I'm 46. I started the childbearing thing in my 30's so I was a bit late to the game. The problem is that I started going gray in my 20's. For years I didn't do anything about it. We have pictures when I11 was a baby where I have this quite dramatic shock of white hair swooping down over one eye. While it was just the one dramatic, slightly off center streak, it was actually pretty cool... but then it spread. For a brief while I did the home dye (semi-permanent) thing but with young kids it was too much trouble and I decided I wasn't that vain- so I let it go and by the time I hit 40 I was definitely more salt than pepper (except right at the back of my head, there it is still it's original color). I was okay with it- even when someone asked me if K8 was my grandson when he was about 2 (OUCH). Now don't get me wrong- I'm not too bad for 46. I'm not wrinkly and while I have about 30 extra pounds, I'm actually in decent shape.
The kicker came a week before my 45th birthday- I was at work and a patient was looking for me but couldn't remember my name. I overheard her tell the nursing assistant "you know- the gray haired lady in the red shirt". I'M NOT OLD ENOUGH TO BE THE GRAY HAIRED LADY IN THE RED SHIRT!!! I had a day off a few days later and wandered into the place we had always gone to get our hair cut and asked about a color. With as much gray hair as I had, I was scared to try it myself. So I started down the coloring road. I cringe when I think about the environmental impact of coloring my hair but once you start it's hard to stop. My stylist did a great job matching my original color (a medium reddish brown) but when it starts to grow out I get the 'skunk stripe' down the top of my head and go have it done again.
But here's the problem. Even though I don't go to a really expensive place- It still ends up costing close to $70 a month. When V was working wasn't a problem. He still says that I'm worth it and that I shouldn't worry about the money- but I do worry. That is a lot of money spent on something that is a definite luxury.
I need to come to a decision at some point- keep coloring or figure out a way to just go back to what it is. But I'm not there yet. My compromise- this evening J14 and I went out shopping and picked up a box of hair color. She helped me match the color in the store and then helped me apply it- trying to color just the roots I can't do myself. She did a bang up job and it looks great- and $7.99 is much more reasonable for a month of vanity. I think she has a new job. In payment, I let her get a box of semi-permanent color to jazz up her hair and give her red highlights. We'll do that later this week. We had a lovely time sitting in the bathroom chatting- a sort of bonding experience.
I'm still torn as to what to do with this one. On one hand, it does make me feel good- I look my age and not 15 years older. But, on the other hand there are costs, both financial and environmental. I'm stuck. I'll probably go the home color route for a while but I can't go on forever.