Going Grey

Mom doesn’t like my grey hair. Thinks it makes me look old.

My husband loves it. Thinks it makes me look distinguished.

A childhood friend at a funeral the other day wanted to know why I didn’t dye it. She dyes hers.

Rachel, our youngest daughter likes to run her fingers through my hair. She says it’s softer now then it was when I colored it.

Only my hairdresser knows for sure…she likes it after the summer has lightened it and feels it loses its umph at the end of a long cold winter.

In some countries only widows let their hair go au natural. Maybe it’s a sign of resignation or sexlessness or wisdom, perhaps availability.

There’s a woman who attends a yoga class I go to. She’s around 80 and she regularly puts a streak of pink or blue in her otherwise white mane. I guess she’s making a statement.

I haven’t thought about my decision to “go grey” but, so many people comment on it that I thought I would too.

I stopped going to a colorist about three years ago. The process was expensive, time consuming and despite the claims of “natural dye” left me feeling as if I had a chemical helmet on.

Not a particularly interesting tale.

But something about my hair is polarizing. It tells me more about commentators than it does about myself.

Do men get these comments about their hair color?

I take a sideway glance in a mirror as I go by. A flash of silver and a wry smile.

I’ll keep the grey for today but you never know what tomorrow will bring. Maybe I’ll go blond or back to brown or maybe I’ll show my wild side with a streak of purple.

It’s nice to know that whatever I do I’m at an age where I’ll do it for myself. No matter what anyone says.

–Brette Popper



  1. My wife has streaks of grey in her dark hair too and wants to color it. I think it looks great. I like contrasts in pretty much all things. My own would have to get black….

  2. Paula Liberis · · Reply

    Fantastic! I love your hair Brette, it’s sparkling sliver and never grey. I have observed my own silver threads slowly encroaching and I got highlights for a while to blend them in, cover them up.
    But now I feel as though I’ve earned them, like life has blessed me with time, experience, teachings and the ability to work, think, love and forgive and that has given me some silvery grey in my timeline as a reminder. I’m ok with them, my husband loves them and I hope one day my daughter too will run her fingers through my hair remarking on its softness. If by then it’s snowy white I’ll be glad to have let it go grey teaching her, loving her and watching her grow up.

  3. i love this! i went au natural after almost 30 years of coloring and i could not be happier. i feel free and real and proud. and i get a lot of comments from people and it is so interesting to hear their take. but i know how old i am and it doesn’t matter to me what they think anyway! i even inspired my mother to stop coloring her hair. i say stick with a great hair cut and go for it! the gray revolution is here!

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