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Grey-head Survey

March 5th, 2014

Grey hairIn Los Angeles, older women who do not color their hair to conceal the grey are as rare as leprechauns. I’m not just referring to the celebrities. Take my book club for a random example. In a group of women ranging in age from forty-nine to sixty-four, everyone colors their hair. We are seven shades of brown.

My guess is, if you attended all the book club meetings in all of L.A. County you’d be hard pressed to find a grey-head (or anyone who hasn’t read The Goldfinch). In L.A., we are dyed-in-the-wool dyers.

So when Diane Keaton turned up at the Golden Globe Awards this year with long grey locks, she could not have gotten more attention if she had appeared on the red carpet in her underpants.

Diane’s outing as a grey-head inspired this survey, which is intended for L.A. women or men of a certain age who dye. Please participate (even if you live elsewhere) and feel free to add scintillating personal details. Results will be tablulated and revealed in a future blog.

1. If you did not currently dye your hair, what color would it be? a) The color it was when you were a virgin b) Diane Keaton grey c)Anderson Cooper white d)You have no idea

2. At what age will you consider letting your hair go grey? a)Next week b) When I’m seventy c)When I’m eighty d)When I accept a Golden Globe Award on behalf of Woody Allen or when hell freezes over, whichever comes first

3. What percentage of the L.A. women you know, between the ages of forty and seventy, have untreated grey hair? a) 0-5% b)5-10% c)10-20% d)More than that (if you select d you will be red-flagged for credibility)

4. When you ask your significant other if you should go grey, what is his (or her) response? a)Without looking up from the sports section, they say, “No.” b)They look up from the sports section, examine you briefly and say, “Absolutely not.” c)”Sure honey, that’s a great idea. And no, you don’t look fat in those pants.” d)”Wait, do you dye your hair?”

5. When you see a woman in L.A. with grey hair, do you think she is a)brave b)foolhardy c)a tourist d)way older than you

6. If you stopped coloring your hair, the amount of money you’d save annually would it be enough to buy a)Shoes (at Neiman’s, not DSW) b)A used Toyota c)A Lamborghini Veneto Roadster c)One of the smaller Hawaiian islands

7.If you stopped coloring your hair, the amount of salon time you saved annually would be enough to a)Make lasagna b)Binge watch season 2 of Breaking Bad c) c)Read La Recherche du Temps Perdu in the original French d)Walk to Chicago

Thanks in advance for your responses!

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5 Responses to “Grey-head Survey”

  1. Sofia Landon Says:

    1. If you did not currently dye your hair, what color would it be? a) The color it was when you were a virgin b) Diane Keaton grey c)Anderson Cooper white d)You have no idea C. white

    2. At what age will you consider letting your hair go grey? a)Next week b) When I’m seventy c)When I’m eighty d)When I accept a Golden Globe Award on behalf of Woody Allen or when hell freezes over, whichever comes first C. 80 If I have any left by then:)

    3. What percentage of the L.A. women you know, between the ages of forty and seventy, have untreated grey hair? a) 0-5% b)5-10% c)10-20% d)More than that (if you select d you will be red-flagged for credibility) a. 0-5%

    4. When you ask your significant other if you should go grey, what is his (or her) response? a)Without looking up from the sports section, they say, “No.” b)They look up from the sports section, examine you briefly and say, “Absolutely not.” c)”Sure honey, that’s a great idea. And no, you don’t look fat in those pants.” d)”Wait, do you dye your hair?” c) but, then he bailed

    5. When you see a woman in L.A. with grey hair, do you think she is a)brave b)foolhardy c)a tourist d)way older than you C and D

    6. If you stopped coloring your hair, the amount of money you’d save annually would it be enough to buy a)Shoes (at Neiman’s, not DSW) b)A used Toyota c)A Lamborghini Veneto Roadster c)One of the smaller Hawaiian islands A.

    7.If you stopped coloring your hair, the amount of salon time you saved annually would be enough to a)Make lasagna b)Binge watch season 2 of Breaking Bad c) c)Read La Recherche du Temps Perdu in the original French d)Walk to Chicago A
    * I know this survey isn’t for me — but, great idea if you’re going to write a book about it! xxoo

  2. Brianna Says:

    I am salted with silver..with dramatic white sideburns. I got tired of looking like the bride of Frankenstein without the updo so I dyed just my sideburns dark red….vampire red…they have faded to pink now though but it still looks cool.

    I occasionally do my silver salted whole head in vampire red…the silver turns a deep pink. I like it…but I dye it less than once a year…the rest of the time it is dark brown with silver strands and long pink sideburns.

    My life does not really fit the questions asked…so yeah that is my experience..I am 52.

  3. Ryan M. Says:

    1. I’m a guy (and a young one at that), but I’m already seeing lots of greys. I’d be tempted to go with the Diane Keaton response, partially because I think she’s hot, but “Steve Martin grey” would be more apropos in my case; I swear that man was born with a full head of salt-and-pepper grey hair.

    2. I’m already at that point! I like the look. Also, dying my hair would take too much effort…because I’m a lazy slob.

    3. I’d say just about all, so “D.”

    4. Alas, I have no significant other…probably because I wouldn’t give a toss about her opinions on such matters.

    5. I would say “brave” and, in certain cases, “sexy.”

    6. If I did dye my hair, it would probably be some outlandish color a la the New Romantics of the early 1980s. And in that case, I would go with the Veneto…because the 80s were all about ridiculously expensive cars with names ending in vowels.

