To dye or not to dye..

I have always been a true believer of aging gracefully. Of course I am not talking about being mature and pardoning and all that. I am talking about letting your hair fall or gray at it’s own will with no interference from you. My parents did that for most part – my father quite helplessly got to his present semi-bald state, and my mother interfered minimally with her graying thinning hair with irregular mehendi treatments.

Being so miserable at any means of self-maintenance myself, I’ve always wondered in awe at women who always dress impeccably and have manicured nails and perfect makeup. I also wonder at people who keep their hair colored perfectly, but I am mostly shocked by those who make very shoddy attempts at trying to keep their hair black. I have an uncle, who tried very hard with regular die, kali mehendi, herbal treatments, ayurvedic treatments and homeopathic treatments. His hair colored varied so wildly that every time I saw him, he looked very different from the last time I had seen him.

Some of my friends, have been coloring their hair for the past few years in shades of brown and burgundy. They’ve always envied me for having perfectly black hair, and attributed it to me being younger, which brings me to the story of my hair.

My hair had low self-esteem for a very long time. As long as my mother was responsible for my hair, I think I did fine. She did regular oil baths with shikha podi and oiled my hair all through the week. Once I became an obnoxious teenager, most of that stopped. I stopped oiling my hair, because I thought bouncing hair that didn’t stick to my head looked much cooler, I started using shampoo because that smelled better and was easier to wash off. Over a period of time, I realized my hair was growing where I didn’t want it to, and falling where I didn’t want it to fall from. My mother of course, told me in as many words as possible that it was because I did not listen to her. Once I landed in the US, and went for my first hair-cut, the hair dresser “wow”ed and “aaaw”ed so much at my hair, that I realized it was probably a lot better than I had imagined all these years. Hence my only regret since then has remained that my husband was not so awed by my beautiful locks and in general didn’t care if I had any or not.  

All was fine in hair territory until last week, within a period of two days I spotted three strands of white hair, and I am not even 30 yet! I am torn between not interfering in my natural aging process and having my hair colored. Clearly I am not old enough to age! Now I might end up having to be one of those women, who make hair coloring appointments, show up on time and have someone spread gooey stuff all over the head. I would have to sit there and pretend to be relaxing, while my mind would take off contemplating all the impossible things that could happen to my life, have a competition between my brain and the clock to see how accurately I can count time, read boring gossip magazines and learn useless pieces of information about people I don’t know or care about.

To dye or not to dye – that is the question, and the answer is as tangled as my hair can ever get!


30 thoughts on “To dye or not to dye..

  1. rohiniz4music

    Please dont do that to ur hair! dying is the last thing u’d want to do and that being in the US! maybe ur shampoo is giving ur hair some trouble… check that out.. coz once u get used to dying and stuff, things become pathetic and more importantly ur skin loses all its glow!

    Rekha: I don’t plan on starting just yet.. thankfully my skin doesn’t glow anyway – one thing less to worry about.

  2. 😦 I already have grey hair and I turned 26 this month. However, I’ve noticed that greying has increased exponentially after my marriage. Hmm….I wonder!

    Rekha: Oh ya.. marriage does that and more.. take it from me!

  3. You are worried about the 3 strands of gray hair and here I am with 30+ ( actual figure even more!!) strands and using mehendi to conceal the same!!! LOL

    Rekha: Ayyo.. that mehendi treatment is a pain.. it gets on your clothes and colors everything except the white hair!

  4. oh i found my first strand in college time. imagine..!

    but thankfully none after that. they are still nice natural brown (paratta talai as my grandma calls them) the way i like them.. but i too am worried what i will do in the years to come..

    Rekha: I think one of mine also has been around a long time.. the other two I had not seen before.. that got me worried.

  5. As long as it is only a few strands that can be hidden by others I would say no. I am in the same boat as you are and have decided i will wait until the hiding is no longer possible.

    Rekha: Yes yes.. I am also waiting until it becomes unbearable.

  6. even guys have grey probs ok!, thnx to yor post I gazed in teh mirror for around 10mins to find two strands!


    Rekha: o o.. You’d better hurry up with finding your girl.. no body wants to marry a 20 something thatha..Puriyardha?

  7. I am not worried about grey. I have your dad’s problem. Everyone from my mother’s side is bald/balding and I heard this particular nasty thing is hereditary from the mother’s side.

    Rekha: You have to hurry up more than max.. My father got it from his father.. so unless you’re already showing signs.. there is still hope to hold on to..

  8. I’ve been having gray hair since I was a senior in college (21. 22 yrs). I do have few now, its all about how I wear my hair now. Most of it is concealed by the hair style I wear.

    Rekha: Hair-dos do the job!

