Wednesday, May 25, 2016

My Travels to Grey . . . a Hair-Revealing Tale!


How long ago did I commit to writing a post about How a CurlyHead Goes Grey? Let's see. . . it happened way back here, when Lisa of Amid Privilege posted about her own greying journey as someone with straight blonde hair -- long, straight blonde hair, which she kept long throughout the process.

For my own first steps down the Grey path, taken after several decades of constant colouring -- visits every six or seven weeks to have roots done or highlights applied -- I went the dramatic  (or is that "drastic"?) route, chopping back a lion's mane of coloured and highlighted hair to something shorter than I'd worn for decades, maybe even four decades, perhaps five. It had been a long, long time since my hair had been this short.
Before and After, from photos my stylist took and then collaged together -- I can't figure out how to flip the photo so that Before is on the left, but you can figure it out, right? My clever readers...

Honestly, I'm not so keen on such short hair on me, but I'd admired short grey cuts on other women, especially on travels through France and Italy the last few visits, and I'd begun wondering if I could carry off this look.  Then my retirement allowed us to plan seven weeks away, with a departure date that happened to be two weeks into my stylist's annual summer vacation and a return date determined by another out-of-town commitment that would keep me away from R's cut-and-colour wizardry for another week. Adding up the weeks of uncoloured roots, I got a scary total of Ten! Even with the blond highlights and the curls as camouflage, grey would be making an emphatic appearance during our travels, especially as the increasing length/weight of my hair would be straightening the curls to expose the truth. . .

So. Either I brave a new stylist in a different language (hey, I bought a bracelet with my limited Italian, but a haircut?!) or I find a Plan B.  And that's what I did obviously. Here's how it went:

1. I'd deliberately booked an appointment as close to our departure date as possible, wanting to minimise the time away from a Cut-and-Colour. That booking, just before R hung the "Gone Camping" sign on her studio door, was almost nine weeks from my previous visit. Translation: my mane was shaggier than normal, the colour blonder thanks to extra sun time -- and the grey roots were pronounced enough, in those extra three weeks without retouching, to shock me a bit, and to invite me to think about what it might be like if . . . .

2. We chopped off most of the colour and took advantage of my time away to let me experiment with how it felt to have short, naturally greying hair. . .

What you see in these next few photos document those seven weeks -- By the end of this time,  I had an inch, perhaps an inch and a half, of grey to perhaps 40% of my head, maybe more, although the back, as so often is apparently the case, stayed its original dark brown. At this short length, the curls were springy enough to disguise or distract from the incoming grey -- or, more accurately, I think, to blend it in with the remaining blonde highlights as those grew out.

These photos show the cut/colour in roughly chronological order, through Bordeaux in September through October in Rome, then Turin:

Early September, in Bordeaux


Last week of our Bordeaux September, above,

and one week into October here, in Rome's Villa Borghese . . .

In Turin, mid-October . . .
By the time we got back home, and I finally visited my stylist, we'd experienced our longest separation ever  (other than her maternity leave) in over fifteen years of colour every seven or eight weeks, then every six or seven, and recently, a pretty consistent six weeks' apart colouring,  with new highlights every third visit.  I hadn't seen her for over twelve weeks! If I'd still had the style and colouring as in the Before photo, above, this would have been unthinkable --..

Given that the scissors wielded twelve weeks earlier had chopped at hair seven weeks from any colouring, I now had roots that revealed almost five months of natural colour, a good percentage of it grey. Close to an inch of grey over much of my head. Did I blanch at the thought? Call for an emergency touch-up? Reader, I did not! Instead -- and I'm sorry, but I've searched my files and I can't find any photos recording this step in the process -- instead, I talked over the options with my wonderfully supportive stylist, and I decided to

3. cut off almost all the remaining colour, leaving my hair as short as it's been since I was ten or eleven (and even then, only for one or two of what my mother used to call "pixie cuts," supposedly à la Audrey Hepburn).

