Grey Expectations: The Beginning MORE reader Elizabeth Kubany chronicles her hair’s (long) journey to the silver side

My life is full, to put it mildly. I am a 41-year-old woman – wife, mother (of three children, ages 11, 8, and 2), and business owner (I run my own public relations agency specializing in architecture and design). Oh, and I’m also our family’s social coordinator, taxi driver, and chef. I’m busy – too busy to get to a salon every three weeks.

I have always considered my long, thick, dark-brown hair to be one of my best features. But I started seeing a few greys in my late 20s and have been coloring it ever since.  However, in the past year or so, I’ve noticed that just two weeks after visiting my colorist I would look in the mirror and start to see those pesky grey hairs around my temples and think “time to make another appointment.” I was beginning to feel like I was on a treadmill and that I couldn’t get off – an expensive, time-consuming, and probably unhealthy treadmill. On three separate occasions, I vowed to stop coloring. But each time I would last about seven or eight weeks…then get so disgusted with how I looked that I would cave and slither sheepishly back to my colorist.

Now I am not afraid of having grey hair – I really believe I could rock a full mane of the silver stuff. I think of fashion commentator Lauren Ezersky, singer Emmy Lou Harris or that gorgeous Eileen Fisher model and am pretty sure that having grey hair will be a distinguishing feature, not something I’ll be ashamed of.

But the process is daunting. I take pride in my appearance and work with a lot of people who have highly refined aesthetic sensibilities so I cannot afford to look unkempt. That is part of why the transition to grey has been so difficult – the “demarcation line” between the grey and the brown is just ugly. And watching that line creep down your head, you realize how slowly hair grows!  Several times, when I asked for advice about how to stop coloring, people said “well, you just stop.” But it is not that simple. I think it is clear that expert help is in order. A stylist/colorist who can help me look pretty through this transition could help make this process manageable – maybe even enjoyable.  I’m ready!

By Elizabeth Kubany