Hiding the Grays

Number 5, Medium Brown. The little brush is a very useful tool.

Wednesday’s posts are usually dedicated to health topics, but I consider the topic of hair color to fall under the broader category of mental health.

I’m prematurely gray. I spotted my first gray hair when I was 16, and the progress hasn’t slowed a bit in the last two decades. Judging by my roots, I’d say that I’m pushing suspiciously close to 50% gray. Needless to say, I’m not ready to just let my hair go all-natural while I’m still in my 30s.

I visit the salon every six weeks, but after I broke my foot I wasn’t able to drive down to Sunnyvale to see my stylist of 10 years. In desperation, I resorted to home hair color, something I’ve never actually done before. The Clairol Root Touch-Up Kit seemed to be the perfect thing for me.

The good news is that it’s easy to mix, easy to apply and certainly looks a lot better than a wide swath of gray hair at my part. The bad news is that it doesn’t cover nearly as well as professional color (probably not a surprise), and that it doesn’t seem to last nearly as long as I’d expect. Two weeks later and a significant amount of gray “highlights” were showing through, above and beyond the regrowth line.

Would I do it again? I bought two more packages of color while I was trapped at home, so the answer is obviously yes. But would I use this stuff if I had a salon option? No. Salon color gives a much better result and doesn’t require such frequent touch-ups. But it definitely works fine in a pinch.

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