Commencing Project Salt and Pepper, and other delights

I wanted to do it 2 years ago, but my hair stylist convinced me I had to be psychologically ready.

She directed me to an article in O Magazine about the process. And after reading it, I realized Wendy was right: I needed to get used to the idea.

But tonight, when she was just about to mix the color, I stood up in my goofy vinyl cape, walked over to her, and said, "Wendy, just what would we do if I decided to let the white come in."

Some highlights and some lowlights, she explained.

I considered the alternative. In my mind's eye, I pictured that funky row of white, about half an inch high, that so starkly contrasts with the fake brown "natural" color I see when it's time to get my "roots done."

And I knew I couldn't stomach it. Not any more. I'd finally had enough.

Besides incurring the crazy cost of hiding the white beneath a wash of my old natural color, then adding dramatic swaths of "blonde," the act of coloring my hair suddenly felt very very silly. 

Who did I think I was kidding? 

The urge to let the authentic me* emerge could not be restrained.

Maybe it's because I like snow so much. The cool, sparkly, mesmerizing whiteness of it. Or maybe it's because using "hair mascara" (yep, you really can buy it!) to tide me over till I could get my roots done just seems ridiculous. I'm not proud of being so vain about my hair for so many years. But for whatever reason, something shifted in my psyche tonight. And I like it.

So I am most grateful to you bloggers who have encouraged me in the past to go for it.

Letting my patch of white emerge feels downright liberating. It's like the crown chakra has opened up and something's aglow atop my noggin. It's way cooler than I imagined.

Mr. B restrained his reaction. I haven't a clue what he thinks. But that's par for course. When I do something "dramatic" with my hair, he usually doesn't weigh in with an opinion till a few weeks have passed. I think he's wise. I stopped talking to him for a week once when he tried to make light of my efforts to zip up a pair of pants I'd outgrown. I'm sure wise men have learned to broach the subject of their loved one's sensitive appearance issues gingerly. 

And, besides, he's agreed to me getting an Alaskan Husky puppy, which pretty much buys him a ticket to paradise as far as I'm concerned.

Speaking of puppies, here are a couple shots of Ginsberg, who is just a tad over 3 weeks old now. Shannon Miller, author of The Daily Dog, a fine writer/blogger/photographer/musher who midwifed the delivery of 8 precious pups, took these shots, and she tells me Ginsberg is still a mama's boy. Ah, music to my ears.

Snuggling with Sophie, Shannon's daughter, who is also a musher

And check out those baby blues!

And cuddling with one of his littermates**

* I've had a blast coloring my hair of the years, and each rendition was very much me. But the me right now needs to let the white come in!

** Shannon is still looking for homes for 3 of these beautiful pups. To help her entice any potential takers, allow me to present the following videos that Shannon produced. Enjoy!

 The good little eaters

Puppy pile-up cuteness:

Now then, how can you resist?

Image 1 by stellina
Images 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 © Copyright 2010. Shannon Miller


Lydia said…
Go for it! I stopped coloring my hair last year and love what's coming in. I'm not doing any highlights, etc., so I have a real comparison. My grays are multi-toned and much darker than the color of ash brown I was coloring it. It fascinates me! I'd never go back to coloring my hair!

The puppies are perfect. I have a good friend who lives in St. Paul and a niece in Minneapolis, and will let them know about the pups.
Derrick said…
Hi Kathleen,

And there was I, thinking you'd started collecting cruet sets! I had better take a leaf out of Mr B's book and say no more! Cute puppies!
steven said…
kathleen - be you! what could possibly be better?!!! steven
Alix said…
As you may remember, Kathleen, I am 4 months into growing my natural sparkly silvery white hair in. So far so good. The good news is that "the line" becomes less harsh as the hair grows. I'm still quite the freak show with my Cruella DeVil meets Grandpa Munster hair do, but no one is the wiser since I keep it hidden under a wig! Makes the process completely painless. You can get some adorable wigs online for not too much money. I highly recommend the Noriko brand if you decide to go that way.

I almost have enough grown in that I can go for a super chic super short Jamie Lee Curtis cut soon and go from there. Will be posting photos at Casa Hice soon!

PS: Ginsberg is just the most adorable thing on earth! I swoon!
Gail said…
Just because there is snow on the roof, doesn't mean there's not a fire in the chimney.
Rudee said…
Gail cracks me up.

Here are the benefits to going natural:

No more spending hours in the salon.
No more spending excessive amounts of money in the salon.
No more looking harsh from being too blond. It does age us, surprisingly.
More time and money to spend on the new addition to your home.
A new found sense of confidence.
Softer, healthier hair.

I get compliments from many people in respect to the color of my hair. I've had people ask me who does my color. Uh...Mother Nature, of course. They're always surprised. My natural color looks like platinum.

I have curly hair when it gets long. I let the roots grow in and then hid them under curls. When I had several inches grown out, I had the stylist cut it super short. Within 9 months of starting my project, my hair color was completely natural. It's been two years since I first started this project and I don't think about it at all anymore. By the way, my husband LOVES it.
Hooray! Can't wait to see it. I'm still into the coloring but I know it can't last forever. :-)
ellen abbott said…
Good for you. I've never colored my hair but then, I've retained the color. People assume I do color it but if you look closely, you can see the few strands of gray. Although, this past year I must say that it's gotten more noticeable.

The puppy is so adorable but down here the poor things would just be miserable in the heat.
Awe, Kathleen: I wish I had the guts to go "natural." My gray is not so pretty! I commend you for taking this brave step.

