I don’t think I’m supposed to love it but I do. A reaction of panic followed by reckless scrambling for a bottle of dye is the norm so they say. I have had the conversations. People in general, friends and family show me greys with a mix of fear and rueful regret. Youth is behind me. Its elastic stockings and sensible shoes (and that’s just the men) from now on. Fair isle, beige and boring handbags. Sorry I don’t buy it. (Especially the boring handbags).
When it comes to hair, I’ve run the gauntlet. I’ve had highlights when it was a form of medieval torture. A crochet hook pulled strands through a rubber cap or a plastic bag. It was Pain incarnate. Then came the 80’s perms. I even brought a picture of Nicole Kidman with a head of curls to my hairdresser and said I want that!
At 16 I bought a supermarket hair bleaching kit and ended up looking like a marmalade cat. My cousin had to fix it the following weekend so I spent the week in school hiding the disaster in a ponytail.
My first passport photo I have black hair and a curly perm(the nicole). I look I am recovering from major surgery. After that I went through the red period. I was hostelling with a gang at that stage and one of the girls reckoned each time she saw me I had a different colour hair. There was auburn, henna red, red, mahogany red, red, chestnut red, and red.
Then I took to the bleach. It began on the slippery slope of a few highlights and became the whole head. That lasted nearly 10 years. I did have to have it cut as it was breaking and thinning but I held on in there.
To be honest the aging hippie was behind the decision to revert to my own colour. Besides I couldn’t remember what my natural colour was as I hadn’t seen it since I was 12. I had embraced the organic lifestyle and had chucked out all the chemicals I had. Food is organic and I had gone into chemical free cleaning. I always watched what went into my cosmetics. So the dye had to go.
The decision was helped when a wrecked knee laid me up for a spell and the colour grew out. When I was remobilised I got the rest covered up and now it’s ’all me own’.
So I intend celebrating the silver. My great grandmother died at 96 still with her long white hair. And I will be doing exactly the same. I’m having fun watching the silver spread across and giving me an interest as I brush. Mark Twain said age is a state of mind. If you don’t mind it doesn’t matter. I will be seeing my grey in exactly the same light. A silver one.