Sunday, February 18, 2018

Becoming the Silver Fox: Part III

As you can see in the above photo, by February 2016 (4 months into becoming the Silver Fox) my natural hair color was almost completely silver, up to my ponytail, which was still golden.  I was getting creative with styling, yes, and having curly hair also helped me out, but I felt my hair REALLY looked LOUSY if I didn't feel like styling it!  It had begun to look as if I had a small silver cap on my golden head, and I felt it looked especially awful int he back portion, if I wore it loose or in a low ponytail.  Here is another photo, with my hair done up in a French Braid.

I endured a few more months of this torture, and when I could absolutely stand it no longer, I made an appointment with my regular long hair care specialist, for a deep hair conditioning and cut.  She had always had waist length dark hair, but she had also begun growing in her silver, and she was actually a few months ahead of me in the process.  My beauty operator was one of my heroines, who had actually helped inspire me to go for it!  In her case, however, the silver was only growing in around her temples and forehead, not over her entire head.  I had naturally assumed she would be sympathetic when I announced that I was ready to cut off all my long hair off to chin level, leaving a 4 inch fringe of blonde hair at the bottom.  Boy, was I was dead wrong!

She responded "No, you're not," and proceeded to trim only the bare minimum of hair off at the bottom, to keep my long hair healthy, as was her custom.  It seemed she intended to grow out her silver, but keep her hair long forever, and she expected her regular customers would do the same.  How wrong SHE was about ME!  I was feeling very down, and rather frustrated when I left the shop for the very last time that day.   My long time beauty operator had just lost a loyal customer, and I knew in my heart that I if I felt I was truly ready to cut off my hair, I was going to have to find a new beauty shop, and go "cold turkey" with a stranger. Where to turn?  TBC...

Saturday, February 10, 2018


Becoming the Silver Fox:  Part II

In the summer of 2014, I lost my Dad to pancreatic cancer, within 3 months of his initial diagnosis.  I had lost my Mom when I was in my mid-twenties, so losing my Dad at the ripe old age of 89 1/2 set off all manner of deep and serious ruminations in my head. Both my parents were now gone, and I was  turning 60 the following year.  I had already outlived my Mom, who passed away at age 58.  I  realized that if I was lucky enough to live to nearly 90, as my Dad had, I was already 2/3 of the way through my life!  It was time to take stock of where my own life was going:  what were my priorities, what was to be my legacy on the planet, what activities were on my bucket list? Perhaps it was time to embrace my Wise Woman?

In the Fall of 2015, my younger child FINALLY entered High School.  I decided I'd had enough of coloring my hair, which at this point needed attention every three weeks.  I had all kinds of "hair crayons," and mascara-like coloring wands to apply to my gray roots in between my coloring rituals. However, I was sick of the whole ordeal, and there was the remaining concern that so much hair fell out each time I went through the coloring process.  And, how safe were the chemicals I was putting into my body?  My Dad and Paternal Grandmother had both sported full heads of magnificent silver white hair, and I was pretty sure I had inherited the same.  So, in October 2015, I skipped my coloring day.  I had at last begun the long, laborious and awkward process of growing out the gray!

At first, I became adept at using headbands and scarves to cover the increasing frame of silver around my temples and forehead.  I wore my long hair pulled back into a ponytail most days, and began doing french braids and other stylish "up dos" to distract the eye from the growing silver crown. Barrettes with soft rolled hair around the crown helped, and I even used scrunchies and hair clips woven with fake blond hair, to create a head of curls.  I did a photo shoot with Pilates Style Magazine in February 2016, and it was an interesting trick to style my hair.  By this time,  it had grown out completely silver up to the high ponytail, but the pony itself was gold!  I thought to myself, thank goodness all the young kids are "crowning"and "tipping" their hair color, in which half of remains a natural color, and the ends are colored green, red, blue, purple, pink--whatever!  I was right "en vogue!"

But, how long could I keep the long hair I had come to identify with for so long?  I knew I didn't want long, silver hair....TBC

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Becoming the Silver Fox : Part I

It all started with my Dad's skiing accident, back in January of 2010. My Dad really had no business skiing at the age of 87, but nevertheless, he was in a severe accident, and he suffered a traumatic brain injury.  He'd been living in a cabin, alone, in the middle of the woods in the mountains, but clearly, this was no longer a viable option.  At first, he was in the hospital near my home in Los Angeles, CA.  Then he was moved into a Rehab Facility for another three weeks.  Of course, I visited him every day, and even observed his rehab sessions.  Upon discharge, Dad moved in with me and my family, while my brother (who lived out of State), and I set about finding a more workable long term living solution.  In the meantime, I shuttled Dad around to all manner of Doctor appointments, on a nearly daily basis.

Well, quite suddenly, I found that my already quite limited personal time (I am married, had two school aged kids and was running my own Pilates Exercise Studio) was now non-existent!  First thing to go was my monthly Hair Salon appointment.  I had luxuriant, long, reddish blonde hair, but it was extremely high maintenance:  I was in my middle fifties, and there were a LOT of gray hairs to cover.  My beauty operator first did a base color, and then she blended it with the rest of my long hair.  It took HOURS, and it was a $$$$ Beverly Hills Salon!  So, I visited the hair coloring aisle at my local Rite Aid store, and I quickly became a L'Oreal Girl. 

I know I saved hundreds of dollars over several years, and many hours of personal time.  And, the results weren't too bad.  I did sometimes consider letting my hair go natural, but my two kids, adopted from birth in my 40's, were still in Middle School!  I just couldn't do it--yet.  Once a month, I'd pick a Saturday or Sunday morning, and go through my ritual of mixing two different hair colors together, apply the dye, let it sit on my hair while I did other activities around the house and then rinse it all out.  This went on for nearly 5 years, as my kids grew up.  Each month, however, it seemed as if the dye worked less well, and there were STILL lots of gray hairs immediately AFTER I'd only just applied the dye!  It also seemed I was losing a LOT of hair each time I combed it out after dyeing, so there were always flyaway short hairs growing back in, which didn't really match my long hair look.  Very frustrating, but at least I was a blonde, so the gray didn't show too badly....TBC