I have a photo shoot on Saturday and as always, I will make a beeline for the salon the day before or 2 days before the event. My gray hair needs to be covered yet again or else the image of me with salt-and-pepper hair at the (ahem) young age of 43 will be the one preserved for posterity.
Being a not so vain person, I have always entertained the idea of going gray totally. No more trips to the salon for a 2-hour hair dye job every 6 weeks, no more damaged hair. I love the idea so much I want to embrace it and just celebrate my going into middle age. But everyone in my family, from my father, mother, brother and sisters, wouldn't hear of it. My dad would go as far as to scold me for not having my hair colored. My brother and sister, whenever they would be in town from abroad, would bring me to a salon to let me have a hair coloring session—their treat. Only my son, who likes Taylor Hicks, wants me to go totally gray.
Even my friends have become concerned. Patsy, when she learned I was guesting on a TV show sometime ago, said to herself, “I hope Karen dyes her hair.” (I did.) Gaby, when I met her for breakfast last month with other friends, greeted us with, “So, did you girls have your hair colored already?”
Let me see. I think I was in 2nd year high school when I first noticed I had a strand or two of white hair. One of my nephews had his first white hair at grade 7. A niece in her late 20s has a lot of them too, but she has more black than white hair and she looks like a college student, so you wouldn't notice them. It's something we inherited from both of my parents, I guess. My son, meanwhile, is hoping he will have gray hair soon.
I think the gray hair started becoming more noticeable though, some 7 to 10 years ago. Sometimes it's relaxing to spend 2 hours at the salon for a hair coloring job, but at other times it's an added item on my to-do list on a busy week that it has become a chore. I tried a do-it-yourself hair color kit at home twice on the advice of my friends Jenny and Tina, but I get back pains after a session, what with all the bending I have to do to color, rinse, shampoo, rinse, condition, and final-rinse my hair.
“How come in the US, it's not a big deal to go gray?” I asked my sister one time. Just look at this photo below. She said it's because Caucasians' fairer skin doesn't make gray hair look that stark on a person.
Recently, I was in the restroom at church when a lady attendant said, “Miss, bata ka pa di ba? (Miss, you're still young, right?)” I smiled and said yes, thinking it was a compliment. Then she said, “Sabi na nga ba eh. Ang dami mo kasing puting buhok. (I knew it. But you have a lot of white hair.)”
Before another attendant engages me in a talk like that again, I've decided to go to the salon today. As in, now na. Before it's crunch time for deadlines, before I get hungry for lunch, before I want to crawl back to bed for a nap, before I watch the replay of last night's American Idol and Glee, before I change my mind. So let's go, sago.
BOOK OF THE WEEK: "Many of us don't know it is possible to go from romanticizing about rest to actually resting in today's world." This was what was written on the back cover of Rest Assured: Devotions for Souls in a Restless World by Nancy McGuirk (published locally by OMF Literature). Just a few minutes a day reading the Bible verses quoted in each chapter and the short write-up that follows can remind us that peace can be gained as we draw nearer to Jesus, the Prince of Peace.
VERSE OF THE WEEK: "Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you." Isaiah 46:4