Thursday, May 23, 2013

“Daring Changes”

          A few years ago, I decided to go back to my “roots” by cutting all of the color out of my hair and resisting the urge to cover the gray. I wanted to see just how silver or white my tresses had become after I hit fifty.
          I thought my silver/brown looked fine until I caught a good look at it in several different pictures. When several friends suggested I add a little color to my hair, I took their advice to heart.
          Remembering the guideline of coloring your hair to a lighter shade as you age, I experimented with various shades of light brown, ashes, and champagnes until I finally settled on something that drew more compliments than criticism.
          And I slipped into a comfort zone fairly rapidly, settling into changing my hair style instead of my color. I clipped my long hair into short layers, and I’ve slowly progressed to bangs and one layer over the last couple of years.
          Some nights, I believe my hair grows an inch. My color, presentable one day, turns into a mess of grayish-brown roots so suddenly that I never have my brand of color handy. Usually, I browse through the hair aisle on my own, but the other day my son accompanied me to the store.
          “It’s time for you to try a new color, Mom,” he dared.
          I stood looking at the wall of smiling models with a rainbow assortment of choices. We ruled out the pink and purple, shied away from the greens, and barely glanced at the dark blacks.
          The reds, though, drew my son’s attention. “You’ve never colored your hair red.”
          “It has so many red highlights in it already, I’ve always been afraid to go with red,” I explained.
          Before I knew it, I held a couple of auburn shades in my hand.
          “Go for it, Mom!”
          I didn’t need much encouragement.

          Sometimes, we get into ruts. We put ourselves into predictable boxes. We follow our set patterns. We bore even ourselves.

          So, I put a totally different color into the grocery cart, went home, and became a redhead within an hour.

          The color screamed, “RED!”

          I glanced into the mirror several times and wondered what David would say when he came home from work.

          “You look like my grandmother,” he piped when he took in my new shade.
          Now, no woman wants to hear that she looks like her husband’s grandmother!
          I immediately realized, though, that it the tint did closely match the shade of red that Grandmother had used.

          Deciding to “tone it down” a notch, I rushed back to the store, selected a shade of brown that I could apply, and created a totally different hue that’s uniquely my own.

          I don’t know how long I will stay with this latest tone, but I love that I can still take on a dare and not be afraid of changes.


Copyright 2013 Elizabeth Abrams Chapman



  1. Love this post!
    I haven't seen my natural hair color in a couple of decades. I'm not even sure what it is. Probably a mousy grayish blah brown.
    I was several different types of blond in my 30s and 40s.

    I've been going darker the last few years though. I'm at a reddish brown with highlights now. (Loreal Experte #63 -Brioche) I get a lot of compliments on it, but I've been considering going a little redder this summer. I really like your color. It makes your eyes pop and sparkle.

    I *really* wish I had an all over natural silver gray like Jamie Lee Curtis. She is gorgeous, but that's not in my genes.

    You look fabulous.

    1. Mary,

      I used to color my hair something different whenever I got the urge to cut it. I guess I'd want something new or different. Color, at least, isn't as drastic as a bad cut!