Family life

To dye or not to dye (your hair)

After receiving compliments on her natural highlights, Jennifer wonders if she should consider ditching the (hair) dye.

By Jennifer Pinarski
To dye or not to dye (your hair)

Photo by HotsauceJane via Flickr.

I distinctly remember finding my first grey hair. While hopelessly trying to pluck my eyebrows into some shape other than Wookiee, I spied one ignorant hair sticking out from my brow, reminding me I was no longer a teenager (I had turned 20 just two weeks earlier, so finding a grey strand in my brow seemed awfully tragic).
Immediately after yanking the offensive hair, I called my mother. For as long as I could remember, she bought a box of brassy auburn Nice n Easy every time myself or my younger siblings did something to cause another grey hair to appear — at least, that’s what she said caused grey hair. After laughing at me, she told me to wait until I had kids to really know what grey hair was like.

Fifteen years and two children later, I’ve brought home more boxes of hair dye than I care to admit (not to mention the number of times I’ve sat in a stylist’s chair getting highlights). Pretty much every six weeks you can find me in my rattiest running race t-shirt trying not to drip dye on my couch, with the kids, husband and pets hiding from the tell-tale stink of bleach and toner.
Except for this week. The box of #50 medium auburn is purchased and sitting on my dresser, but I’m not so sure I want to keep dying my hair. The Arctic Blonde highlights don’t bother me the way that they used to. Curious to find out if I was alone in ditching the dye, I checked in with Facebook and Twitter to find out what other moms are doing. I was surprised to find out that I am in the minority.
  • Dye — and I used to get it done at a salon! Not for grey, but just because the more kids I had, the darker and more 'mousy' my hair got! As a stay-at-home mom of three, I now for the last few years have dyed my own hair at home. I have several mom friends who dye their own hair and I would never know the difference! — RaeAnn L., mom of three, Winnipeg, MB
  • I dye. I'm generally not vain, but it's another advantage there is to being blond. And another thing: why are those arctic blond hairs the opposite texture to the rest of them? - Allison K., mom of three, Peterborough, ON
  • I started going grey in my early-20s and have been dying ever since. Most people have no idea I do it!  Our very own Tracy Chappell, mom of two, Toronto, ON
  • I've not yet been struck by any arctic winds. But have been dying my hair since I was 14. Can't see it changing even if the wind changes. Christine W., mom of two, Toronto, ON
  • Dye! But then my nickname was Rainbow Bright in high school for constantly changing my hair colour. — Robin A., mom of three, London, ON
Surprisingly, each mom said dyeing their hair was less about vanity than it was just feeling better about themselves. And indeed, costing less than a premium latte (and longer lasting than the caffeine buzz), that box of hair dye might be the mid-winter pick-me-up I need. 

Do you cover up the greys or go au naturel?

Photo by HotsauceJane via Flickr.
This article was originally published on Jan 15, 2013

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