At the young and tender age of 27 (all of 3 years ago) I wrote my feelings about going gray vs. coloring my hair, and I decided to cover up my gray. I wasn’t sure at the time that’s what I wanted to do, but I also felt too young to be noticeably gray.
I still feel too young to be noticeably gray, but I can’t change the aging process or when it happens to me. Ideally, my hair just wouldn’t be turning gray yet.
All the questions I had about coloring I still have — do you stop, when do you stop, etc. But now it’s complicated with something I learned: continually coloring your hair damages it. Initially, the coloring chemicals condition your hair. This is due to all the conditioners added to the chemicals to balance out the damage being done. I loved how my hair felt the first few days and weeks after it was colored. But over time, your hair follicles get weary of the process, and the result is a tangled mess of difficult-to-manage hair.
I had about 5 inches of damaged, difficult-to-manage hair cut off a few months ago when I decided to stop coloring for a while and see what happens. The hair just stopped cooperating. It wouldn’t lay straight; it wouldn’t curl. It had had enough. I suspect I’m due to lose a few more inches here soon as my current ends are starting to act the same way.
While I’m still troubled by going gray — it’s just too soon — I’m even more troubled by the regular (and expensive) salon visits and the damaged hair. There’s no easy solution. For now, I’ve stopped. Is it a permanent change? I dunno. I’m gonna give it a little more time and see. What do you think? Should I embrace the gray or cover it up?