Whether you’re tired of dishing out the money for hair color, or wasting time in the hair salon, there are many reasons why women are choosing to go “au natural” before their mothers did. I made the decision earlier this year, and now wonder why I waited so long. Here’s my advice if you’re ready to embrace the inevitable:
1. Set a date. You’ll be wearing a lot of scarves and ball caps during your transition, so if you have an important date on the horizon – a wedding, a ceremony, an interview – for which you’ll want to look your best, vow you’ll begin growing out your silver roots the day after. Then stick to it.
2. Consult your stylist. You’ll need encouragement, and a few transitional haircuts. If your stylist isn’t 100 percent on board, find one who is.
3. Camouflage. Unless you want to start with a shaved head – which I wouldn’t advise – you’ll need an arsenal of camouflage techniques. As my silver roots first began showing, I used Rita Hazan’s root concealer along my part. When that swatch of grey became too wide to cover, I switched to buffs. I cut them in half and wore them as headbands, always wearing full make-up and earrings. This worked well even for formal events. Ball caps came in handy for weekend jaunts to the grocery store.
4. Dangle a carrot. My motivation for continuing on – and you will need motivation – was a full makeup make-over at a cosmetics counter once my transition was complete. I knew my coloring would change once I went silver, and my current make up would need tweaking. During the transition, I had fun visiting different cosmetics counters, which helped me decide with whom to book my make-over.
5. Research. A short hair cut is inevitable. It may only be temporary, but research which styles will look best on your face shape. This way, you can make an informed, intelligent decision about your final cut instead of relying on only your stylist’s suggestions.
6. Practice Patience. The transition to dye-free hair will take six to eight months from your last color job. There will be days when you’re tempted to scrap the whole idea, but press on. Think about all of the time and money you’re saving. Remember that Dame Judith Dench, Helen Mirren and Jamie Lee Curtis rock their silver locks, and so will you!
While supportive, I could tell my twenty-something stylist was skeptical about my decision to go silver. Today, she’s proud of the transition she has helped me achieve. Maybe this has changed her ideas about growing older and embracing the natural changes that occur with time.
And that’s part of our journey, isn’t it, setting the example, lighting the path, for the young women who follow us?