Yes, we went short short. Perhaps two inches, longest, if I remember correctly. I didn't love this bold length on me, so I may be exaggerating. I did get compliments, although they too often referenced how easy the style must be to care for. Not the primary message I want my hair to convey, quite honestly. I was,  however,  quite happy with the highlights we decided on -- a mix of a mid-brown and a nearly-blonde. Rather than disguise the grey, they enliven it and, okay, distract from it by giving depth, texture. And most importantly, because those roots grow out alongside the completely grey hair, there's no need to touch up emerging grey roots. What that translates into, practically, is much easier maintenance -- we add new highlights every four months, or every second or third cut. The cut-only visits, of course, are much shorter (and less expensive!) than the cut-and-colours, and I'm always a bit shocked now, to be in and out and still not quite caught up on each other's news!

Here's a Selfie I took in the Palazzo at Caprarola (about an hour's drive from Rome) at the end of January -- the curls are still too short for my liking -- I like a more relaxed, slightly wilder curl, and dislike anything that smacks, to me at least, of 50s perm -- but I do like the way the highlights and the grey are blending here.

These next two selfies were taking aat the beginning of April, and I'm posting both to show you
1. the tightness I find too much of in the curls, at least as viewed straight on. . . .
 and, 2. the mix of colour and the emerging length which is allowing a bit more wildness to soften the style.

Both photos were taken within five minutes, hair the same length, same style, etc., so yes, it's just a matter of perspective, but by this point in April, I was often genuinely happy with what my hair conveyed about me. Or at least, I could often see the potential for it to represent me in perhaps another few months. The style I had hoped for when I first began this process six months ago is becoming a distinct possibility.

 And below, in a photo I took of myself in early May, you'll notice that Ronei and I changed the highlights from nearly-blonde and mid-brown to that mid-brown and a darker brown. The proportion of highlights to my own natural colour (which is a mix of grey and dark brown) is surprisingly small given the effect it makes, and for the time and expense it requires, I'm going to continue adding that much colour. I may begin to go longer between refreshing highlights, and I imagine a point when I may decide not to bother with any colour at all. I'm not there yet, but I'm very happy with the grey I'm now sporting. At our last visit, about a week or two before this photo was taken, we decided to leave the length alone so that the messiness I wanted might manifest itself -- the only cutting was to discipline the "wings" that were beginning to emerge about my ears.
My next appointment is booked for the day after the moving trucks arrive, the day we leave our home of over twenty years. And not only leave our home of over twenty years, but I'll be moving away from the stylist who has cut and styled my hair for at least that long and who has become a good friend over that period. Believe me, there will be tears. . . . (although just between us, I'm thinking I may make the trek back over to the island (she's in the small Vancouver Island city whose harbour hosts our little island; she doesn't live on the tiny island we're leaving) for at least my next two cuts until I get this style right where I want it.

In the meantime, though, for those who are curious about my daily maintenance . . . If you're a curlyhead, you probably already know that I have to wet my hair every morning. It's the only way I've ever found to erase bedhead and allow some control over the way the curls form.  For two of those mornings, I rinse only, and on the third I shampoo and condition with Aveda products. After toweling dry, I work in a small amount of TIGI Catwalk Curls Rock curl amplifier, the only product that gives me the results I want every time (although I do have some doubts about ingredients, its stubborn refusal to rinse off hands without buckets of water).  Once the thick cream is worked through my hair, I "scrunch" it into curls all over, and then I simply allow it to air-dry.  Once or twice, as it dries, I "pick" volume into it with a wide-toothed hair pick, and I do this again once it's completely dry.  C'est tout! As all curly-heads should know, Less is More when it comes to handling the curl. And never, ever, a brush!

The only change I've made to my super-simple hair care recently is that because I've been experiencing itchy scalp over the last five or six months, worse lately (I suspect stress may be playing a part), I've been trying out weekly home coconut oil treatments -- I work melted oil through in the evening and then shampoo it out in the morning. Even better, if I know I've got a day on my own where I don't have to show my head much, I'll work the oil in after a morning shampoo and leave it for the whole day -- and I've been surprised to notice that it's not bad as a styling product (for that one day, at least).

