Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Going Gray at Buy-Her

About that stack of nonfiction. Here's another angle - the sociological study/personal exploration. Back when I blogged as DCup at PoliTits, I occasionally posted about growing my hair color out to allow the natural gray to take over my haid.

Who knew that could have made a book? Well, Anne Kreamer did. I read her book Going Gray and I've done a review that you must read at Buy-her. Sorry to be so bossy. It's the wine and couponing high talking.  Anyway, I wish I'd thought to write a book about the delight of walking around looking like I did for so many months, but then I might have used the publishing proceeds to color my hair. And besides, my book would have been much shorter and done pretty much with photos.

Title Page:
Oh, Fuck It or How I ended up looking like this

Introduction: Once upon a time, when I was a college student, my mother sent me money with a note that read "This is for food or necessities NOT cigarettes or hair color." She knew me well.

Buying the lie. The Many Colored Coifs

Chapter 1: When I still bothered.
My love affair with L'Oreal, Garnier, and Clairol. I'm hairpolyamorous. And cheap.

L'Oreal's Dark Brown purchased by the gross.
Had to do roots every 2 - 3 weeks.
Often flecked with color along the hairline and on the ears.
So sexy.
June 2006

Chapter two: Goodbye, my lover(s). I'm taking the plunge.

The decision is made or did I just forget to buy dye?
Good thing I didn't look in the mirror much back then.
I was too busy blogging.
July 2007
Chapter three: Getting there the hard way (without a crew cut). I wasn't allowed near scissors for eight months.
Goth Party or maybe full on mental patient.
Gritting my teeth through the process.
And drinking. A lot.
October 2007
Chapter four: Almost there.
A study in greige.
Almost there and not hating it. Hello, bra strap.
February 2008.

Chapter five: There.
Cleverly hiding eye wrinkles with shades, but the hair's not bad.
Could use less forehead and some lipstick though.
September 2010
 The next book on my stack of non-fiction is Judith Moore's Fat Girl. Now that's a book I can relate to...

What color is your parachute? (And don't forget to go read my review of Kreamer's book! There's going to be a quiz.)


  1. I like the natural hair, Lisa, I really do. It's pretty.

    I'm trying to grow out not color but my short cut and it is making me crazy. I cannot imagine going through the color growing out process.

  2. Hair color, no big deal. Being bald ... now that requires either carpet remnants, cans of spray paint or a 12 gallon cowboy hat.

  3. gorgeous Lisa!!

    I'm almost there--really. 2.5 years ago I stopped bathing my head in chemicals and now use a mixture of henna and indigo for permanent haircolor. And it covers my gray. I told myself I'd wait until 50 to go au natural. We'll see if I can wait.

  4. I know women hate to have gray hair, but on most all of you, especially you, it looks great.

  5. I've been grey for years. No, stop, that's a misnomer as my younger daughter told me years ago, when she was more innocent and honest, "Your hair isn't grey, Papa, it's white!" On examining it, she'd discovered that my "grey" hair was actually a mixture of still natural dark brown and white.

    Ok, I suppose it's different for men. Though I remember, back when I lived in the monastery a long time ago (those whose curiosity has been tickled by that teaser can find out a little more here!), going past the open door of one of the older priest's rooms one morning. He was one of those men who still had mostly dark hair even though he was over seventy. But the grey was slowly becoming obvious. He was looking at himself in the mirror over his wash-hand basin and just as I passed he said to himself in a loud voice, "I'm going to die!" Or maybe it was, "I'm going to dye!" To this day, I'm not sure whether it was a statement of existential realisation or of vanity.

    Lisa, I think you look good grey!


    i love this post and i love that you have the photos to do the timeline. i would have definitely bought your book.

    i myself am a Loreal Feria T42 multi-faceted deep beige. every four weeks if i'm taking care of myself, six if i'm letting my days slide by.

  7. You look great. For awhile there when I first started reading your blog I thought your hair was blond and not grey or white. It looks natural and really wonderful. I'm envious, really.

  8. I agree, you look fabulous. I haven't got the balls...I said maybe 60. Trying to keep up is a pain in my fesses.

  9. I'm almost entirely gray but don't wear it half as brilliantly as you. I had an old man say to me, "Ya know, you're actually kind of pretty if you just did something with your hair."

    I'd like to say the reason I don't dye my hair is because I don't have the energy for the upkeep but, really, it's because I'm a cheap bastard. I'd rather spend my money on potato chips.

  10. One of the funniest (and saddest) movies I've seen in the past few years was 'Good Hair' by Chris Rock. I can't imagine you missed it but, if so, please check it out to see just how crazy the hair thing is.

    I've never had my hair colored but over the course of 12 years I had regular perms which had the effect of keeping my hair light. I remember going to see my mother with it grown out and cut. Her reaction was 'Why did you dye your hair that ugly shade of brown?'

    Your gray looks like white blonde to me and suits you marvelously.

  11. How did I miss the fact that you had a Molly Ringwald phase? I love your hair now. It's so shiny and pretty. Makes me want to braid it, if I knew how to braid. That's my genetic memory coming through, I guess, from my hairdresser and Native American ancestors.

