Gray is not my friend. I come home from the salon with a new head of color, and three days later those merciless grays start sneaking back. OK. Two to three weeks is a more honest estimate, but it feels like three days.
Those pompous unwanted grey strands smile when they see me see them. I know they do.
I hear them taunting me: “We’re back. You can’t beat us!”
I am beginning to feel like they are right. And I’m growing weary of keeping up my side of the battle. If I knew that my natural gray color would be as shimmery silver as my mother’s, I’d give up the ship, throw in the towel, raise the (literal) white flag.
I would. But my friend Nancy won’t let me. Nancy says, “When we stop coloring our hair, we are giving in.”
Giving in is different than giving up. Giving in is, in Nancy’s mind, saying goodbye to any hold we have on the youth that remains.
Going to my hairdresser for color treatment every three weeks is out of the question. I don’t have the time. It’s a two-hour commitment. I don’t want to spend the money. Holding onto youth is expensive.
I said to myself, “Self, I can take care of the gray on my own—between hair appointments.”
When a girl needs to talk hair, she gets in touch with someone who knows hair. I called Gail. Gail, a former stylist, is my sister-in-law.
Not only did she recommend a brand of box color, she knew my shade. Gail even took the time to explain the steps and offer a few hints. No sooner had we said our goodbyes than a DIY hair color video dropped into my messages—from my ever-helpful sis-in-law.
I bought the box of hair color that day. It sat on my bathroom counter for three weeks. Every time those nasty grays started smiling, I pointed to the box and said, “I’ve got you just where I want you.”
Color day arrived, and I lost my nerve. I make a mess out of painting a blank wall with a paintbrush. What part of me ever thought I could possibly apply color to multiple miniature parts in my hairline.
In an immediate answer to a prayer, the solution to my dilemma walked into the room. My husband is very good at painting walls. He’s an expert with a paintbrush.
Gary colored my hair that day—a first for us. It was a bonding experience in a comical kind of way. After, he even said, “We’ll get better every time we color it.”
How did I talk my husband into coloring my hair?
I could say that his generosity came straight from The Five Languages of Love, a popular book about relationships by Gary Chapman. In coloring my hair, my husband exercised all five languages.
He did something for me that he knew I would like (act of service). He gave me the gift of his time (gifts). He also gave me his undivided attention (quality time).
While coloring my gray roots, my husband talked and laughed with me (words of affirmation). And he touched my head—a lot (physical touch).
Yes, I could say that my husband’s unselfish act came from that great little book about love, but I won’t. Gary has yet to read The Five Languages of Love.
How did I talk my husband into coloring my hair? Oh, that was easy. I picked up my store-bought box of color and held it up.
“See this?” I said. “This $8 box can save us over $100 if you will help me use it to color my hair.”
Without hesitation, Gary said, “Just tell me what to do.”
writer, blogger, columnist