Archived Story

Gonna wash that gray right outta my hair

Published 11:10am Monday, March 18, 2013

Column: Something About Nothing, by Julie Seedorf

I used to have snow white blonde hair. Of course that was when I was a youngster. The more my years creep up in age, the more my hair started getting a little darker until it was a darker blonde. This didn’t upset me.

I tried coloring my hair a couple of times. One of those times I became a redhead. I liked my red hair, but I didn’t like always having to touch up the roots or the fade. I love pink but not the pink my hair faded to when it needed to be colored again. It I got a huge reaction when I showed my face in public with red hair. My friends had never seen my hair color anything but blonde.

After the first time I colored my hair, which was the red experiment, I tried it coloring my hair again a few years later and lightened up my darker blonde hair but again it was too much trouble to keep it up. I am a blow-and-go-hair girl.

However, the last few months must have been tough on me because I have seen the gray hairs popping up all over my head. It doesn’t bother me that I am getting gray hair; I have earned them. Thanks, kids. What bothers me is the way they are popping up. There is no rhyme or reason, and I have gray streaks in my bangs, gray streaks in other places that don’t highlight but make it look weird.

I contemplated my choices; stay the way it is, go completely gray early or dye it whatever color I wanted. I decided to ask my 10-year-old granddaughter to help me choose a color. My 7-year-old grandson wanted me to try pink or purple. I think that would be kind of fun, but I am not sure my church-going friends would let me into church with pink hair.

Maybe I should have tried it to see what happened. Would people treat me differently? Would my sanity be questioned if I showed up with pink or purple hair at my age? That would be an interesting experiment at some point down the road. Remember, hot pink is my favorite color.

We compared the pictures on the boxes to my hair color to see what it would look like and we picked a lighter blonde. It should have lightened my hair a tad and covered the gray. I also chose a product that had no harsh ammonia. It actually smelled nice. I thought it might be safer.

It was hair coloring time. We opened the box and the instructions told you to put on the black gloves and make sure the solution didn’t touch your hands. Wait a minute, didn’t this solution have to touch my head? What would it do to my hands that it wouldn’t do to my head? Probably color them. Have you ever seen blonde hands before?

We threw the mixture together. Again the instructions told you to be careful after you were done because saving the mixture could result in an explosion. Did I really want to use this on my head?

We got it on, made sure my roots were covered and giggled as I sat there for 30 minutes before I had to rinse. After 30 minutes I rinsed my hair and followed the directions and fixed my hair as usual. When I came out of the bathroom, my husband made the note that maybe I wasted my money because my hair wasn’t any different color than it was before. He was right. It was no lighter; it was no darker. It was the same darker blonde that I had been before. His next comment was that I wasted my $8. What could I expect for $8?

I pointed out that there was one difference. The gray was now covered. I must admit I was disappointed that I wasn’t I little blonder. I like being a blonde. It has opened many friendships and many fun jokes and many excuses when I didn’t want to do something or I forgot to do something. Maybe next time I will go for the red or pink.

Kelly Obourne decided to dye her hair gray at her young age for fun. I could try fuchsia at my old age for fun and promote my book, “Fuchsia, Minnesota,” at the same time.

My experiment with dying my hair mimics life. We have all these gray areas or roots in our lives that we keep putting patches on and trying to cover up. We do it because we don’t want to face those gray areas or we don’t want others to know about them because we might become outcasts if people knew about those gray areas. Those gray areas are our flaws, and we try and compensate any way we can.

Occasionally those coverups work, and we can keep those gray areas hidden for a long time. Eventually we have to accept that those flaws are a part of us, and it’s OK to be a flawed person. It takes a lot of time and energy to keep things hidden and eventually it will wear us out.

I can only cover my gray hair for a time. I don’t have the patience for keeping up with the color or the roots growing out. I might do it for awhile and have fun with it but I expect at some point I will accept the gray in my hair along with the gray areas in my life. I’ve earned all of them.

“Gray hair is God’s graffiti.” — Bill Cosby
Wells resident Julie Seedorf’s column appears every Monday. Send email to her at