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  • Should you dye your gray hair and if so, when?

    I’ve always had a few gray hairs, but in the last few weeks, I’ve been noticing a lot of them. Enough that I am starting to wonder if I should do anything about them.

    Keep in mind that I’ve never colored my hair before. Ever. I haven’t even had a perm since high school. My hair is healthy and shiny and has always been my crowning glory, my favorite feature. But now . . . I’m starting to get a little self-conscious about all the grays.

    I’m 34. I feel too young to be worrying about gray hair. And yet, there’s no denying that I have a lot more gray hairs than I did just a couple of months ago.

    So, what’s a girl to do?

    As I see it, I have several options:

    • Do nothing. This is my inclination, but only if I don’t get more gray hairs. I’m leaning toward this option because it’s the cheapest, it’s the easiest, and frankly, I’m terrified of coloring my hair. What if it looks bad? What if it damages my hair? I think I’d prefer some visible grays to a bad color job or unhealthy hair.
    • Color my hair at home. This would be less expensive than going to a salon. But I’m hugely intimidated by the prospect of coloring my own hair. How would I know what shade to get? What if I do it wrong? Even if I managed to get it right, how often would I have to do this? How much time will it take? (At least I know that I could get hair color inexpensively, thanks to The Drugstore Game!)
    • Get my hair colored at a salon. Not surprisingly, this is my least favorite option. Primarily because of cost. But also because it feels like an admission, a defeat. I feel it makes me old. I don’t have anything against aging, but I hate the feeling that my life is just slipping past me. When did I get so old that I need to cover up my grays? I also have no idea how I would find the time to get my hair colored regularly; I can’t even find one hour every six months to get my hair styled.
    • I can also manage my stress better. When I was younger, I noticed that the number of gray hairs increased during times of stress. During exams, especially, I would suddenly find little streaks of gray. So I’m thinking that maybe I’ve been internalizing too much stress and that’s why my hair is turning gray. While I’m not thrilled about the idea that I’m so stressed out to the point of manifesting it physically, I think this would be preferable to turning gray simply because of age. Unless I’ve already reached the max number of grays for the rest of my thirties, in which case I can learn to live with it.
    • I can eat better. Or more precisely, I can eat foods that are supposed to help hair grow dark. I grew up hearing that seaweed in particular makes hair dark, and fortunately, I love the stuff!

    What would you do?