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  • By Jayne Flores

When to go gray?

Now that the election is over, and a majority of the Republican electors sold their souls and cast their ballots for (gulp - it is really difficult for me to write this phrase) “President Trump,” let’s move on to a more important issue: when should I go gray?

One day when I was shopping, the young woman who assisted me had gray hair. You could tell she had colored it that way, because her roots were a beautiful, deep brown. I went home and told my daughter about the girl’s hair color.

“Oh, yeah,” she told me. “That’s the style now.”

“So if I let my hair go gray, I’ll be in style?” I said.

“Sorry mom. It doesn’t work that way. You have to be young.”

Oh, the irony. I am tired of coloring my hair. I’ve been doing it for more than a decade now. I used to sit in a beauty shop for two hours every four to six weeks and have it done, but when my eldest daughter went away to college, one of the sacrifices I made to stretch my shrinking wallet was to move from beauty shop coloring to doing it myself. It was actually not a difficult transition because I was never happy with the shop color anyway. I am a natural redhead, and it’s really hard to match that color. I was always coming home a little purple around the edges, and it took a few days for it to fade into red, and for the comments from the family peanut gallery to stop.

“Mom, your hair is purple. Tell them to use a different color.” When I moved to the do-it-yourself-out-of-a-box method, not only was it cheaper, but I discovered two things: 1) no purple tint, and 2) I could actually move around and do things while the color was setting, instead of sitting idle in a chair. Never mind that I walked around the house looking like Medusa for 45 minutes. Your family sees you at your worst, right? It’s a price I was willing to pay to vainly hang onto the remnants of my youth.

Now that I am moving closer to the big 6-0, I am contemplating going au natural. A few friends have done it, and I think they look awesome. One of my co-workers has beautiful, long flowing gray hair. I often think, “My hair could look like that.” It’s getting to that point without looking like an aging lion king that is the challenge. I have a lot of hair, and it tends to overwhelm my very being if I let it grow too long. Plus, at this time in my life, long hair would be too hot.

The hubby says he doesn’t care if I let my hair go gray.

“You do what you want. It’s your hair,” he says.

We’d match, because he’s about 75 percent gray already. Problem is, he looks distinguished with gray hair. Most men do. Women tend to just look old. It’s one of life’s many gender inequalities.

I have a few conscientious objectors, though: my daughters.

“No. I’m not ready for an old mom,” says my youngest.

“Well guess what. You already have one,” I reply.

The bottom line is vanity. I admit it - I’m still a little vain about my appearance – or at least my hair, anyway. Plus, I justify continuing to color it because statistics tell us that in a few decades, a diluted gene pool will eliminate red hair from the human population. Us redheads have to hang onto our unique status for as long as we can.

So for at least another year, I will continue to be a redhead. One of these days, though, I’m going to join my brave friends and coworkers who just don’t care, and go gray.

Maybe our new yellow-haired president will follow suit.

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