A Luscious Shade of Young

the old gray mare, hair color“I luuuv your hair,” my daughter’s friend says to me. “You’re so lucky to have so much of it. And the color and natural highlights! Just luscious.”

Luscious? First of all, who calls an over-50-year-old’s hair, luscious? Only another woman, of course, and at 30-something, a rather naïve woman.

(I note, by the way, that her hair is teenage blonde, straight and long, pulled into a perky ponytail as she shuttles her kids form soccer to ballet to gymnastics.)blonde and perky, blonde ponytail

But I digress.

Nothing wrong with blonde and perky. Obviously, I’m a bit jealous of blonde and perky who thinks that her hair will always be luscious with natural highlights.

I have not had a natural highlight since I was 43, and before that, honestly, I only had dullish brown hair.

But as the gray tried to sprinkle into my scalp like salt into pepper, or like snow onto a beautiful acre of green grass, I began to “highlight” my way into a luscious shade of young.

By 50, I had to skip highlighting and go to the extreme, all-out coloring.

Eek! I cringe, as each six-week appointment with the hairdresser approaches. When I pull my “natural” auburn hair straight up from my scalp and detect roots of gray and white, I just shirk into silence.

Just as my children used to sing to me every birthday when they (and I) were younger, I have now become “the old gray mare.”

Or, I would be, if not for my luscious natural highlights.

 

Thanks to Google for images and video.

83 thoughts on “A Luscious Shade of Young

  1. Ha Ha! I know this feeling well. I have a small patch of grey at the very front of my hair that is not intimidated by hair dye at all, and manages to only be temporarily muted! I quite like it now though! 🙂

  2. Funny how we tend to take our youthful hair so much for granted. Love that well chosen word ‘luscious.’ I hope she who uttered it goes on to receive great compliments in a few decades time.

    • As Mark Twain once said, ‘The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.’ I shall always be happy for the young woman’s use of the word ‘luscious.’ 🙂

  3. You do have GREAT hair, Pam! The hair stylist who adds my luscious, youthful blonde highlights calls the 1″ wide strip all around my face as the area “lacking pigment!” Bless her sweet, young heart, but I told her it’s ok to say gray….

  4. This post made me chuckle, Pam. It seems we are never satisfied with what we have. I grew up surrounded by older female relatives with gorgeous gray and/or white hair. So, believe it or not, I’ve been looking forward to looking like a wise old crone. Whenever my husband’s aunt is asked why she doesn’t color her hair she responds with, “Why should I? I’ve earned every one of these gray hairs!” I’ve been dying to use that line! But, alas, here I am at 58, with but a few gray hairs. Not noticeable enough for anyone to make any comments yet…

    • I’m trying to feel sorry for you…I really am. Tsk Tsk, your hair is not turning gray. 🙂
      However, I envy your aunts who caused such respect from you. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we all aspired to be ‘wise old crones’…???

  5. “The Old Gray Mare” really gave me a flashback to my mom … that was something she used to say when she looked in the mirror.

    I fought my gray hair for years until I decided to try and embrace a more ‘natural’ me. For 2 years I sported a gray top and finally a few months ago decided I didn’t like the ‘natural’ me.

    Now I work with ‘low highlights’ to infuse some of my natural brunette back into my hair to soften the gray. It’s a compromise.

    … but ‘luscious’? No one has EVER suggested that word about my hair. I feel a twinge of jealousy 😉

    • I like how our hairstylists use such tender words like ‘low highlights.’ In some ways, that makes it seems like they’re saying, really, you don’t need HIGH, just a bit of low level to perk your hair up. Ha ha.

      We have similar memories. My dad used to sing ‘The Old Gray Mare’ to my mom when I was a young child and didn’t understand why she’d frown while he sang. When I turned 30, my college roommie paid a singing trio to ring my doorbell and sing the song. I took it to heart. 30! So old! I suppose it’s become a song sung with love and humor.

  6. Being a natural blonde my grey strands aren’t as noticeable. However I do highlight my hair every three or four months. I can still hear my mother saying to me that she will NEVER go grey! Acceptance of aging is not always the easiest thing to do. But what are the alternatives??

  7. Your daughter’s friend sounds like a sweetheart! Something I fight with, Pam. I’m always complaining to my hairdresser that my hair isn’t shiny or ‘luscious’ and she informs me, every time, it’s due to gray hair. The little gray I have is clustered in one spot near my forehead. I’m lazy and only color my hair, at home, about twice a year. But, I decided to treat myself and have an appointment with my hairdresser to color it. I don’t want too many highlights or lowlights (not even sure what they’re called) because I know I won’t keep it up.

