By Barbara Pagano, originally posted on Inventive Life Post 50.

“Look,” I said pointing to half-inch sliver of grey hair down the part in the middle of my head.

He looked. “I won’t do it,” said my hairdresser. “It’s a bad idea.”

For several years the stripe of my natural hair color that showed up every 4 weeks had me wondering. What if I stopped coloring it? I floated the idea of going to my natural hair color – commonly called ‘going grey ‘- and heard definite opinions. “I’m not for it,” said my husband. “Don’t do it!” friends shrieked then proceeded to tell about a woman who let her grey grow out and OMG, “Have you seen her. She aged ten years.”

Encouragement came from my daughter, Elizabeth, who called to say, “Mom let’s do it together and we’ll blog about it.” Why would a forty-something want to go grey? After Elizabeth and several of her friends in their late forties did a financial analysis on hair color maintenance, they determined that “we could pay down a chunk of what it costs to send one of our kids to private school for a year… and think of the time we’d save!”

Off they went to ‘grey consultants’ to help with the transition who warned, “You need to know you will look older.” Undeterred, several are on their way to grey.

Financial considerations didn’t figure into my situation. I don’t have a line item for private school, I like getting my hair done and wasn’t looking for the psychological boost others express. Many women who embrace their natural hair color say they feel empowered. “I feel more me.” I never felt I was hiding behind some chemical veil. I already am more me.

Still, grey has the sting of old. I didn’t like that part.

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