So there you have it. Good thing I'm accepting my grey because I'm sure this Big Adventure Called Moving is painting large swathes of the colour all over my scalp. . . What about you? Still colouring? Never coloured? Thinking about not colouring? Thinking you'll never stop colouring? Pin-straight hair that shows every grey root or curls that hide those roots a few weeks? Hair changing in other ways with our, er, certain age? Or is it all "tempest in a teapot" to you? Chat, please, leave comments, distract me today as we have a little something-something going on that I can't tell you about yet and that may turn out to be a disappointing nothing-at-all even as it's added a few hundred grey hairs to my head. 

51 comments:

  1. That was a real scientific approach! You have lovely hair and the colour seems nice to me now. I only prefer a little longer hair (like last photo or longer) than your very short versions.
    I am naturally blond,with very fine,light curly hair.
    I started with highlights and was very satisfied (fair blond hair and some greys went very good together).
    A couple of years ago,my stylist has suggested colouring,for the first time in my life-little bit more blond than my netural colour-the roots seems quite invisible. Reading about all your transitions-it was maybe a great mistake,I could happily live with the highlights and grey hair.
    During the summer I dry it only with towel (have to try TIGI curl cream-I used Keune curl cream) and stay natural curly . When at the seaside I do the trick wit coconut or olive oil(good for everything!). Special treat is olive oil with egg yolk mask!
    I wash my hair 1-2 times a week,professional blow dry (Oh,I love to have straight hair so much! )- during all other seasons
    Dottoressa

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm happy with my hair right now. I do need to rinse in the morning to refresh curl.
    I'm not doing highlights but I have a few dark strands throughout for contrast. It certainly is less expensive but I too have a horror of the wash 'n wear perm look. Your hair looks like it is healthy in spite of all the upheaval of moving.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your hair is wonderful now! I like it much better than when you were colouring it, to be honest. I'm glad to know I'm not the only curlyhead who dreads the perm look!

      Delete
    2. Girls, the perm look only happens when the haircut is bad: that ball shape with the too-short bangs. Thanks to the internet we now have photos to show our hairdresser, so there is no reason we have to wind up with The Perm Look.

      Delete
  3. Having had dark, smooth and shiny hair all my life (with a few forays into putting on henna or wash in/wash out rinses now and again), my grey hairs started to come in shortly after my 50th birthday. Now my grey is well established but - oddly - only at the front of my hair. It is gradually moving towards the rear but the back of my head is still dark, just a few flecks. However, I really like my grey hair and the key has been to make sure my hair is short and well cut. I have had very, very short hair but now I am growing it to be smooth and side-parted. It needs much more care than it did when I was younger, but it is worth it. Grey is good. No pretence required.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My hairdresser tells me this is a very common pattern, this tendency of the hair to grey at the front first. The back of my head has very little grey in it, and it's a good reminder of what my natural colour was -- fairly dark brown. I love the drama of grey hair in a sleek, short cut in hair as dark as yours. Very sophisticated, imo

      Delete
  4. What a helpful post. I have strange hair -- part straight, part curly and part wavy. It is also graying in odd sections, primarily along my hairline and the top of my head. My dad did not go entirely gray until he was 80, and my mother retained her dark/gray mix even after chemotherapy. My stylist and I have been discussing next steps, but with so many variations it's hard to decide so I am staying with color and blow dry to even things out. BTW, I've reduced my time at the university to 75% next year so retirement may be looming...
    Lynn

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. While I was still working, I could only imagine not colouring -- I needed more time and space, somehow, to make the move, especially since I started with what felt like a severe cut. And maybe the big identity challenge of Retiring allowed me to pile on another change, get them all done at once -- Oof!
      I'm very curious to know how you find the move to .75 (and I hope you can maintain that ratio vis-à-vis the committee, and side-of-the-desk work).

