Sunday, April 24, 2005

More pepper, less salt 

I wish that I could tell you that, my life having been less stressful for the past few months, my hair had regained most of its original pigmentation all on its own. Sadly, it doesn't seem to work that way. I had my hair colored yesterday. I had been thinking about it since this photo was taken in August. When my husband told me a couple of months ago that the particular mix of salt and pepper in my hair was the same as in his mother's hair right before she died, I knew that it was time. Really, what wife wants to remind her husband of his mother?

My first white hairs appeared when I was in my late teens. Early graying is part of my genetic inheritance from my father, which also includes good teeth, great eyesight, strong spatial abilities and a sweet tooth. (I think that my tendency to be opinionated is nurture rather than nature, but it could be either one... and could easily have come from either side of my family). I am thankful that the 'X' chromosome my father also gave me saved me from male pattern balding.

I chose not to get rid of all of my gray because these silvery strands are part of who I am. I just didn't want them to be quite so much of who I am. My hair now is mostly dark, shot through with the silver strands that were left uncolored. In the places where my hair had the most gray, my stylist Ricardo left sections of hair uncolored, creating a couple of strong silver streaks. The streaks don't show up well in this photo (a fine example of the self-portrait, no?), but they are definitely there. Ricardo did such a fine job of making the effect look natural that two friends whom I've seen today did not notice until I mentioned it. My husband Paul, on the other hand, thinks the difference is noticeable, and likes it very much indeed... and so do I.