GRAND Magazine - July/August 2018 - 11

looking grand
Which brings us to the current
day. Laid off in my sixties, freelancing from home, I was no longer
commuting to a publishing job
in New York City. My wardrobe
consisted of yoga pants and tee
shirts. I didn't have to "present."
What was the point of getting hair
color? I kept postponing the day
of reckoning. First our daughter's
wedding. Then our son's wedding.
No more excuses. Let it go.
After five months of going natural, my hair was not turning out
to be lustrous silver or arctic white,
but rather a dull non-color. At a
gathering of old friends, a woman
I hadn't seen in a long time spied
me across the room and came
s
d
n
ie
fr
ith
w
over, concerned: "You're looking
on a camping trip
0s
'7
e
th
in
)
ft
(le
n
e
K
d
n
a
sb
very pale. Are you OK?" she asked.
Wendy and hu
I thought for a moment. "I feel
I was liberated from the weekly chore of wrapping. By then I had
fine, but I think it's my hair. I'm lettwo children and no time to get my hair done anyway.
ting it go gray." She quickly backtracked. "Oh, great! Good for you!"
The '90s: The kids were in school, and I was working full-time.
I had to admit that auburn hair had been the most colorful thing
The blow dryer cut the time I spent on my hair down to minutes a about my appearance. Was I fading along with my hair? Now that
day.
I was paler up top, would I need more blush, bright lipstick (I never
The Millennium turned and so did my hair color... the touchups wore any), clothes other than my customary gray, black, or beige?
began.
For the first time, I started noticing other people's hair color.
Millennials and teenagers were dyeing their hair all kinds of
crayon colors-from pink to purple to green. Most fascinating,
there was a trend toward young people coloring their hair gray-a
laborious process involving peroxide and toner. On Instagram
under the hashtag #GrannyHair, celebrities, models, and the stylish young were sporting at least 50 shades of gray hair, including gunmetal, silver-pink, lavender, platinum, and iceberg (with a

"

After five months of going natural,
my hair was not turning out to be
lustrous silver or arctic white, but
rather a dull non-color.

11 GRAND

MAY JUNE 2018

greenish undertone). At last count there were more than 200,000
posts at #GrannyHair. Commenting on the trend toward unlined
faces with gray hair, a UK newspaper commented: "Noticeably,
there's not an actual granny in sight."
I also took note of women my age and how they brightened
their gray hair. A woman with short white hair added thick vertical
purple stripes to her bangs. Friends were spicing up their gray
with strands of turquoise or hot pink. Some were even coloring
their medium-gray a brilliant white. Should I do likewise?

" "
Maybe I'll try again when
I'm pushing 80...

Then the absurdity struck me: If millions of people were dyeing
their hair all kinds of colors that nature hadn't given them, why
was I judging myself harshly just for trying to retain my natural shade? I really disliked the three inches of dull gray that had
emerged after five months. And just like that, my experiment was
over. I went back for color, and I'm happy to be auburn again-for
now. Maybe I'll try again when I'm pushing 80...
Our 6-year-old granddaughter is a redhead, and one of the
comments I love hearing is, "She looks just like you-she has your
hair color."
"Hers is real," I sometimes say. But I know it's a
bond we share. We are both
redheads at heart.
Originally published on Next
Avenue
Wendy Schuman is a freelance
writer in West Orange, NJ. She
is a former editor of Parents
Magazine and Beliefnet.com

Wendy with her gorgeous
red-haired granddaughter


https://www.twitter.com/grandMmagazine https://www.facebook.com/GRANDmagazine/ https://www.nextavenue.org/gray-hair-experiment/ https://www.nextavenue.org/gray-hair-experiment/ http://www.wendyschuman.com/ http://www.Beliefnet.com

GRAND Magazine - July/August 2018

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of GRAND Magazine - July/August 2018

Contents
GRAND Magazine - July/August 2018 - 1
GRAND Magazine - July/August 2018 - 2
GRAND Magazine - July/August 2018 - 3
GRAND Magazine - July/August 2018 - Contents
GRAND Magazine - July/August 2018 - 5
GRAND Magazine - July/August 2018 - 6
GRAND Magazine - July/August 2018 - 7
GRAND Magazine - July/August 2018 - 8
GRAND Magazine - July/August 2018 - 9
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