      Delete
  5. I loved hearing about your journey to grey. I'm liking the softer look that you have now and the grey definitely suits you. At 61 I'm lucky to still have some brown although the underneath is very white. My sons say it's my skunk look. I once tried a wash in dye of a slightly coppery hue but it didn't go down well with the family. Should I care so much. I'm happy with my skunk look and it's certainly cheap to maintain. A cut and blow dry every 6-8 weeks. Long live grey I say!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's surprising how much colour we still have, actually, in our 60s, once we let it be seen. You've never seriously coloured, so you've been able to appreciate all along how much brown you till have -- I really had little idea until I stopped colouring -- in fact, going grey has been as much about letting my own brown (of which I still have a surprising amount, especially at the back) declare its continued presence. Skunks for the win! ;-)

      Delete
  6. What a journey Frances ... seems like you're happy with where you've arrived though :) I struggled with curly hair for years apart from a period of time in the 70's when curly perms were fashionable. Suddenly everyone wanted hair like mine! I was like the girl in the cartoon Crystal Tips and Alistair. Looking back I realise I didn't appreciate my hair at all ... red and curly, how could I have been so unlucky!? I was in my late 40s before I really came to love it. Probably around the time straighteners became commonplace and I realised I had options! I've been lucky though, as at 57 it's still quite a good colour and only greying around my temples and hairline. It's not as curly as it was though, yours is lovely the way it stays in even tight curls.... I remember the days of dampening it every morning :)
    Rosie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, too funny! My daughter has red (titian) curls, and seriously, people used to cross the street to admire and comment on them. . . But I was the same with my curls, trying to straighten them, coveting the long and silky locks of, say, Peggy Lipton--until a very good stylist gave me a very cool cut that had me embracing me curls instead of fighting them (in the early 70s, thank goodness, so I had more decades of curl-acceptance than you). I did mess around with blow-drying and straightening a few years ago, but I found that didn't work well with my running program (showering and straightened hair and my limited skillset just not compatible!). Options are good, though, aren't they? So many more than when we started out!

      Delete
  7. Fabulous! With your wonderful spirit you could rock any color. I truly notice YOU not as much as the hair.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hi Mater, I feel so sorry for you and your stylist, to be losing that relationship after so many years.

    As for my hair - it's stick straight, fine and thinning, in a layered bob. I've recently been making more of an effort with a hot brush that I've had for ages, and I'm very happy with the volume it gives me. I used the light Moroccan Oil for a while, now I have a primer from Bumble and Bumble, which is good for protection. Sali Hughes, beauty writer of The Guardian, recommended a hair serum by StriVectin, so I'll try that when I'm finished with the B and B, but in the meantime I have the root lifter and it's made quite a difference. I used to hate putting product, even conditioner, in my hair, it would go lank so quickly, but so far this is working for me. I had blonde hair as a child and now I get highlights 2-3 times a year. Only a few sprinkles of grey on top, but I don't think they are very noticeable yet. I so love the look of grey or silver hair in a smooth, chic hairstyle - I'm hoping for that eventually; I'm definitely bookmarking this post and Lisa's post for the future!



    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Mater -- it's a tight bond, if you're lucky, and I have been...
      It's all about product and tools and technique, isn't it? I admit to some panic if I run out of my Curls Rock!
      Blondes with a few highlights mixed in can hide the grey forever -- and even when they go grey, they often do so beautifully (as has Lisa/Privilege)
      And I know exactly that look you're describing -- I had an older friend who looked so soignée with a sleek silver bob, always complemented with a black velvet bowed headband.

      Delete
    2. You and M. introduced me to Curls Rock! I find it a superb product but don't use it all the time, or I mix it 50/50 with a dab of FrizzEase. It's like superglue. Great for high humidity, but as you say, you can't get it off your hands easily,

