Thursday, January 31, 2008

Weekly wish – grey-haired beauty

I’ve been colouring my hair for a long time. I’m currently a brunette. I’ve gone as light as strawberry blond (but don’t tell anyone) and used to have brown hair with highlights in varying shades of chestnuts and reds. I didn’t always colour my hair to cover the grey but I’d be lying if I told you that wasn’t the case today.

I got to thinking, how much money do I spend on hair colour in a year? Rough guestimate: $800. How many more years do I expect to colour my hair? 20? In today’s dollars (without factoring in the inflation rate) that’s roughly $16,000! When Mr. Bargainista reads this, he’s gonna flip!

“Damn straight!” says Mr. Bargainista.

Last week I was chatting with David Jones aka “the silver fox” who was nominated as one of Toronto’s sexiest PR & Marketing bloggers in 2006. Unless he’s lying about his age, he’s gone prematurely grey and loving every minute of it.

I asked David how men are able to get away with grey hair when women are shunned for doing the same. His answer was simple: George Clooney.

My friend Alexa Clark of Cheap Eats fame told me how she took the plunge and decided to let her silver hair shine through. Some of her friends thought she was making a political statement. That simply wasn’t the case. She’s got gorgeous locks and she’s showing them off. C’est tout!

So this week, my wish is a bit different. I’m wishing for a female celebrity of Mr. Clooney’s stature to stand up and be a role model for prematurely grey-haired women everywhere.

The current Hollywood writers’ strike presents the perfect opportunity for a talented and beautiful actress or two to grow out her locks. Several mature, sexy women actors are starring in TV shows and films and aren’t letting down their hair and showing us their true colours.

Just think, what if the Desperate Housewives returned with their natural silvery or salt and pepper manes? How ‘bout Mary Louise Parker or Holly Hunter? She’s turning 50 this year – surely she’s not a natural brunette anymore. ; ) Of course if/when Julia goes grey she’d be the perfect candidate.

And to those of you who think I’m making a political statement, that couldn’t be further from the truth. If you’ve been visiting here for a while, you’d know this wish is all about saving money. ; )

photo credit: Andrea Busse using Lex 's camera on flickr


  1. I know she's not exactly what you had in mind, but Stacy London of What Not to Wear has a fabulous white stripe through her long dark locks that really sets off the colour of her hair. She is only about 37 or 38. She says it shows or does not show depending on how they comb her hair.

    But definitely the salt-and-pepper look is always the most stunning. I think you would look fabulous!

  2. I'd probably be sporting a bit of the salt-and-pepper look with a lot more pepper than salt. Growing it out is the hardest part. Not sure I'm ready for that. Maybe if the NutriSystem Challenge is successfull. ;)

    This is actually a lot less about me and a lot more on the amount of money we spend on colouring our hair. It's a gazillion dollar business.

  3. Great post and thanks for the shout out.

    That's a butt load of cash to spend on getting your hair coloured. I wonder what the cumulative hair care costs would be of...
    salon quality cuts + colour + perms
    cheap cuts + home colour + home perms

    Or the savings of letting your hair grow just one extra week a year.

    Huge industry.

    TIP - if you are willing to have a new stylist with each cut, consider getting your hair cut at a Salon School. The high-end stylist of today, were top-of-their-class students one day.

  4. What about Diane Keaton or that woman from Devil Wears Prada? They both look fierce.

  5. Lex, great points. I didn't want to frighten people more than I already may have. Think of what happens when we add other beauty "essentials" on to the list.

    Henna, I have a lot of admiration for Diane Keaton and Meryl Streep. Since they're closer to 60, I left them out of the equation. I wanted to focus on younger Hollywood.

    Besides, Meryl Streep had white hair in the Devil Wear Prada. ; )

  6. re: Diane & Meryl - it's great that women in their 50s & 60s are starting to let their grey show. But I had a male friend tell me that I'd just have to accept people thinking I was in my 50s with a young face because women younger than that aren't letting their gray show.

    I've had substantial gray since my early 30s. I can't be alone.

  7. Anonymous10:41 pm

    I don't think of it as grey hair coming's arctic frost highlights. I've earned every single one of them too. In all fairness though, I do have really dark hair and the grey's that coming in is a nice silvery shade, not yellow-y. My husband has no idea how lucky he is that I'm low maitenance in at least one respect!!

    By the way bargainista, I think your hair looks great!

  8. crack me up. I've had grey hair as long as I can remember. I can recall my mother pulling them out of my head at age 7 or 8 and saying "I shouldn't do this, two will grow back."

    My dad is pretty much white at 62, but having looked at photos of him at the same age as I am now, I'd have to say I'm way ahead of him.

    As a younger guy, it gave me a little more of an "experienced" look. I've probably always looked about 5-10 years older than I really am, which as I approach 40 doesn't sound as it good as it did when I was 25.

    So, Clooney. He either has the slowest advancing grey hair in all creation, or he keeps it consistent with "lowlights."

    Vanity makes us all do strange things...will you be able to fight the lure of looking younger?

  9. hi! i agree with you completely! and yes, meryl was great in the devil wears prada! that was a great example!

  10. Lex, what kind of a friend is he?

    Anonymous, you sound a lot like someone I met at camp years ago. ;) Did you notice the arctic frost I added to Julia's hair? Glad you like mine. Yours looks pretty nice too. The arctic frost highlights add a nice touch.

    David, Somehow I find it hard to believe you've been grey since 7 or 8. And why do sons always blame things on their mothers. LOL!

    As for Clooney, don't be so sure about the lowlights. Many 40-somethings have naturally salt and pepper hair, not silvery manes.

    When it comes to my hair, I'll admit I'm somewhat vain but otherwise pretty low-maintenance. Some of my friends are getting Botox and Restylane injections. Fortunately, I haven't needed to resort to that, at least not yet.

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