the last 35 years. If there’s about to be a slow-building revolution toward silver, I want to be it on it.
But how does one go about “going gray” without being two-toned for about 24 months? Maybe a crew cut is in my future.
Emily Jones is a retired journalist who lives in Starkville. She edits a website for bouncing baby boomers facing retirement. She welcomes comments at http://www.deludeddiva.com .