I Will Admit that I am Embarrassed by My Roots!

My heritage is Irish, and like many of my ancestors and current kin, I have pale skin and brown hair. On some of my female relatives, this combination is quite eye-catching and head turning.

You’ve seen them before: the alabaster-skin-raven-haired beauties of the romance novels!

And certain actresses like Anne Hathaway, who has perfect, pale skin and rosy lips.

I have a niece whose skin is milky white, spotless in fact. Her hair, a rich chestnut brown, is so thick that I just want take a tug to feel its heft in my hand when she has it in a ponytail.

I’m jealous, of course! I’m also confessing here.

I’m often embarrassed by my roots. Relax! I’m not referring to my genealogical roots. Sure, those have certainly caused me plenty of uncomfortable moments, too! The roots to which I am referring are at the end of each of the hairs on my head. Sadly, with each passing year, besides getting thinner and thinner, it is also going gray.

The root of the real problem is just that: My Hair Roots.

I’m 54, soon to be 55 years old and, like most women my age, MUST dye my hair regularly, or else! The skunk makes an appearance and it really stinks!

Every 4 weeks – and I’d really like to go every 3 weeks – I see my hair dresser, Lee Ann Hopkins. Lee Ann has a trendy, friendly and charmingly unpretentious salon called Just Hair in Haddon Township, NJ where you’ll get top-notch cuts, color and hair treatments for men and women, suited to each client’s personal needs, not flash-in-the-pan trends.

In fact, the ONLY saving grace my roots offer me is that I get to spend a couple of hours at Just Hair once a month! I really look forward to seeing Lee Ann and her staff who are at my beck and call, ready to serve tea, coffee and even snacks, while they pamper and prettify their very sociable clientele.

But, no matter how warm and fuzzy my monthly mission at Lee Ann’s may be, I still hate the reason I must go there…my roots!

In a June 4, 2010 post by Kim Pfeiffer for Stylist.com entitled Visible Roots: Dark Hair Still a Trend, and Growing, Pfeiffer wrote that according to Stacey Cox, TV personality and owner of Pampered People in Los Angeles, roots are in!

Huh? What?

That is, unless you have dark or brunette hair! “If you are brunette, exposed roots are, simply put, gray!” Cox warns.

Well, even I knew that! The roots to which Cox referred are dark roots growing into blonde hair!. C’mon, blondes have always been able to pull things off that we brunettes couldn’t – and wouldn’t – ever dare do with our dos. So, Jessica Simpson, the Olsen twins and Sarah Jessica Parker can parade around with dark root outgrowth and a fashion trend is born…and accepted as beautiful.

But I dare even the most famous and beloved brazen brunette (Angelina or Demi, perhaps?) to boldy go untouched because they’d instantly be splashed across the front pages of every tabloid and branded an aged crone!

So, what’s an aged crone to do about her roots? Shaving is not an option! Yes, men can get away with it, and perhaps young, very impulsive girls making a statement about life will not catch a sideways glance. But me? You.? As I said, shaving is not an option. It might even cause our loved ones to worry about our health, and we don’t want that!

Scarves and hats? Sure, in a pinch, they’re an acceptable and fashionable way to temporarily hide the telltale signs of an overdue dye job. But, unless you want to be like Bella Abzug or be constantly scrambling for the perfect head gear to coordinate with your outfit when your roots begin to show, I think this is just a so-so solution.

Some women decide to accept nature’s way and go completely gray. We know the ones who can pull it off, too. They sport a nice even salt and pepper blend that looks eye-catching and even youthful, despite being half gray. Then some women go completely silver gray or white and look sleek, sophisticated and quite elegant,

According to Wikipedia, two genes appear to be responsible for the process of graying, Bcl2 and Bcl-w. The change in hair color occurs when melanin ceases to be produced in the hair root and new hairs grow in without pigment.

My pigment-less roots are a pain! But for now, I guess I will continue to make my monthly visit to Lee Ann for my touch-ups. Eventually, I know I will become weary enough of this ritual, and despite enjoying my time at Just Hair, I will opt to let Mother Nature have her way and go completely gray. Maybe in 5 years at 60, or when I retire? Or when I turn 70, or…

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