    • It’s surely a dilemma we women have to face. Gray hair is coarser and aging, but staring a color or high/low lighting routine is tedious and expensive. My rationale? Coloring now creates softer and easier-to-handle hair, and conditions it beautifully. Voila. Decision made for the ‘health’ of my hair. 😉

    • I am envious of the women who are brave enough to go ‘au natural,’ particularly if their natural is that gorgeous shade of silver. However, just to be a bit realistic, a lot of women get help, achieving that slivery white tone…!

    • As far as I can tell, you are one of those lucky ones with beautiful white hair. You could even get away with saying, ‘my natural shade is brunette, but I love how this color complements my skin color.’
      🙂

  8. I will be blond til the day I dye! HA HA! I am “naturally” gray and white headed. I have some mousy brownish color underneath the back of my head but no one will ever see it. I have a wonderful hair dresser who colors my hair every 5 weeks because it grows so fast. Since I am blond, it covers the very white hair that shows at the roots when it starts to grow out. I also highlight my hair. It’s the same beautiful “luscious” color I was in high school and so it shall remain as long as it comes in a bottle! LOL! 😉

  9. Nothing wrong with highlighting, colouring or enhancing your hair. If it makes you look and feel younger, great! I am finding my hair grows faster here in Spain so I have to do the roots more often. I never liked the colour of my hair so have been enhancing for years and will continue to do so now that that nasty grey is taking over. A lovely complement, Luscious!! ❤

    • Well, you have just given me another reason why you love living in Spain. The climate and environment are obviously sublime, to make your hair (and probably nails) grow longer faster. What a life you live! It’s worth a few more visits to the beauty salon.

  10. You do have great hair, Pam! My youthful natural blonde didn’t last far into my adulthood. While working, I did the expensive salon highlighting and, after retiring, I started coloring at home and getting cheap cuts :). But last summer, I decided my thinning hair needed better care and found a fabulous, albeit expensive, master. You know what? She’s worth it! At this age we need to be kinder to ourselves, right? Right!

  11. I’m smiling in remembrance of a few years ago when a girl my daughter’s age (then in her twenties) came up to tell me how beautiful my hair was and how glad she was I was keeping it natural. I confess that I just thanked her and didn’t mention my highlights and low lights. Mother Nature is not always kind to women’s appearances as we age. What I have done at the hairdressers has nothing to do with trying to look younger than my 65 years. But I sure want to look the best darned 65 I can!

    • Oh my gosh, thanks for the laugh late at night as I read your comment. Why oh why does hair get thinner on the top of our head and decide to land on the end of the face, at the chin??? Sometimes Mother Nature’s sense of humor goes haywire…

  12. Finally, this year,I let my hair be the color it wants to be. It turns out it is a lovely shade of white. I had jet black hair when I was young. This has been a large step of acceptance for me and I’m still dealing with it. But recently I overheard a woman at a table near me say to her husband, “I like her hair. It is beautiful. Mine is just mousey.” I looked and she was speaking of me.
    That helped.And my friends say they like it better, but, I don’t trust them.

    • Ohhhhh, to hear a compliment whispered and not meant for our ears, yet reaching us nonetheless with graceful loveliness. That is the BEST compliment to get. And what a wonderful way to boost up the esteem and realize, ‘hey, I’m lookin’ good.’

  13. I colored my hair a few times when I was young (and dumb) and then thought “I can’t be bothered with this every 4 weeks…what a pain.” So I am natural brown with gray highlights. And I deserve every one of those gray highlights. I earned them.

  14. Whatever you do to your hair to make you feel good and make the hair good too, why shouldn’t it be luscious? Some women are just naturally youthful and believe me your pic makes denial about being 50 very easy.
    Enjoy the compliments of the young,they may be hoping to look half as good when thjey’re older.
    xxx Massive Hugs xxx

  15. OMG! I laughed out loud reading your post this morning. I just turned 62; Yikes! Did I just admit my age on a public forum? Anyway – I feel your pain. Right now, it’s every six weeks but at the rate my grey hairs are multiplying, it may become weekly! My husband tells me often, “Honey, let it go grey.”
    “Over my dead body.” Am not one of those women, growing old gracefully.