And thanks for the posts about the pups :-) I love them so!
Sweetpea said…
I love popping over to your blog from time to time and was soooo pleased that I did today -- I LUVLUVLUV this post about your hair! BRAVO to you!!! My grey has just started to appear and I made a similar decision. When people comment on it, I say, "I'm wearing it like a badge of honor!"

And you can't beat having a puppy lick your face for any kind of hair blues in the world.... :>}}
Hilary said…
In reading over the comments, I'd have to say that mine would echo Ellen's exactly. I never have used colour and so far am very lucky.

I want to snuggle with those pups.. they're just adorable.
Joanna said…
First of all, those puppies are adorable! You are so lucky. Congratulations to you on making this decision. I've been struggling with the idea of letting my hair go natural for a year or so and this post has re-inspired me. It may be a good time to do this now because my hair has been cut really short and I'm in Mexico for the winter so it will lighten out some, plus I'll get a tan. I may just go for it.
Janie said…
I've been tempted to let the white grow in, too. Maybe your good example will make me give up my ego and give it a try.
The puppies are so cute. I really, really want one, but Daisy and 2 horses are about all we can handle...
lakeviewer said…
Coloring or not coloring? That is the question. If you have any doubt, don't, get a wig.
Nessa said…
I bet your hair looks great. Your husband sounds very wise.

The pictures are adorable.

Getting Reacquainted in 55
Breathe said…
I want to go here, but am waiting a bit longer. I went grey in my 30s and now, at 47, I'm so done with "coloring".

I'm new here, wandered over from Gail's place. The pup is so sweet! when does he come home??
Kathleen said…
@Lydia: Oh, thanks for the encouragement. It's fun to watch the transformation. Less painful that I thought it would. If your friends in St. Paul bite, let me know. We'll probably meet at the pick-up point. I can hardly wait!!
Kathleen said…
@Derrick: Oh, wise one.
Kathleen said…
@Steven: My heart answers that question: But of course! The head sometimes gets in the way! LOL
Kathleen said…
@Alix: :)))) Cruella DeVill meets Grampa Munster is precisely the look!!!! I'm still giggling about that one. You look so adorable in your wigs. I'm afraid I'd look like a poser. But I'll check out the tip just the same. Thanks, dear one! Can't wait to see the new pictures!
Kathleen said…
@Gail: BRILLIANT!!!! Love it!
Kathleen said…
@Rudee: You look gorgeous, of course, with your stunning hair! And I am already feeling the benefits you listed. Feels like I've been an endured servant to hair color. How ridiculous is that?! Two years, eh? That's a little longer than I thought. But I'm ready.
Kathleen said…
@JGW: With that dark Irish look of yours, you're gonna rock white hair some day. When you're ready, of course. Till then, hope you do what makes you happy! I LOVED the drama of highlights.
Kathleen said…
@Ellen: My dad was just like that. My mom had salt and pepper as far back as I can remember, then it turned into a sugary crown. I think I got my mom's hair. Yeah, I'm sure the pups would swelter! It's almost too warm here! LOL
Kathleen said…
@Shannon: Well, I just got to a point where the proportions or white and brown are such that not letting it go doesn't looks so good anymore! Thanks for letting me post the fabulous images you've taken! How's my boy? Any new personality traits emerging>
Kathleen said…
@Sweetpea: Smart, smart you! And thanks for your lovely comments. Glad you enjoy popping over! Yep, hard to beat puppy smooches!
Kathleen said…
@Hilary: And I'd like to echo Steven's remarks, too! You are most welcome to come visit my pup!
Kathleen said…
@Joanna: I too struggled for some time. I literally made the decision whilst sitting in the chair. It was just that sudden. You'll know when the time's right! And you'll be gorgeous! Ah, Mexico, eh? Where?
Kathleen said…
@Janie: I suspect you'd look absolutely adorable! You've just got that young face and spirit! Yes, I can imagine 2 horses and Daisy + your homestead are quite the responsibility! Ever tried dogsledding, though? It's pretty addictive, so much so, that formerly sensible people will do wildly crazy things! Like having 3 dogs in the city! I suspect that's not going to last long...the city, that is!
Kathleen said…
@Lakeviewer: There's always another option, right? Good reminder!!
Kathleen said…
@Nessa: You're so nice! I may post before and afterpictures, but I'm never very fond of photos of myself. That vanity thing has such a grip on me! Glad you enjoyed the pictures!
Kathleen said…
@Nessa: You're so nice! I may post before and afterpictures, but I'm never very fond of photos of myself. That vanity thing has such a grip on me! Glad you enjoyed the pictures!
Kathleen said…
@Breathe: Welcome! So glad you wandered here. I'll pop over for a visit. With the hair, you just hit a limit don't you? It's amazing! I pick up Ginsberg Feb 20!!! So close now!!!
willow said…
You're giving me courage. Right now, I'm still dealing with the half inch of white that pops in every three weeks. I am getting pretty darn sick of it. But not quite ready to do the S&P. Keep us posted on how you like it!
Kathleen said…
@Willow: I shall! I had to get to the point of it feeling ridiculous before I could take the plunge. You'll know when you're ready. I've had disastrous episodes of trying to deal with the roots myself, so shelling out the money on hair (rather than more fun things) + the hassle of getting in to my stylist just added up + dreading that half inch of white tipped the scales.
Rudee said…
No Kathleen, it took 9 months but I had my last hair coloring done 23 months ago.
Kathleen said…
@Rudee: 9 months...whew!

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