I still dye my hair. Every time I get out the little box, I sigh and think, Maybe this will be the last time. It’s such a pain – smelly and messy and I always worry about missing a spot and coming out like Cruella de Ville. But then five weeks rolls around and I look at those white-and-mousy-brown roots and I think, Maybe just this one more time.

When I dye my hair I like to put on the TV in the bedroom, to help pass the 20 minutes or so I’m sitting around topless with my hair stinking like vinegar on a dead mouse, and for some reason it seems to always be showing The Price is Right. This season I notice host Drew Carey has let his hair go full-on Santa Claus white. I admire his boldness but sadly, the result is not so much silver fox, and more albino chipmunk. I think of Drew Carey as being something of a contemporary of mine – he’s about 12 years older than me – but I cannot possibly be that old. Not yet.

Today I’m turning 45 and that sounds like a big number, but it doesn’t quite seem like a white-haired kind of number. Still, around this time of year I get to thinking about how much longer I’ll put up with the little boxes of Natural Caramel Light Brown. Three more years? Four? Five?

When I talk like this my middle daughter begs me to keep dying it forever, to never change, to never grow old. I wish I could promise her that. I know she wants to believe I will always be here, exactly the same, sitting at the end of her bed with the lights out chatting at the end of the day. No grey hairs in the moonlight reminding her that I am only human.

I can stand a few more nice and easy years for that dream, for sure.

Look Ma, No Roots

11 thoughts on “45

  1. Happy birthday and lovely post! I think a lot of women face this dilemma as we get older. I don’t dye my hair (“stinking like vinegar on a dead mouse is VERY descriptive btw!) but then I also haven’t seen any gray hairs yet. When I do, all bets are off. If dyeing hair makes us feel younger and more vibrant, so be it!

  2. Middle-aged Me

    Happy Birthday Lynn! Welcome to middle age (we can all hope and pray that 45 is the middle and not 10 yards from the end zone)

  3. Years ago, way before I turned 45 (I might have been nearing 35…), I decided to get my hair cut at a trendy place in downtown Toronto. I have curly hair, so finding good cutters and stylists is a constant quest (though I have someone now – also downtown Toronto so a bit of a trek, but still…). The metrosexual hip urban male who was my cutter / stylist noted that I had some grey coming through. I had been colouring my hair for years, and my first grey hairs showed up when I was about 17, so you know, whatever. But this time, the new chic name-brand-clad stylist assuredly told me that no self-respecting woman could feel good about herself with grey hair, and I definitely needed colouring. I gotta tell you – that pissed me off. And I haven’t coloured my hair since. I’m noticeably grey – maybe still a little more pepper than salt, but as I coast down the end of my 40s, the silver keeps a-coming and you know what? I don’t care a bit. Every grey hair is a slap in the face to that stupid pig who can’t see a woman except for the colour of her hair. I fart abhorrent hair-colouring chemical smell in his general direction. Now, I don’t contribute to chemical pollution, I don’t waste my time or money, I don’t have to clean the dye out of my tub and I’m just as happy as I was before. Just a few thoughts for you on this wonderful birthday. 🙂

  4. Lynn, such a good birthday post! Hope you have/had a great bday! I think if dying your hair makes you feel good and your kids like it too, go for it (smelly fumes and all). You’ll still age gracefully I have no doubt.

  5. Happy birthday! It’s funny, my kids have the same thoughts – that I should dye my hair forever. I’m 100% grey (well, under the dye) and I can’t think about going natural yet. Not just because of my kids, because I’m not ready. Hell, I’ll probably be the crazy old lady in the Home with bright orange hair.

  6. Happy birthday friend!! The one thing I realized was that I must be greying at a much faster rate because 5 weeks? Uh…by week 2 I’m ‘ok better go see if I have a box for next week’ and by week 3 I’m due. lol

    I had my hair coloured only once at the salon and it’s expensive and not particularly enjoyable, although they use a chemical that is a lot less harsh. I tried the non-Nice n’ Easy stuff but it lasts even less long than that so…every freaking 3 weeks I gotta deal with this stuff. Either that or let myself go grey.

    I have an old tank top I keep with a bunch of old towels in a drawer. When the stuff is on my hair (and everyone is out of the house) I go sit in front of the computer. That’s the only place where I won’t forget I have colour in my hair and don’t accidentally lean against a wall or couch back.


  7. bibliomama2

    I didn’t even realize that was colour – it always looks really natural. I think some people can pull off grey just fine, I actually hate my mousy brown colour MORE. But if you’re not ready (I’m not) that’s cool too.

  8. Zhu

    Happy birthday!

    I started getting white hair after I had Mark (strange, isn’t it? Like I was stressed or something?!! :lol:). I don’t care at all. I dyed my hair throughout my teenage years and I stopped when I came to Canada because I had no one around to help (Feng would have been useless for that) and getting it done professionally was too expensive. I actually… kind of like my super uneven hair colour now. I have a few white hair, blond/bleached hair (sun and dry) and darker hair. Every time I get a cut, stylist suggest I should go for a “rich (insert colour here)”. Nope, I like my messy uneven hair.

    You look great. Seriously. I told you before, I had NO idea how old you were, I could only guestimate you were probably a few years older than me because you had several older kids.

    But you’re wise and funny, and that’s what matters 😉

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