  12. I love love love your hair (colour and sexy casual tousles). My girlfriend is white-gray at 52 and it is also gorgeous!

  13. I thought your hair was blonde!
    I was just talking about going gray. There seems something so right about it, authentic somehow, fighting some other person's ideal of beauty.

    And then the roots start to grow out each time a little grayer than before and I freak out and dye it.
    This falls under the category or things I'm not ready to accept about myself quite yet. I wish that was a shorter list.

  14. Sorry, haven't been on the 'nets in a while!

    I love your hair now. I know it took some perseverance, but it looks great now! I'm looking at the same thing myself. So sick of the re-growth/re-touch. I'm fifty, for Cripe's sake! Time to accept it. I guess. If I have to.

    You look fantastic!


  15. You look great in every single photo - how do you manage that?!

  16. You're just not shameless enough. ;-)

    Seriously, it looks good, and not whapping your hair with chemicals will pay off when you're 70 and still have hair.

    (I don't dye because a) I earned every gray hair and b) my hair tends to repel dye.)

  17. Far better to have thick, gray healthy hair than to fry it repeatedly with dyes and be balding by 60.

  18. Totally thought it was intentional blond. I only have SOME grey... and my natural isn't as dark as your original natural--I have the UNcolor between blonde, brown and red. I keep going back and forth on whether I just want to let it happen or not, but periodically I buy a box or red or blonde and give it some streaks...

  19. In my family we start WHITE blonde, gradually darken (if we allow it) and don't start going gray until we are sixty-ish.

    My mom is still in denial at 64 and getting highlights.

    Me? I use loreal.

    You. Brave and beautiful.

  20. You're a babe.

    But I'm still coloring my hair.

  21. I wish mine would turn grey faster. I won't dye it because of the swimming, but it's just annoying little grey strands here and there. I'd prefer to have it turn all at once.

  22. So long as the collar and cuffs match, I say...

    (Isn't it funny how sexist grey hair is! Men are told we look distinguished when we go the Blake Carrington; women get told to cover it up....

    I got my first grey hair at 17, and have never been phased by my silver top - always figured t'was better to have a head of silver hair than to be bald...

  23. I have opted for the occasional splash of color, but have been going gray since I was in my 20s. I figure it's fate. I take after my mum, not my dad.

    My dad had jet black hair with a little gray until about 5-7 years ago. (He will be 68 in June.)

    I currently have one long strand at the front of my head that is completely gray; the rest is what I call "Calico Cat meets Dishwater Blonde". I kind of like it. When it bugs me, I spray it with hot pink Manic Panic.

  24. Duh. My Dad is 68 NOW. He will be 69 in June!

  25. I read that book. I recall her writing that she tried a dating experiment on where she posted two versions of herself: dyed and gone gray. The "gone gray" profile received more hits and she received more messages than on the colored hair profile.

    My hair is shiny white. Only a little salt and pepper left in the underlayers. A lot of people say they like it and I know for a fact that a lot of women shudder at the thought of doing what I've done. I enjoy making people like that crrrrrrrrringe. ;-)

  26. Damn, Woman, you spent your whole life avoiding going Natural, and you're gorgeous that way!

    And how serendipitous is it that I'm following Pagan Sphinx in comments here - I spent years trying to get her to let her real hair shine through, and now she's a totally Silver Fox!!


  27. You look absolutely gorgeous in that pale color. It's so glamorous. (I'm still plucking the stray grays. Not too many, but then it's hard to tell since I still color it every couple of months. I found a gray in my eyebrow and leapt for the tweezers.

  28. I am so glad there are no pictures evidencing my many hair changes. If there were I would have to change my blog theme to horror.
    And,yes, I like the natural you the best. You are gorgeous.

  29. I had that long march of gray hair growing out, too, but my dyed color was much darker and so it was a bit skunk-like. It so traumatized my younger sister that she swore she would never dye her hair - and she hasn't!

    Your hair is so pretty - I like our silver - it shimmers in the sunlight.

  30. Your hair is such a beautiful silvery gray, Lisa. This is a very persuasive testimonial!
    I've cut back to some blonde highlights two or three times a year and I hope that the gray will just gradually take over. You did it the hard way, for sure.

  31. I was letting my hair do it's own thing... until the sons wedding. I though all those photos, etc, something must be done!
    So I did the Loreal thing. It freaked me out that the label has *MAY CAUSE BLINDNESS* warnings all over it.
    Now I'm back to letting it grow gray. Basking my "brain area" in chemicals just seems wrong.
    Plus it did make my hair brittle & caused some hair loss.

    You look marrrvelous!
    (as Billy Crystal would say)

  32. Gray hair looks great with light eyes. Work it.

  33. I absolutely LOVE all of the photos of you. But, you do look especially fantastic in the last one.

  34. Love the hair retrospect, and your natural is beautiful.
    My hair....dark blond now, often highlighted, mostly home done, and then one night last week I foolishly asked Kevin to help me....and I was over blond damn ugly. Now, it's Loreal 6R light red brown....also not my favorite, but it'll do for now!!


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