Grey Hair and Dyes – Not ready to curl up and die, just yet

Grey hair and Dyes

I have dyed my hair for over two decades and have very little idea what colour my hair is naturally. For argument’s sake, we will say it’s a mousy blonde, hence the years of dying it. However, grey hair comes to us all, eventually.

Right now I am considering another drastic change in hue, and while contemplating my new shade, I have allowed my roots to make a solid appearance. I’m not happy. There is now a full-scale invasion of white strands marching along my parting and a touch of guerrilla warfare, giving me the ‘distinguished gentleman’ look, at my temples.

Rage, rage against the dying of the grey…hair

I’m terrified. I’m only in my early thirties, not yet a mother, and only married for three years. The steady invasion of white says only one thing to me, and that is OLD. I’m not old; intellectually I know this, but the fizzle of fear I get on seeing these streaks of silver reminds me that life is not eternal and we have but a short time on earth to achieve our potential.

I will admit to a small amount of vanity, I have no problem with a full head of silver or white hair, but the slow change from colour through the ‘salt & pepper’ stage makes me think of slow decay.

Until I can rock a full head of silver tresses, I shall continue to colour my locks in whichever shade takes my fancy, to Hell with acceptance of the ageing processes (and its inevitable grey hair invasion). If a head of black streaked with pink and blue makes me feel youthful and vital, I shall keep it.

My new mantra for the coming years; “Aging is a fact, growing old is a mentality”.


Four and half years later, still dying my hair and I’m on the cusp of undergoing another drastic change. The steady march of the grey hair has been relentless and has increased in speed. It got so much worse after the birth of my son.

Now I am galloping towards the forty years milestone with an uneven display of advancing decrepitude in the form of iron grey wire wool sprouting from my scalp (why is grey hair so wiry and unmanageable?). The decision has been made – gone are the burgundy locks. We’re in the process of welcoming an ashy blonde (the hope is to try and blend the encroaching grey into the blonde), via interestingly vivid orange/blonde tiger stripes.

Strangely enough, I love the weird orange-blonde combination, but I couldn’t replicate the effect if I tried. Serendipity* is one of my favourite words, and I think it encapsulates my feelings toward my transition phase.

I like the list of advisory steps in LiveAbout. I concur with the semipermanent colour – don’t do it, it’s a waste of money and time, spent trying not to get dye all over inconvenient places in your house.

Personal tips for dying hair at home

  • Cut a neck hole and two arm holes out of the bottom of a large rubbish bag, protecting clothes from dye stains or bleaching.
  • Use cotton wool roll and moisturiser to get any stray skin stains
  • Stick a large plastic bag on your head (not tight, very loose) to prevent and stray splashes onto vulnerable surfaces (I have previously scrubbed a HOLE in a rug trying to get dark red dye out of the pile, technically it worked, no stain, just HOLE)

These tips work for me now, because I am a mum who works full time, but previously I would have only advised;

  • Get a book
  • Go to the bathroom
  • Strip
  • Apply hair dye
  • Sit in the bath until your time is up
  • Rinse, wash, and apply household bleach to any surfaces that were caught in the crossfire.


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