So, most of you know about my gray-haired experiment of 2011. I joked that I looked like Walter Cronkite, circa 1976. Here I am, newly natural, holding an adorable bunny. But seriously, the sideburns!
Anyway, I kept the gray (which yes, mostly grew along the sides) for about two years. Then I dyed it again. Then I chopped it all off and went gray again.
Then, in 2016, I decided I wanted to look ten years younger and dyed it again. My *hair* looked ten years younger. The rest of me? Not so much.
Back and forth.
Going Gray by Anne Kreamer makes it clear… she feels my pain.
One of the first things I caught on the inside jacket was a description of her gob-smacking moment of realization.
She was doing everything — including Botox — to remain youthful looking. Then she had a photo taken and realized, for the first time, that her dyed hair did NOT go with the rest of her. She looked every inch 49… except her hair, which looked … well, dyed.
So, she made a decision. She was going gray. But she wasn’t doing it alone… and so came the birth of this book!
On this page of her website annekreamer.com/going-gray Kreamer has some interesting photos and stories of experiments she did regarding society’s perception of aging while writing this book.
(I will warn you ahead of time, there are some typos on the website I linked above. I only say this because it’s the kind of thing that bothers me … and if I wasn’t so interested and engaged, I might consider it lacking credibility. The woman is no dummy, having graduated from Harvard, as well as a frequent contributor to the Harvard Review. I’m not sure how the website got the way it is, but if you can forgive her, it’s worth checking out.)
Kreamer’s journey to going gray is chronicled in this book but it is also so much more. She talks to (mostly) women (but men, too) about their experiences and thoughts on gray culture.
Mostly, it is a book about finding oneself in middle age. Gray hair and all.
On a personal note: Kreamer did things a little differently than I did, as far as the first steps in going gray. From my travels around the bookstore and internet, it seems there is her way (stop dying and grow it out to gray) or my way (chop it off as short as you can and grow from there). I don’t know which is better or worse, though I prefer my way, obviously. I also have short hair and have for years, so it’s not the shocker it might be for someone who has always worn long hair.
Now seems like a good time to share one of my fave YouTubers. She is Monique Parent. Over the last three years or so, she has documented her journey to gray hair with videos. She did it like I did, going pixie-short. As a working actress living in Southern California, she has access to all the newest, neatest things, like hair chalk and wigs and stuff… and she tries them all. Super fun, if you’re interested in that kind of stuff.
Not everyone likes this going-gray thing. Some of my friends think I’m brave, and I’ve told you how I feel about that word. I do understand why they say it, though. Age-ism is scary, especially in the age of seniors having to compete in the job market. Ah, well. I could go off on a rabbit trail for sure (nod to the photo of me with the bunny, above).
So, gray or not? That is the question. I’ve answered it. Here is a recent photo of me.
If you’ve been thinking about it… this is just the kind of book to help you along on the journey.
PS: Have you seen the trend of Millennials Dying Their Hair Gray? What the?????