Betty Ago: Hair Color

While watching TV, I saw a funny commercial from a national drug store chain. Two senior women were in line behind a teenager with pink and purple stripes in her hair. In the next scene, these same two women, with purple streaks in their silver hair, were having a marvelous time at their school reunion.

I’ve never put moral value on hair coloring, or styles for that matter. When my girls were teenagers, I had only one rule – keep it clean otherwise do as you wish. We lived near the most popular teen gathering area in the city; therefore, strange hairdos were a common everyday sight. One of my daughter’s friends had a spectacular green Mohawk. My daughter explained to me (Because surely I had not figured this out for myself.) that the kids who made outrageous style statements were just seeking attention. Green Mohawk girl is now a college art teacher and successful author. My kids, since green hair was not taboo, chose to stay with what nature provided. This choice does not seem to have had any negative impact.

Now to my own hair coloring story. I started going grey in my thirties and gave it little thought. However, my mother gave it a lot of thought, especially since she had been tinting her hair the same nice honey color for many years. According to her, “How can I have brown hair if my daughter is going grey?” This one-sided conversation went on for many years. One day while getting my haircut, I went for it. The beautician assured me that the honey colored tint I chose would gradually fade over six weeks and not leave me with an obvious dividing line. My husband was amused. The next day we went to my mother’s house to take her shopping for a refrigerator. I popped in her house, gave her a hug and she said nothing. Then we went shopping, out to dinner and back to her house. She said nothing. Just before we were about to go home, I finally said, ”Mom, you have been nagging me for years to color my hair. Now I’ve done it and you don’t even say a word.” She said, “Oh, I didn’t notice.” And that was that.

I do admit that the purple on silver looked nice and my husband’s next high school reunion is soon.

Betty Ago



Betty is a real person who resides in one of our Brookdale entry fee communities. The views and opinions expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Brookdale Senior Living.

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