Hair Color: Natural or Treated


Hair Color: Natural or Treated

It was the article on HuffPost50 that was the impetus for sharing my take on this with you now.

I have been pondering this subject for quite some time. The decision I made was a very personal one and in no way reflects on anyone else’s choice for their hair.

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

Photo Credit: Wikipedia


I have been coloring my hair since I was a teenager. As a teenager it was about experimentation and what was popular. As I grew older the reasons changed. Changing my hair color was like changing the paint color in a room in your house. New color new look. Tire of one color just try another. Then one day it became all about making myself look younger than I was. Yes. Coloring the gray. I actually began with blonde. Why? Because when the gray came in it blended with the blonde and did not stand out.


After years of coloring my hair my body began to protest. I started having adverse reactions to the chemicals. That’s when I discovered natural hair dyes. They worked without the chemicals. I could continue my ritual to hide my gray without adverse reactions.

Trying on the Gray

One day a few years back I put off coloring my hair and let the gray come out of hiding. My husband asked when I planned to color my hair because it needed it. I mentioned not coloring my hair anymore and well… the reaction was less than enthusiastic. I colored my hair again and all was well on the home front.

Going Gray

It was not long after my grandson was born that I began to seriously consider really taking the plunge and not coloring my hair. You might think it was because I was now a grandmother and wanted to ‘look the part’ so to speak. Nope. Coloring my hair was just another time suck that seemed totally unnecessary. I was tired of coloring my hair. Why did I need it? My hair was making a lovely transition. Why shouldn’t I welcome it with open arms?

Let me just stop here for a moment and explain how my hair is actually transitioning to gray. I have a very pretty platinum gray coming in, the kind people pay good money to have done by a professional. It is coming in framing my face and working its way back. The back of my head is still dark. It truly does look really nice. How do I know? My hair dresser mentioned this very thing to me. People pay her to give them the look I have naturally.

Embracing The Natural Me

I am aging. There I said it. I am not running from it. I have years of experience and the wisdom that comes as a result. It is that very wisdom that enables me to keep my thoughts and opinions to myself unless asked for them. Do you know how hard that is when you see someone making a mistake you have already made and you wish you could save them from it? Big sigh…

Have you noticed that I did not say I am getting old or feel old? I said that I am aging and embracing it. There is a difference. I do not feel old nor do I think I am any less capable. I am embracing a new phase of life. There is still so much to do and places to visit and more memories to make. The difference is that coloring my hair will no longer hold me hostage. “Can’t go out tonight. I have to color my hair.”

For me, natural is the path I have chosen to take.

Until next time…

Geek Girl







Geek Grandma

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Comments (6 )

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  1. Congrats!! I think natural is the way to go. Like you, I used to color my hair. It got to be such an effort and the cost … well … let's just say that there are more important things to spend money on. I think gray hair can be beautiful. Healthy, shinny gray hair is lovely. And isn't it time that we all accept ourselves? We are perfect and don't need any enhancements or cover-ups to make us so. I'm with you … for ourselves and the planet!

    • Cheryl says:

      I could not agree more. Cheers!

  2. jacquiegum says:

    My mother started coloring my hair when I was 12. I was born a tow-head and when it started to darken, she lightened it with lemon juice. I really have beige hair with red in it and uncolored it sort of blended with my skin and I looked like a beige wrapper. But I didn't like coloring my hair every month, so I started getting highlights every 3-4 months. About 15 years ago, my hairdresser told me how much red he saw in my hair and suggested I "go red" (My entire family has red hair) and I did. I'll never go back to beige and I have very little gray. What I do have is not the beautiful kind that you describe Cheryl. If I had that gorgeous gray I'd have gone with that a long time ago. So, in short…I think it's a wise move REGARDLESS of how you view the aging process:) That may be a very valid reason for your decision, but I do think for a lot of women, it just comes down to wanting to have nice hair…. whatever color that may be…that enhances skin tones etc.

  3. JeriWB says:

    I've sometimes had adverse reactions to home hair dye, but they've been mild. I first dyed my hair blonde in the sixth grade, and then a bold red in high school. After letting it be its natural brown for years, I tried dying it again, but store dyes tend to bring the red out and it won't turn the color on the box (I only go a shade or two at a time too). When I had a great stylist for a while, I started getting highlights and enjoyed that until I moved and went through too many hair stylists to count. A few times I've had two colors put in my hair, but that takes FOREVER and isn't cheap. Then when I moved back to ID I got highlights from hell that made me almost entirely platinum blonde. Now I'm back to boring brown and plotting my next hair adventure. I've often wondered too how my gray will come in. My grandpa had totally white hair, but most everyone else in my family seems to veer toward steely gray. I'm hoping I got the grandpa gene šŸ™‚ Time will tell… wow this is apparently a topic I have a lot to say about. It's good to see a post like this that has you following your writing bliss.

  4. Susan Cooper says:

    Didn't I read somewhere that 60 is the new 40? šŸ™‚ I say embrace your age, enjoy every phase of life as it comes. Color, don't color….whatever makes you happy!

  5. Have had highlights done since I was in my teens. Used to be really blond as a child and didn't think I looked like me when my hair got darker. Have no doubt I will have highlights for the rest of my life. The positive thing about when I get grey hair is you don't need to use bleach. Simple toning will do.