    7.I would probably dye it myself, because I have a thing about people touching my hair. It just freaks me out. Regardless, I’d probably walk to Chicago just to eat bunches of steaks and deep-dish pizzas.

  4. Lloyd Says:

    Having thinning hair I shave my head every 3 days. When I let my hair grow out it is still black. No big deal for me when my hair turns grey. I have grey hair in other places by the way, a lot! My mom is 77 this July, yup she dyes her hair!

  5. Kate Falvey Says:

    1. If you did not currently dye your hair, what color would it be? a) The color it was when you were a virgin b) Diane Keaton grey c)Anderson Cooper white d)You have no idea

    I have never dyed my hair – nor will I ever. I just turned 60. However, i should say that if I went prematurely gray, I might not be so smugly free-spirited about my aging-hippie outlook and good-humored feminist militancy. I have good half-Italian genes so my hair is mostly still brown -with ever-growing silvery white streaks at the temples (Irish Dad?). My 86 year old mother still has mostly brown-black hair and my grandmother – who died just shy of 100 – still had a head of dominantly dark hair. So it’s easy to make a virtue out of what is largely heredity. Still, I’ve been told repeatedly by dyed-in-the-wool dye-addicted girlfriends and hairdressers that I’d be so much better off if I at least highlighted my hair. I always glare and say “not on your artificial-looking Nellie.”

    2. At what age will you consider letting your hair go grey? a)Next week b) When I’m seventy c)When I’m eighty d)When I accept a Golden Globe Award on behalf of Woody Allen or when hell freezes over, whichever comes first

    First, I am still mad at Woody Allen and won’t accept his Golden Globe – unless you offer me my own movie deal, in which case I’ll hastily determine that he should be given the benefit of the doubt; geniuses live by different moral compasses/we don’t know what goes on behind anyone else’s closed doors/work is work and life is life and the twain need never meet…..

    So: never will I dye. Though I always liked auburn hair. Or highlights. Or gold highlights. Or…. No. Never.

    3. What percentage of the L.A. women you know, between the ages of forty and seventy, have untreated grey hair? a) 0-5% b)5-10% c)10-20% d)More than that (if you select d you will be red-flagged for credibility)

    I’m in New York and an am academic – which means that a very large percent of aging women profs have hair that is white, gray, silver, un-highlighted, whatever – It’s a different world – which is a good topic of discussion: context is all. Book clubs, you say? My gray colleagues and I are the ones who teach those books, more than likely – but we are in a professional environment that doesn’t require adherence to a “young is all” code. So some of us also do look like old hippies – straggly hair with no discernible shape, wild hair with lots of frizzy gray prongs standing to attention, floppy hair that looks vaguely convincing as a neat sort of reliable style…. Then we have women who do succumb and dye away all signs of hoary winter’s approach….Yes, I teach literature.

    4. When you ask your significant other if you should go grey, what is his (or her) response? a)Without looking up from the sports section, they say, “No.” b)They look up from the sports section, examine you briefly and say, “Absolutely not.” c)”Sure honey, that’s a great idea. And no, you don’t look fat in those pants.” d)”Wait, do you dye your hair?”

    My ex – which is about as significant an other as I have – always hated when I wore makeup and would think I was ridiculously affected if I turned to dye. He’s been telling me “we’re getting old” for the last fifteen or so years (hence, ex) – so he’s been preparing and refuses to allow me my piddling little vanities (hence, ex).
    More intriguing, though, is that my 16 year old daughter – who is an actor, very theatrical, into clothes and costuming and all – has a vision of herself as an old lady with long white hair – We recently saw a beauty in our community putting out the trash: white hair in a braided upsweep, neat, trim figure in work-out gear – and my daughter was near-giddy in her admiration. I’m so glad this is her model – and those oldsters we’ve met on the trails In Acadia National Park, fit and strong – and very very gray.
    5. When you see a woman in L.A. with grey hair, do you think she is a)brave b)foolhardy c)a tourist d)way older than you

    In New York – who notices?

    6. If you stopped coloring your hair, the amount of money you’d save annually would it be enough to buy a)Shoes (at Neiman’s, not DSW) b)A used Toyota c)A Lamborghini Veneto Roadster c)One of the smaller Hawaiian islands

    Ha! I don’t and yet…. all those dang theater tickets on a single mother’s professor’s salary? Probably couldn’t afford to dye, even if I wanted to.

    7.If you stopped coloring your hair, the amount of salon time you saved annually would be enough to a)Make lasagna b)Binge watch season 2 of Breaking Bad c) c)Read La Recherche du Temps Perdu in the original French d)Walk to Chicago

    I cut my bangs with a nail scissor and go to a discount chain for my haircuts – I have good hair and I’m as vain as the next gal, but I make do on less – and ardent brushing, cheapo shampoos, a teensy bit of gel and I’m good go – even if brushing my hair back reveals my gray temples. I also want to add that I live in a beach-side suburb outside the city – and in this environment, I am definitely the only one in my peer group who doesn’t dye her hair – and I think that my girlfriends’ hair mostly looks – um – dyed. Like too much makeup on frail old skin.

    I don’t know: maybe I’ll have a crisis next year and dye my hair electric blue…..

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