How I Quit the Bottle (the Hair Dye Bottle)

I have decided to quit the hair dye bottle myself, inspired by friends like Leslie Stratton Stern with her stunning silver mane, I stopped covering the grey about six months ago …. I’m still waiting for the silver mane to emerge but this story in the New York Times resonated and might give you the courage to ditch the bottle yourself! Let me know.

Story by Suzanne Bergerac Roth Illustration by Janna Morton for the New York Times.

Would going gray require me to listen to folk music, host potlucks and wear caftans? Or could it be another way of being a woman in the world?

As I sat in the colorist’s chair in a high-end salon, I could not help but admire how young I looked. My gray roots had just been obliterated with a $300 Chernobyl of Deep Chocolate Mocha and Buttery Caramel lowlights.

But I knew my hair high would be, as usual, a short-lived buzz. Within days, my mane would oxidize into Roadkill Orange, alluring as a badger pelt. And a telltale gray stripe would appear on my part, demarcating fact from fiction.

That skunky striation was always a surprising betrayal. Just when I’d tricked myself into believing that maybe I really was a 60-something sprouting a Starbucks palette of richly hued locks, the emergence of Witchy White, Grim Reaper Gray and Silver Scythe sadistically reminded me that the house always wins.

My pilgrimage to the salon was a well-worn ritual I practiced like a double-process parishioner for over 25 years. The welcoming, intoxicating mix of ammonia and gossip, coupled with required reading of trashy tabloid hymnals, made it, if not a religious experience, certainly close.

Where else could I go for salvation, maintaining my professional mien and reading up on Jennifer Aniston and Justin Theroux? I was getting older by the minute and dying my hair was one way to temporarily make the ever-encroaching reality of the final blowout disappear.



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Comments 2

  1. Mmm interesting article. Personally I’m not quite ready to give up my golden locks just yet. In my experience there are some people who have that fabulous silvery look. My friend Jenny is one such person. She looks sensational. Her hair is thick, shapely and a sparkling silver. However, most of us mere mortals, end up looking a bit faded and patchy.

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