Dye Another Day

“There is grey in your hair/Young men no longer suddenly catch their breath/When you are passing”

— W.B. Yeats, Broken Dreams

There is a terrible condition that many women my age seem to suffer from. It isn't strictly speaking medical, but there is definitely a psychological component attached to it. It can rule our lives on a daily basis - at least if we look in the mirror, and I am yet to know a woman who can get ready for the day without doing that.

I call it OCIHSMGH Syndrome.

What is this dreadful disease, I hear you cry? Is it terminal? Is there any relief to be had? Should I simply give up now and stay under the doona for the rest of my natural life?

The answers are respectively it isn't a disease, although it makes one want to take muscle relaxants (read: drink wine) on a regular basis; it's not terminal, although there is no comeback from it; there is definitely relief, although it's temporary... and as for the doona call?

It's tempting at times, but probably not. You would be missed.

So what exactly am I talking about?

Grey hairs.


I have been going grey since my early 20s. If it was a nice, even, all over effort, I may even be tempted to just let it happen. But no - it's more like a piebald pony. Or a very strangely patched rabbit. So that means hair dye. Which means hairdressers. Because every time I do a home job, I stuff it up so comprehensively that I have to go to my lovely hairdresser to have her roll her eyes and fix up my mess.

What is particularly unfair is that guys the same age look great with the whole salt and pepper sprinkle going on. They don't spend zillions hiding the roots of all evil out of a need to look and feel like a normal human being rather than a 1,000 year old bog monster.

Silver fox indeed. Nobody ever says silver vixen.

And the worst part? I am weak. I like my hair looking nice. I willingly hide the damn grey, instead of embracing it. Much as I would love to say that I am prepared to totally give up and say 'sisters, rebel - we have nothing to lose but our peroxide', I know, for my sins, that tomorrow I will trot off to said hairdresser in anticipation of the rendezvous with the Dread Pirate and lustre up the locks.

I am so weak.

But in this instance, I will embrace my weakness.

And just be grateful that it's 2013 - and that foils, colour shampoo and my darling hairdresser Rachael exist.

Otherwise it would be head under the doona time until I popped my clogs.

Or lots and lots of hats.

*OCIHSMGH stands for, not surprisingly, Oh Crap I Have So Much Grey Hair. But you probably worked that out for yourselves.