      Delete
  9. A fascinating journey! I hadn't 'met' you when your hair was long and so it was quite a shock to see the 'lion's mane'. I far prefer the shorter style on you - you look liberated. Fascinating too reading about caring for curly hair, which I had no idea about, mine being totally straight. And thick. And now grey. My hair started going grey in my early 40s, and very quickly. I coloured once and hated the whole thing - the chemicals, the faff, the spending more time in the hairdresser (I think I probably prefer going to the dentist), the end result, the prospect of being condemned to returning often and at decreasing intervals. You will gather that hair salons are not my favourite places. I've been interested to read how many commenters refer to their 'stylist'. I don't consider I have one - there is the person who is cutting my hair at the moment, but I will probably spend maximum of 2 years at any one salon and then move on. I find the whole salon experience pretty tiresome - oh how grumpy I sound! The two best haircuts I've had have been unrepeatable - one in Newport Beach, California, and the other at a ferociously trendy salon in Paris, both when I was a student. I envy you your short style. My ears stick out quite dramatically - the ear flattening operation didn't reach rural 1960s Scotland when I was growing up - and that limits how short I can go. But I am very tempted to get as short a cut as I dare when I'm in Bordeaux this summer (last week of August & first week of September - do we coincide?). Wonder if @lezzles can recommend a salon? As for maintenance - wash with whatever shampoo has been left at home by my travelling children, tho at the moment I have splurged and am using Liz Earle botanical shampoo and conditioner, then blast nearly dry with the hairdryer and use a brush at the end to make sure the ends of my below chin bob don't stick out. No styling product, ever. And I love grey!
    And to distract you - casting your mind back, is there a particular hairstyle trend in France and Italy at the moment for our age group? Is it just short, or are there stylish variations? When I was a student there in the 70s/80s it was the alarming red henna look.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So interesting! I love my visits to my stylist and although I like the freer maintenance schedule of my new hairstyle/colour, I miss the longer visits we had, the little routine of me sitting with the colour and a great magazine and a cup of tea (she always remembers what kind and what I take in it!). I'm sure Lesley can recommend a good salon -- she's a gem! (and I love her haircut and colour -- suits her so well!)
      That's a good question, about the idea of a hairstyle trend in France/Italy right now. I'm tempted to say that I see more variety there than here, but I don't know that that's true. Such huge regional differences as well that I'd hesitate to generalise (and that's not my strength at all anyway). Perhaps you'll report back after your Bordeaux visit (I'll love our travels to coincide, but we'll probably have to wait for later in the fall). Other readers: comments?!

      Delete
  10. I much prefer your short hair look but that may be narcissism as I have short hair myself! I may have said before but for me the going grey thing is problematic on two fronts the first due to my return to acting as going grey would automatically catapult me into a different age bracket and "granny" parts. The second is that through I'm 57 I'm not very grey, most of the grey is around my ears and so there's a dange of looking like a badger for a very long time....... So as long as it's not looking like a pith helmet that doesn't match my skin tone and I only need to get it done every three months I'm staying dark. My other condition is that I need to be able to afford to go to the hairdresser, home hair colouring is only for teenagers!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think I'd continue colouring if I were you, Maureen. As I've said above (to Lynn), I didn't feel comfortable making this change while I was still working (nor when I was still as young as 57!). . . And I'm with you on saying no to the pith-helmet look, but you're in no danger of that. I'm also with you on my colouring being dependent on being able to afford a good colouring professional -- I suspect any home attempts on my part would be quickly followed by a very, very short emergency cut. . .

      Delete
  11. Hi Mater,
    As someone who has very similar hair in terms of curl quality, I loved this post! Thank you. I'm just beginning my journey down the path of grey, and figuring out textural changes, how I feel about it... In general, I've wanted to thank you for your sartorial inspiration. I'm in my mid-40s, and trying to find ways to dress that feel appropriate, but still feel like my slightly tough, slightly out-there self — and you show the way! (Not that you would necessarily use those adjectives to describe your own style, of course!). Sending you the best of wishes in the midst of the disorienting state of moving.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aw, thanks, Sarah! Comments like this go a very long way to validate and compensate for the effort and vulnerability to go into these posts on my looks and style. I don't feel at all competent to give advice in these areas, but I'm glad that having one more model on the road ahead of you helps (and I love that I might have something to show someone who's "slightly tough, slightly out-there self" -- Those are some of the parts of myself I love the best, although my toughness is questionable -- perhaps a touch of iconoclasm, rather, for me, and at least an awareness of the street)