  16. Great hair is something to be proud of. Be thankful. I get mine colored every six weeks also. I do not look good with gray hair and keep a simple cut of a long “Dorothy Hamill” which is easy to keep.

  17. Why is it that so many men really do look good with gray hair, but it’s so much harder for women to pull off?! I honestly believe there’s more than cultural biases at play with this. I’m just thankful I’ve found a shade at my salon that closely matches my younger natural auburn!

  18. Oh goodness woman! As someone who has been going grey since I was 18 and would now be completely white were it not for the joys of L’Oreal, I am staying far far away from the Old Grey Mare thoughts. Plus Blonde Ponytail Thirty-Something will realize rather quickly that the grey isn’t simply confined to the grey on our heads…if you know what I mean ~wink wink~ …I’m just out and about travelling the bloggosphere enjoying the lives of so many terrific writers. I’m so grateful when people share their stories. It makes humanity seem a little more human. Thank you 🙂

    • Blogging has this wonderful extra benefit – yes, it’s great to share our writing and our lives. But connecting with so many people throughout the universe in these fun and giving ways, commenting and visiting each other virtually – wow. As you say, it shows all the GREAT humans out there.

  19. I’m with you, my dear. I started getting grey hair in my thirties — good grief! I could get away with mere highlighting, but now, it’s a full color.

    On the flip side, my mother colored her hair all the way through into her eighties, which I never understood. I think accepting our age and what comes with it gives us more power over it. If we’re constantly denying it or trying to hold it off, it’s only going to be that much worse for us later.

    Now, being grey at 30 and 40, or even 50, doesn’t fly with me, but I feel that going grey, getting wrinkles, should eventually make us proud — proof that we’re living a nice long life.

    Until I get to that point though, I’m hitting the hair dye!

    • Hmmm, accepting our age. Maybe I’m with your mom. My ‘age’ won’t be ‘no longer young’ until I’m 80. But ask me if that’s still the case in a couple of decades – I may change that number to 90. 🙂 🙂

  20. My sister (who will turn 60 in March) has let her hair go gray, and she looks divine! For some reason, my hair has stayed natural honey blonde (lighter in the summer when the sun lightens it up even more). I just turned 58. Go figure. I’ve never colored my hair, and my eyebrows are so blonde that they are invisible! I say go with whatever Mother Nature intended, and you can’t go wrong. Celebrate the gray!

    • Welllll, it’s easy to say ‘go with what Mother Nature gives you’ – you still have natural gorgeous blonde tresses!! And your sister is one of those rare ones who light up with gray hair. For many, the gray dims their face. I must say, your eyes seem to be what light up your face. xo

  21. Pingback: Free For All Friday. | Edwina's Episodes

  22. Came over from Edwina’s Episodes. I used to have dark red hair, but it has lightened over the years into a creepy platinum blonde (so all those blonde jokes I told as a redhead have come to bite me in my butt). Tried to dye it, but something about red hair not accepting dyes has made all attempts quite futile. So I now look like the lead singer for Twisted Sister. Oh well.
    Love this post!!!!!

    • I’m so glad Edwina sent you on over here with me and all of us who are bemoaning our hair color. Ah, your dark red hair must have been gorgeous. My 30-year-old daughter has had strawberry blonde hair since she was 2 – I think I won’t tell her that when it comes time, she’ll not be able to reproduce that with hair dye. :-0

  23. I have been highlighting my hair my entire life to get the blonde that I felt I deserved. My natural color is what they called “dishwater blonde” in the sixties, or that’s what my sisters called it. Ironically, I have very little grey, but I am starting to warm up to the idea of it since it seems to be the “hot” haircolor now. I actually see teenagers that I teach in high school who have died their hair grey. Yasmenia Rossi has become my idol with her gorgeous gray hair. From what I can tell, you indeed have luscious highlights!

  24. I started dyeing my hair at age 29, due to something my brother said to me. While in line for an amusement ride, he could see about 20 grayish white hairs. I shuddered since I was a young mother, not expecting this. Not at this young age, Pam! My hair was a dark auburn where the light strands really stood out.
    I like how you started this and when I turned 50, my c o-workers, teachers at a special needs preschool wore black and sang this to me. Lol. Turning 60 makes me not worry, just another amazing decade. Smiles, Robin

  25. Pingback: Free For All Friday. - Edwina's Episodes

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