Life adventures, inspiration and insight; shared in articles, advice, personal chats and pictures.
As Nature highlights and then totally removes the hair color with which we’ve become accustomed as our own natural hue, we find different remedies. After all, the aging person peering out of the mirror is odd enough already with his or her wrinkles and odd shapes. Some have enough self-confidence or not enough time so they let Nature take its course from the outset. I intend to do that one day.
However, before I transform into a slightly saggy version of the White Queen, I prefer to take a few transitional steps. I’ve always had brown hair (what my sister cheerfully labeled “dishwater brown”), so when strands of white started growing at my temples, I was taken aback. At first, the white was trendy. Friends complimented me on the stylish white streak alongside my face and asked me who had done the work. “God,” I replied, honestly.
My glory was short-lived. As time wore on and my wrinkles multiplied, my hair grew lots of white cousins to the trendy shock, tattling that my style was merely age revealing itself. My skin wasn’t complimented by the paleness. It seemed too pale, as well, leaving me looking like my mother with a bad cold.
Should I dye? I tried it. I had my rural hairdresser apply a brown that looked as close to my natural color as possible, given her limited stock. My hair was suddenly utterly uniform (oh, yeah, that’s natural!) and an odd shade of brown. “Does it look red to you?” I asked my husband. “No, it’s brown,” he assured me–forever my champion. We went to a family picnic. “What made you decide to have red hair?” asked a cousin casting a sideways glance at the clash with my crimson shirt. That was the end of my attempts to dye myself natural.
Another hairdresser did her best to camouflage the white with lots of blonde and brown highlights. That worked well enough for a time, but the frequent mildly astronomical bill for her expert services was unsettling, at best. When she retired from her salon, I looked for other options. My head was still gradually turning whiter and I didn’t like it. In addition, the dye was plotting with my chemical curls to dry out my hair that’s already too fine to tolerate many insults. I had to choose between curls and color. I gave up getting permanent waves. The prospect of a bald old age was daunting.
One day I discovered a small filler article in a women’s magazine about a product that bragged that it contained neither ammonia nor henna. Robert Craig calls the process “polymerization.” I have no clue what that’s supposed to mean, but I liked the description that the product was not drying. So far, so good. The product cannot dye hair lighter, only darker. Also good. I decided I would try to color my white blonde, so I would have an intermediary color on my way to white. Then, once I eventually grow accustomed to my face in a pale frame, I can let the white have its way with me.
Now I use “light ash blonde” all over my head about once per month. (You mix the chemicals with water, shake the concoction into a foam, apply it and let it set for a short time, then shampoo with Robert Craig’s gentle shampoo.) Unless I leave the color on too long (when it temporarily dulls and masks my own brown as well as the white), it looks entirely natural–with lots of gradations of brown and blonde. I’ve received many compliments on my “highlights.” Again, God designs them. When white starts looking like a ring around my face again, I just re-do the ash blonde.
In all fairness, I’m currently reaching a point when I’ll have to reconsider going mostly white or else darken less time to try to go ash blonde or bite the bullet and return to salon dye jobs. My white roots are more stubborn than ever and peek out after only a few washes. My wrinkles have progressed enough that white hair won’t be out-of-place on me any longer. (Darn it.) I ’m holding onto the White Queen image as I wait until I feel I can wait no longer.
I thought you might be interested in this odd solution of mine. I buy the product online (www.robertcraig.com), and it isn’t that expensive. I haven’t experimented much, but I did try the “golden blonde” and judged it to be too yellow for me. I don’t know how the trick would work if your hair was turning a steely gray or if you wanted, say, red highlights instead of blonde. You’ll have to do your own investigation. Please let us know if you discover a wonderful new application!