      Delete
  12. I think your hair in the most recent photo is just phenomenal. So sophisticated. Maybe you are internally preparing for city life. In any case thanks for the documentation. Going gray has its ways, and lots of people need your guidance. xoxo.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hmm, this might be true. . . although I find it nearly impossible to own the adjective "sophisticated." It's there with "chic," and "elegant," in my mind, clearly labelled for Someone Else, Not Me.
      Thanks for the post that motivated this one. And for being a beacon of grey in a coloured wilderness ;-)

      Delete
  13. I love your hair shorter but yes, it is difficult to find a length that is just right. My strong, thick and straight hair is now shorter and finding the length where it doesn't just stick up like a bottlebrush is tedious. Luckily summer!
    As for the grey, well mine has been moving into white for a decade now. I knew I would be too distracted to come regularly, hate the look of this growing out so have embraced the change from red to much lighter. So pleased it is growing in as a stripe at the front though - makes it all look quite cool IMO.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes! With mine right now, I'm at a length where the curl bubbles out right at my ears -- you know, for that glamourous winged look?!
      I love yours! It's a very edgy (def. cool) look, amplified, of course, by your sartorial smarts!

      Delete
  14. It is quite the process and you have come through it with "flying colours!"
    Love the newest style and think shorter suits you better than the long...just my opinion because the soft curls are so luxurious...
    my hair is shorter than I have ever had it too and still a mix of brown and grey but the grey is coming in fast and furious and the texture is so different...I love the Aveda brilliant cream.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, L! I'm getting happier with the short cut as the curls relax -- too short reads a bit too sporty to me, not my personality which prefers a bit of artsy. . ;-)
      I love the way you've left the colour behind and the way your shorter cut allows your curls to shine. I haven't noticed a huge difference in texture yet, but that delight may yet be ahead of me. The Aveda brilliant isn't quite strong enough on its own for me, but I sometimes combine it for a switch from the CurlsRock

      Delete
  15. Great discussion on the going grey transitions. I fall in the curly, wavy, straight combo that changes with weather and length and is thin in front, thick in the back and wimpy. If I lived at the coast I would have quite curly locks. I started colouring my locks in my 40's to get some body and highlights- no grey to cover then. Now I am probably half and half dark brown and grey, but still following a regime of colour and highlights over the months with a great stylist, a friend of my daughter, Andrea- they went to highschool and hairdresser school together. Ginelle has continued, while Andrea is now a CPA. The kids want me to keep colouring. Alli says she will be traumatized if I go grey- babies- haha! My sister was totally grey by 34 and transitioned to grey at 60 when travelling in Southeast Asia where she thought the Asian respect for age might enhance the trip. She just returned to short hair and she rocks both the grey and curls -although I do think her fair was (she was a blonde) results in a rather bland palette. I have the fair skin and dark hair of my Mother's bit of Irish and she never did go all grey, so I suspect I won't either. When I finally retire, I will likely move towards going au natural to save on the budget- till then- I will colour on. I love your new look, Frances- I loved your tail of transition. Jenn

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You make a good point -- I do like the extra body that colouring gives -- perhaps that's why I'm not noticing the texture difference that Hostess talk about above -- because the highlights I'm still adding give that body boost. . . Hmmm. One of my friends got a fabulous short haircut and embraced her grey -- we all loved the style, but her kids (daughter especially) urged her to go back to colour for another few years, at least. . .
      Interesting that your sister used the opportunity of travel to make the switch, just as I did -- it's useful to have that space from other's opinions!

