To go grey or not? That’s the question

May 12, 2020

go-greyEvery five weeks I’d sit in my colorist’s chair and ask “how much grey do I have now? Is it pure grey, silver or salt and pepper? Is it time to go gray?”

With only a quarter inch of growth, It was always hard for her to tell. After all, I’d had highlights and some base color for decades. But she’d pull back the hair on the back side of my head, where my natural color still mostly remained, and say, “Still a lot of dark brown!”

I’ve always looked longingly at friends with beautiful silver manes who still looked youthful (and sometimes actually still were). I wanted that look. But even as I approach 70 (in a bit over a year) it seemed like salt and pepper would be my fate.

I don’t like salt and pepper. I think it’s aging. More aging than beautiful silver locks.

“You could grow it out a while and see,” my colorist suggested. I considered it. “Not yet,” was my response. Every month. Even as I scrolled Instagram feeds called Grombre and Silver Liberation.

Now, though, it’s been several months since I’ve had color. My highlights and color –and roots—are growing out and I’m beginning to get a clearer picture of what lies beneath.

My temples are pretty silver and a pretty silver.  I have a silver or white streak on my left top side of my head.  There is enough white or silver to see that I am definitely going that way in patches. Patches. But the rest of it? Still largely brown with that salt and pepper look.

Every morning I examine my roots in the mirror and consider whether or not I want to let my color go au naturel. After all, in a crazy. moment a few years back I bought a really nice wig. I could wear it until my locks were all the same color(s). It’s an option.

As the roots grow out framing my face in silver, I don’t even recognize myself. This week, in particular, the contrast is stark. So I looked and looked. Parted my hair this way and that and looked some more. And finally, came to my conclusion:

I can’t wait to send the grey away. 

Not yet ready to let go of some semblance of my youth.  It’s not “go grey” it’s “no grey.”


15 comments on “To go grey or not? That’s the question
  1. Linda Hobden says:

    I was wondering the same thing the other day as my hair hasn’t been highlighted since last November! I’ve kept my fringe and side bits trimmed. I have found a couple of wisps of silver but my roots have come through my natural dark blonde/hazel colour – so not too bad, after all. In fact my hair has taken on a ombre tinge in reverse with lighter blonde ends. Not too horrendous under the circumstances. ?

  2. Ellen burgan says:

    I went “white” about 10 years ago while in my mid-forties. My red hair didn’t hold color, so I decided “what will be, will be.” My red hair faded and the whites are plentiful. People now think I’m blond! Interesting how everyone ages differently. Oh, and I like the salt and pepper look!

  3. Rachael stray says:

    I don’t have too many greys yet but I get them at my temple. It’s going to be a long time until I get back in the hairdressers seat so a box dye might have to come into play!

  4. LAURIE STONE says:

    I tried the same experiment, even before the virus. Nope. I can’t either. I look better/younger with color. Maybe someday. In the meantime, I better learn how to color my own hair. Gulp.

  5. Beth Havey says:

    Hi Carol,
    I actually have a box of color in my cabinet, I get it out, look at it and
    put it back. What I might do might be worse that what’s going on now.
    So I wait.
    Also, a question: I love to spell the word GREY and I noticed you did both, gray and grey.
    When I pitch, I always use the American spelling, but if I had my choice, I just like the way grey looks on the page. Quirky, yes.

  6. I was thinking of just letting my hair go grey. However, it’s the texture of my grey hair that bothers me even more. So I tried to do a root coverup this past weekend. It isn’t my best job, but at least I’m a little more brown and a little less grey. May try Madison Reed next since they just told me they restocked my color.

  7. Lauren says:

    OMG! It’s like we are the same person! I have had the same conversation in my head while examining my now showing grey. I am so not ready to take the plunge. I hate my not pretty silver hair, I look horrible and I can’t wait to see mu colorist again!

  8. Shelley says:

    I have been struggling with this. My red hair was always my best feature and I Have kept the grey covered so I am not sure what the result would be if i totally let it go. Torn between curiosity and terror at what lies. Beneath!

  9. I was getting mine done about every 3 months because I always feel squirmy sitting in the chair for so long. Luckily, I had it done right before the lockdown. I can’t do my own hair because I make a huge mess. It’s starting to pop out now but I’m like you. I’m not ready for it.

1 Pings/Trackbacks for "To go grey or not? That’s the question"
  1. […] temples have become the hallmark of Carol Cassara’s quarantine, and she muses about them in “To Go Grey or not? That’s the question. ” And it’s a question many of us are asking. Here’s […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Follow Carol


Here you’ll find my blog, some of my essays, published writing, and my solo performances. There’s also a link to my Etsy shop for healing and grief tools offered through A Healing Spirit.


I love comments, so if something resonates with you in any way, don’t hesitate to leave a comment on my blog. Thank you for stopping by–oh, and why not subscribe so you don’t miss a single post?


Subscribe to my Blog

Receive notifications of my new blog posts directly to your email.