By Suzanne Sparrow Watson

Bob, me and brother Jack

My brothers and I have been fortunate in many ways, not the least is we have never harbored any jealousy of one another.  We have always supported one another’s accomplishments and offered support during rough patches.  But I have to admit, I have always been a bit envious of their beautiful hair.  Both of my brothers have shiny, thick, silver hair that requires little effort and provides them with a distinguished look.  On the other hand, I’ve been covering up my grey hair every 5-6 weeks since my late-30’s.  I discovered that I’m not unusual: 75% of women in the U.S. color their hair.

Part of the reason so many women choose to cover the gray is due to our cultural bias that gray hair is aging.  While studies show that men are perceived as more distinguished with gray hair (it is called the “George Clooney effect), women with gray hair are perceived to be old, dowdy and uncaring about their looks.  There is even a phrase for women who let their hair go gray:  Gray hair, don’t care.  I’m calling baloney on that.  Maybe we’re just tired of all the upkeep and expense.  I hate to think about the money I’ve spent on hair color over the years.  I’ve ranged from golden blonde to light brown to auburn but regardless of color, I’ve been a slave to the gray.

But something changed earlier this year; I began to re-think coloring my hair.  After all, I’m 70 – who am I trying to kid by not having a gray hair on my head?  One would only need to look at my crepey arms or wrinkled neck to know that I’m way past the point of being carded at the liquor store.  During the 2020 lockdown it was all the rage to transition to gray hair because the salons were closed.  Of course I didn’t do it then, when I wasn’t going anywhere or seeing anyone.  That would have made too much sense.  Instead, I donned my hazmat suit and kept every salon appointment all year long.  But earlier this year I decided enough was enough and vowed to join my brothers in the Sparrow silver hair.   I had silver-blonde streaks put in to help with the transition.  I have a visions of looking like this:







But I will probably end up looking like this:











Turns out that I have very slow-growing hair.  It sure didn’t seem that way when I was traipsing to the salon every six weeks.  It will probably take the better part of a year for the silver to grow all the way out.  Oh well, I’m almost past the point of caring.  The gray hair I worry about these days is on Dash the Wonder Dog.  When I look at his sweet face I see all the gray hair around his eyes.  It’s a horrible reminder that he is getting older and won’t always be with me.  Now THAT is gray hair to worry about.  So I’m going to spend my time thinking less about what color my hair is and more time sitting next to my best pal, who loves me no matter what color is on top of my head.  We’ve made a pact that we’re going gray together.








13 comments on “70 SHADES OF GREY

  1. As I battle Stage IV cancer, hair sounds wonderful of any color. It’s the least of my thoughts these days. Cut it short and buy a gray synthetic wig. It will make the transition so much faster and fun. They are very inexpensive these days. You will embrace the freedom. Good for you and healthier too.

  2. You look fabulous, no matter your hair color! I’m with you in spirit…just v
    Can’t seem to do it yet, myself❣️

  3. I have to say I am in the 25% who have no gray hair! At almost 72 I guess I should count my lucky stars!
    All I need are a few highlights. But I do have sympathy for you! My hair may not have any gray but it’s stick straight and baby fine. 🤦🏻‍♀️🤷🏻‍♀️
    I’m sure you will be as lovely as always with gray hair! ❣️
    Thanks for your post!

  4. Holy crap, you’re 70 – little Suzie Sparrow’s 70, man that means I’m OLD – the little girl mom use to ‘baby sit’ is a WOMAN!

    As for the gray hair thing (1) we couldn’t understand why dad had dark brown hair when he passed, that’s when Mal’s wife Irene found a case plus of men’s hair dye in the closet (dad wasn’t gray but I was at 48 (2) my 77 y/o wife does not dye her hair and it’s still a dark brown – the luck of the Irish I guess.

    • That’s so funny about your dad. Never would have guessed that about him! We’re all getting older, John, it’s just all about the attitude!

  5. So sweet. You and Dash!!
    Amazing all the mantra’s that keep us from being free
    I think grey will be very vogue!!

    Love your writing and your subjects. You can make anything glamours!!

  6. Thx for this, Suzanne! I’m almost there!
    I bet you’ll look much closer to the first photograph-
    never the second!
    Hugs to Dash!💛

    • I think it’s a looooong process, Janet! Who knows? I may end up dying it back after all this! Hope you’re enjoying this heat – I know you love it!

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