      Delete
  16. I was so interested to read that you need to rinse your hair every morning, as do I. I also have curls and they need that morning wetting to bounce up into place. I had thought it was perhaps just an issue for me - it's reassuring to know that I'm not the only one with that morning hair routine.
    The going grey issue is such a complex one and seemingly so tied up with our self vision. I see my friends dealing with it in a variety of ways. I also used to colour my hair regularly, but then I got cancer and the treatment caused me to lose all of my hair for quite some months. During that time I decided any hair was ok, and that I would go with whatever grew back in. In fact what grew back was mostly white, not even grey, and I have embraced that ever since. I was still working at the university then and it was a very visible change for my colleagues. But I have discovered it to be surprisingly liberating to not have to worry about my roots, and I like it very much now. I do think though that a good cut is essential to avoid that invisible middle age woman look. And I do like your look now Mater. Best wishes for your move.
    Sue (Pisaremus)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's exactly what it is -- the curls need the wetting to get their bounce back! And no, you're not the only one!
      I can easily imagine that cancer would be a very decent way of putting hair colour in perspective. "Any hair was ok" -- after having lost all of it -- and that thanks to a life-saving treatment, mortality grinning at your side -- And I agree with you that its "surprisingly liberating" not to have to worry about the roots, just to be okay with myself as I am, no sense that I need correction or monitoring. . .

      Delete
  17. I think your new color looks great, natural but vibrant too. I'll probably continue to color mine for a while yet, am still enjoying the blonde. My natural not-yet-grey color is really drab so even if I do grow out the grey I'll probably still do something like you have with highlights or lowlights to brighten it up.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That cut and colour suits you so well, Sue -- I wouldn't change a thing!
      But when you do get ready for the grey, yes, I think you'd have fun adding some high/lowlights for texture and edge.

      Delete
  18. I applaud your sense of adventure, your sense of confidence and your common sense.....because the new colour strategy is really, really attractive. Of course I envy those curls........as do many straight-haired women.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And you can only imagine how we curly-heads have coveted the straight... ;-) Thanks for the kind words -- I love the way you set out three wonderful qualities that greying hair can represent. Happy to wave that banner, although I'm not sure I can live up to it. ;-)

      Delete
  19. Hi Frances,
    I'm late to this party. I love the darker lowlights. They seem to give texture to the grey better than the blonde highlights. Interestingly enough, I've started getting lowlights against a lighter overall colour. And I like the effect. Oh to be able to just brush our hair and go like the long straight sleek people. I've never been able to do that. And when my hair is curly...well...each morning is a new adventure. But enough about me. You're leaving your longtime hairdresser as well as your home!!! Akkkk. I personally recommend that you visit her at least twice after you move to avoid too much separation anxiety. Still... I'm sure that Vancouver has at least a couple of good stylists:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hardly late -- we're just getting started here, can I offer you a glass of red? It's obviously a mixed crowd at this party, straight-haired and curly-headed both, most of us wishing for a bit of what the other has, if only for a week or two.
      You're a woman after my own heart -- I'm pretty sure I'm going to book my next two appointments with R. at our next visit. It's not a bad day trip, and she can see me through the transition to where I want the style to be. But yes, apparently Vanc'r does have a few decent stylists, and I've already picked up a few recommendations.
      It's interesting about the lowlights...the blonde just brasses up a bit too quickly on me, especially when sun steps into the picture...

      Delete
  20. Hair has always been a very big deal for me. I used to think I had the sort of face which needed hair! Probably I still do. I have been colouring my hair since I was seventeen or so and can't quite remember what my hair colour would be if left alone. I feel blonde (although when I first met a number of my blogging friends I was surpised to find that their image of me was of someone with dark hair. Maybe I am too intense for people's images of blondeness) and I don't want to give that person up yet. Like my mother I don't seem, at 61, to be going grey. She had deep auburn hair and simply, gently, became paler, not greying until in her late seventies. So I think for me the question is still the question of my adult life, as in whether to be mousy-fair or more vivid. I would hate to hang onto colour for too long so I think about this a lot. And many of my friends whose looks I most admire have gone grey and short and sharp and ultra stylish! I like your short, especially the longer short, and I like the colour. Not getting stuck somewhere which no longer works is key, and hard, if like me, your own hair isn't sending out suggestions!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I would say hair has been a big deal for me as well, in that the curl has been so defining and somehow has meshed with my bookish/intellectual identity but also with a bit of gentle iconoclasm (oxymoron?) or hippie spirit (not quite what I mean, but might give a sense). And yet other than colouring and getting regular good cuts, I've never spent time on daily styling or maintenance.
      It doesn't sound as if you're ready to let go of the colouring, and I don't see why you should yet although I know the concern about "getting stuck somewhere which no longer works." I let my stylist know that I trusted her to tell me when we got to that point, but as it happened, I just became increasingly curious about what it would be like to try out the grey. Through your writing, you strike me as an open, curious, tuned-in woman, and I don't see much danger of "stuckness" -- enjoy your blonde self while you can!