  9. You should leave it. Very soon when you are old enough, you will get the Indira Gandhi look 🙂 I am getting a couple of white hair strands too. If I leave it, I will get the Shivaji Ganesan or even Rajinikanth in Padayappa look. But only thing is, I am afraid that in far future, all of my hair will turn white and I will get the Gopalakrishnan look, you know the guy who always plays the role of Police commissioner in the 80’s movies.

    Rekha: Haha.. The problem is very soon I won’t be old enough to look like that. I don’t mind looking like that 20 years down the line. Now is just too soon. You would also need that fancy white and black banded beard that Sivaji ganesan started sporting when he got old..

  10. A few years back I started seeing a few gray strands and I was literally MORTIFIED of telling my mom (I’m 26 now). My mom still says that once I left her roof and stopped listening to her advice (apply coconut oil everyday, don’t shampoo so often, only wash with shikkai, sambrani, etc.) I was a lost cause. Anyway, I started going to this organic salon where they use only ORGANIC dyes, and I must admit it’s actually pretty good and it lasts! Dying your hair isn’t the end of the world if you want to do it. It doesn’t mean you’re being vain or straying away from the “be natural” philosophy. Meanwhile, a few grays also don’t take away from your beauty. If you end up deciding you do want to dye, look into places in your area. Organic dye is definitely less harsher and healthier for the hair.

    Rekha: Ohh.. organic… never thought about that..

  11. Rohit

    Balding comes from the maternal side, most often, and they say that if your maternal grandfaher was bald, you are that much likely to go bald yourself.. and may i remind you, appa’s maternal thatha, was most probably bald. 😉

    Rekha: I have heard so much about D.R thatha’s eyes, that I didn’t quite notice anything in the pictures but his eyes.. should look a little above that next time.. you are probably spared if your theory is right…

  12. padmajav

    I think you should leave it for now. I started colouring my hair just for kicks 10 years ago. I did have one or two grays then, but over the years its increased so much. One kind lady who coloured my hair told me that in my case, its not age-related, but continuous exposure to hair colour. 😦 Now I’m stuck with colouring my hair for the rest of my life. Just to feel better, I try those copper highlights and blonde streaks once in a while!

    Rekha: I have no time for a hair-cut or eyebrows.. where is the time for this.. No way I am going to start unless it becomes unbearable.

  13. You have a very interesting site…first time on your blog..loved ur posts..I got my first white hair when I was in my tenth and there is no end to it..I have so much that too in the front portion that I sometimes put mehendi (only for occassions as I am very very lazy and take more time for it to ensure not even a drop falls on my dress or any other place..hahhaha)

  14. I am 24, and have about hundreds of gray hair 😀 I am much confused whether to color or not (Amma keeps saying NO, as she has had her days of dying it black for professional life) and says it damages more! Thinking of mehendi treatment, but no time for yeeeet!

    My cousin brother is 23, and he colors his hair black for 2 years now. He was full of gray hair right from age of 19 !

  15. Use Curry Leaves Oil for black hair. Applying curry leaves oil helps to have black thick hair. (available in siddha shops, shops near temples- 100ml for Rs.25).

    It is cool for the head and is ideal for summer time.

  16. Missing in Action


    name:nri maami
    citizen: netizen
    missing since : feb 16th
    description: regular blogger. vanished after post on the feb 16th describing her issues with dyeing or not dyeing. vanished without a trace. missing for over a month.

    did the maami dye her hair too much and the fumes jumbled up the wiring of her brain? or did she overdo her vratham? or did her india trip just got her too home sick? hmm…

    finders will be suitably rewarded with more intellectual discussions in the lines of dyeing, pongal, navarathiri, g….etc etc.

    lets hop for nri maami and her speedy return.

    Rekha: Thank you for your wishes, Prem. I am now back! 😀

  17. hi miising in action,

    yes we too miss nri mami’s writing. The indian (chennai tirunelveli mami has) come back on 11th april. so we hope and pray that NRI mami also will come soon (recessions are getting over).

    Like the upcoming economic boom, we expect blog boom from nri mami.

    Rekha: Ayyo.. blog boomaa? You’re too kind I say 😀 and Chennai Tirunelveli maami and me in the same sentence.. come on now…

  18. NRIMaami eppo varuvaanga ebdi varuvaanga nu yaarukumay theriyaadhu…eppo varanamo appo correctaa varuvaanga!

    Rekha: Adengappa.. dialogue elaam balamaa irukku? Correcta vandhirkaena incorrectaa vandhirkaenaanu therilae.. aana vandhutaennu naenakaraen.

  19. I recommend Prussian Blue streaked with Ivory white

    Rekha: Nice to see your comment here. Prussian Blue and Ivory white would be lovely combination for a Pattu podavai.. not so sure about my hair though!

  20. Aditi

    the friends who dye their hair burgundy and red etc etc… thou meaning moi………..hehehe!

    Rekha: Of course.. who else? 😀

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