Recently, I had a lovely luncheon with girlfriends at David’s Chophouse. We celebrated a bit of Christmas together over fancy food and sips of champagne.
During conversation, one friend asked if any of us would ever consider coloring our own hair. As opposed to having it professionally done. The response was a mix of thoughtful but silent pondering. My incredulously furrowed brow must have given me away.
“I assume your answer is no,” she said.
That’s correct. My answer is no. But let me say this; even though I may sip champagne over lunch at Christmastime, I’m no highbrow type of chick.
I mostly shop at Marshall’s and Target if I shop at all. I’ve never owned a new car, I don’t belong to a gym, I don’t have cable television and I pluck my own eyebrows.
But when it comes to my hair, I’m reminded of what my cousin once told me. She’s a hairdresser and is wise about such things. She said, “It’s your head! Everybody sees your head all of the time. You can’t chintz when it comes to your hair.”
If you must, chintz on things people don’t see. Maybe buy your underwear and pajamas at Walmart instead of Victoria’s Secret. Or skip pedicures in the wintertime when you’re knee-deep in Ugg boots.
I believe my cousin is correct. I’ve seen plenty of do-it-yourself dye jobs. And often, they’re not pretty, believable or subtle.
So the next question is, when is it OK to cash in your color and go grey?
But maybe subtly isn’t what you’re after. Maybe you prefer an ombre appearance (which seems like it could be done for free by just letting your roots grow out) or a jello rinse. You can pull these looks off at home well enough. Root touch-ups are another acceptable at-home procedure.
Otherwise, stick with the professionals. I’ve been having layers of two-toned highlights done by Ann Nelson at Hairitage ‘Hous for nearly 10 years. She’s great. Look her up.
So the next question is, when is it OK to cash in your color and go grey? This is obviously a matter of personal preference, but is it one driven solely by cost? Or vanity? And if it’s vanity, then how far do we take it when we’re talking about the head that everyone sees?
How much does it make sense to spend on creams and concoctions to diminish those fine lines and wrinkles? And do we dare go so far as to have toxins injected into our skin to fill or freeze those furrows?
My answer once again is “natural.” I pay a professional to color my hair because she can make it look more natural than I could.
The time to go grey is probably when hair color verges on looking more ridiculous than glamorous. And as far as those crazy injectables go, what may look good in a magazine doesn’t seem natural in person. It’s off-putting and strange like a "real" housewife that sips champagne more often than Christmastime.
Plus, how would anyone know how much I disapprove of something if I can’t wrinkle up my face in suspicion, disgust or incredulity? Hair color, yes. Botox, no.