      Delete
  21. Thank you for documenting this so throughly, and I love both the cut and colour. (Despite women our age maintaining they can "now have long hair"-and I'm all for that- in the 'before' photo IMO that length is draggy.) Your highlights are a chic way to blend in the new gray. (I went full on because I found I have some swaths of white (white!) that make natural highlights.

    We will put our grey heads together soon, yay!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree that the long cut above has got to a draggy stage -- that's at least partly due to it being three weeks longer between cuts. I'm not sure that I won't try to regain quite a bit of that length, but I'll count on a good, honest stylist to let me know if it's stopped doing me any favours.
      If the whites coming in as decent swaths, go you! That cranks up the drama a notch or do. . . and yes, can't wait to put these grey heads together over the drinks in our hands -- hurrah!

      Delete
  22. What an interesting transition! I know what it is to have the same hairdresser for many years. My first I had from ages 12 to 40. The second I've had ever since. She's located about 100 meters away from me (if that) on the main street around the corner from my house. My kid just got her first job there! On a side note: the kid went to the interview wearing ripped jeans and her nose ring - and excellent hair, natch. Of course, they all have tons of tattoos and lots of piercings. While I was sort of horrified by her presentation, seems she knew her audience. :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yep! My history with hairdressers is similar -- I mean, why change if it works, right? I've loved that mine is enough younger than I am to keep me current.
      Now to schedule appointments strategically -- deliberately avoid days your daughter is working or deliberately schedule on those days. Sounds like the perfect environment for a first job and great that it's so close. She's a pretty savvy young woman and I'm sure her confidence in her attire rocked the interview.

      Delete
  23. PS: In the last couple of cuts/colours I've gone from platinum blond to warm blond (almost kind of brown, IMO). I feel it's more age-appropriate since I was starting to look a bit dull without makeup and the super pale hair. All anyone asked, when they noticed something different, was whether I'd got new glasses?!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's so funny how people respond to hair changes -- I've had good friends walk right by me the few times I've had my hair straightened, not even recognising me. But then others who address me as if nothing is different at all. And I must admit, I've sometimes completely missed the absence of a moustache on guy friends who have sported one for years.

      Delete
  24. I went through that a few years ago, though I never cut my hair as short as you did. My first grey hairs were at 16 - my mum was very grey by 40, and my youngest maternal uncle - who is curly as you and I are - was the same, but he still has a full head of curly white hair at 80! My hair is still very dark at the lower back...

    My hair is far too long now; I didn't have it cut all winter and really have to get to it - I was wearing it up, in a braid at the back and am sick of it. I look dreadful with short hair but I do want it considerably shorter; more shoulder length, just long enough to tie back when I work...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Were you horrified by those first grey hairs or were they just an interesting anomaly. My red-haired daughter had one or two very early, but not much subsequent greying.
      I wasn't sure I could carry off short hair, and for a few months there I just had to be resolute, grimacing at the mirror occasionally. Like you, if it's going to be a bit longer, I like at least enough length that I can pin it out of the way if needed. With the heat and humidity where you are that must be even more true (and your curl will change so much with that moisture in the air!)

      Delete
    2. No, I was too young to be terrified; I thought they were amusing, and made it easier to get into bars. Nobody was carded back then unless they looked positively pubescent.

      Delete
    3. Oh, I was always carded (yep, positively pubescent, and I hated my youthful appearance with a passion!) ;-)

      Delete

I'd love to hear your response to my post. Agree, disagree, even go off on a tangent, I love to know you're out there, readers. Let's chat, shall we? I apologize, though, for the temporary necessity of the Word Verification -- spam comments have been tiresomely numerous lately, and I'm hoping to break that pattern.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...