To dye…..or not to dye……

As a child I was a little blonde, almost white, headed girl. As a young woman, I remember my Dad complimenting my hair and the way it shone when the sun touched it. In more recent years, I have been known to get a few highlights even, but underneath I have always been blonde. Highlighted or not….I have been blonde.

So imagine my total and utter shock one day a few months ago when I had to go to a certain government agency to get my picture taken. This young man (really I’m sure he couldn’t have been more than twelve) took my picture and then proceeded to enter my vital statistics into his computer. He asked me all the standard questions….eye colour, height, weight. (Honestly doesn’t it depend so much on the time of day, what you’re wearing and so many other things to get an accurate answer to that question? I chose to answer what I weigh first thing in the morning, when I’m buck naked, and before my first sip of coffee…..more or less.)

The clincher with this whole experience, though, was when he asked my hair color. Automatically, I shot back “blonde“. I didn’t really give it a second thought until he looked up at me. “Blonde?” he asked, “Are you sure?”

Was I sure? Was he kidding? I ended up making some kind of joke, and managed to convince him to enter blonde, but later as we left the building I asked my husband about my hair color. Brave man that he is, he finally admitted to me that my hair can no longer really be classified as blonde. I was stunned!

Over the next few weeks I began asking everyone I knew what color my hair was, I spent many moments peering in the mirror trying to get a reading on the true color of my hair.

Finally, I had to admit it. The little blonde girl has left the building. I guess it must be a combination of getting older and the dull, dark Pacific Northwest winter when nary a ray of sun touched my hair for what felt like forever.

I thought about getting highlights, I even made an appointment that I ultimately ended up cancelling. Part of me wanted to see where this would all end up. What color of hair was waiting down the road for me? I’ve seen the odd grey one (its obviously more easy to spot them now that my hair is no longer blonde) but still one has to really look for them to spot them. Will I end up with one of those spectacular heads of white hair that I admire so much on some women – or will it turn into the type of grey that I remember on my grandma?

In the meantime, can I make peace with the brunette who looks back at me from the mirror? The summer sun has made it a bit lighter but I still probably wouldn’t be classified as a blonde by anyone. I spend way to much time thinking about this and asking my husband’s opinion. I’ve gone back and forth on making a decision far too many times. If I go ahead with the big step, do I have it colored blonde all over or just get some highlights?

I’ve heard it said that not making a decision is making a choice to do nothing, so I guess that’s my decision for now. I’ll continue to explore this brunette self and see where it takes me.

That’s my decision….for today.


I’m a writer, reader, and creative. I thought by now I’d have things figured out, but I keep coming up with more questions. I think that’s okay. I’m here most mornings pondering ordinary things and the thin places where faith intersects.
  1. The little blonde girl has left the building. I love this line!! Oh can I relate. I have always called myself a blonde but years ago had to get highlights. Then I asked my beautician why I needed to get them so often now– she said as we age, we turn brown then grey. I guess that means I am getting older cause I go way too often now!

  2. How about an alternative? Instead of highlights/dye that need maintenance, what about a whole different style to show off the beautiful brunette! As my daughters would tell me, “Own it, Mom!” What do you think?

  3. “Own it” – I love that! You’re right – I’m going to embrace this brunette self and see what she has to offer…!

  4. Great, Linda! It’s kind of like discovering a new you. Have fun!

  5. I went through that debate several times during the last few years as I slowly moved from brown to salt-and-pepper to grey. I talked to the man who cut my hair and he said that I probably would not have the patience to keep up with a good dye or highlight job and refused to do it for me (think he knew me too well??). I tended to agree with him and have let nature take its course–as you can tell from my picture! Less stress, less bother!

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