Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Because I'm Worth It

Getting old is a pain in the butt.  I know, I know, I'm living and learning, experiencing life's lessons, getting all wise and mature, blah-blah-blah.  I don't mind that part of the aging process.  What I do mind is the cat whisker white hair that's sprouting all over my head, making me look at least 10-15 years older.  I don't need any help looking older than my chronological age, thank you very much, because the sun worshipping I did in my youth has caught up with me.  In the words of southern sage Truvy, Dolly Parton's character in Steel Magnolias, "Honey, time marches on and eventually you realize it is marchin' across your face."  In my case, it's all the way down to my silvery white roots.

It's just not fair.  Men get a little white at the temples or sprinkled in amongst the color and it's considered distinguished.  Women start getting gray or white and folks wonder why she isn't taking care of that.  Doesn't the old girl know she needs to schedule an appointment at the salon or swing by to pick up a box of L'Oreal or Clairol?  

When the whities first made an appearance in my mid 20s, I would just pluck them out.  At this point I would be practically bald if I had continued to remove the offending white hairs.  The game plan I adopted in my 30s was to have my hair "frosted".  I'm sure there is a more modern term for this process since it's the word my mother used back in the 70s when she was doing it to her hair.  It just sounds so retro and something you would reference under Betty Crocker rather than Vidal Sassoon.  This process is still quite antiquated, pulling little bits of hair through a cap since I was sporting a really short 'do at the time.  Sitting in the chair, I always looked like some sort of freaky science project or nouveau art installation wearing that cap with bleach smeared across it.  Lightening bits of hair all over my head allowed for the whites to blend, so folks had to wonder... does she or doesn't she?

When I hit 40 and decided I had best let my hair grow a bit before I got too close to the big 5-0, it became time to switch tactics.  I decided to permanently dye the white hair something similar to my natural hair color.  I know some professionals suggest women should go several shades lighter as they get older, but that would mean my hair would be the same color as all the brown spots dotting my skin.  In a few more years I'll be able to play connect the liver spots across my entire body, so dyeing my hair the same color would probably just enhance them.  Since bathing daily in a vat of retinol and skin bleach isn't an option, right?  

So now I'm at the mercy of the local Aveda salon in order to maintain my ruse.  Every 6-7 weeks I have to trot down and get my new white growth dyed a dark brown to match the rest of my head.  I'm dreading my 12:30 appointment today because I hate all that scrubbing and reclining into the bowl.  You would think some stylist could invent a rinse bowl that you can lean forward to use for those of us with neck disc issues.  Heaven help me - another sign that I'm headed towards some unknown expiration date.

Now you see the gnarly white hairs...

... and now you don't!

I *heart* hair dye!  Oh the things we will endure to avoid that "rode hard and put up wet" look.  Dolly Parton's character Truvy also said there is no such thing as natural beauty, so I'll undoubtedly have to continue to pay some haircare professional in order to appear somewhat presentable in polite company.  Having someone follow me around with soft lighting that flatters isn't an option I can afford.  I guess I should just be grateful my little lady moustache hasn't gone white yet.  

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