Posted by: cassymuronaka | July 1, 2011

Aging Fun: Hair

When I was young and free of the need for complicated hair products, I swore I would never dye my hair when I got older, but instead, wear purple every day and blissfully embrace the changes that come with age.


At the time that I made this naive statement I was taking a calculated risk, despite my residence in youth-obsessed Southern California.  My parents had proven to be genetically blessed with lovely white hair. It had arrived slowly for each of them, blending evenly through their natural darker color. And not one light hair had shown up on their heads until they were well into their 60s.

But I began busting out steel-colored hairs in my early 40s, wiry things that called attention to themselves by curling straight up while the rest of my hair was styled in another direction.  And, as my gray hairs raced in, I was horrified to see that that I was heading in the direction of Mrs. Herman Munster, with two strong skunk streaks beginning to develop on either side of my face.

Complicating my situation was my marriage at 37 to a a man of Japanese ancestry who was seven years younger than me.  It quickly became clear that like many Asian and Black Americans, my husband was going to age very slowly in appearance — if at all — whereas I was already on my way to resembling Dorian Gray’s younger sister.

I finally threw in the towel when my son was about eight years old, a child born when I was 39.  By this time, I had already endured years of restaurant and department store personnel asking me if they could help me or my “grandson.”

As I write this, I have the computer monitor pulled up with within about an inch of my nose, so I can read without my glasses, while I kill the 45 minutes needed to let the bleach and expensive #7-1 and #8-0  tubes of Schwarzkopf Ligora hair dye do their magic on my eyebrows and hair.

And then I’ll take a shower and check the closet to see if I have any purple shirts.



  1. You are hilarious!
    Red Hat Society, baby!

  2. “There is only one cure for gray hair. It was invented by a Frenchman. It is called the guillotine.” — P. G. Wodehouse

  3. I gave up long ago and began coloring my hair. Unfortunately my naturally brunette hair grows so fast that attempts to maintain that shade condemned me to the dread skunk head look. So I’ve embraced blonde. Still grows fast, but the grey roots blend much better with the pale blonde streaks. 😉
    Happy coloring!

  4. I decided that $200 a month was much better spent on something other than my hair and at 54 went “au natural”. Yeah, I look older, but then again I am older than I was when I had plain ol’ brown hair. My children are adults and so I’ve allowed myself to be me. Except for the air-brush tan, manicure, and Spanx that is!

  5. Do you have a “snapshot” memory of where you were when you discovered your first gray hair. I do; I was in Kodiak, Alaska at the time. I wrestled with myself for several hours before I finally pulled it out.

    And I remember you and me styling (well, loosely speaking) each other’s hair when we were teens and using LOTS of hairspray. Lots.

    • What a memory. No, I’ve probably buried that moment at the back of my brain.

      My husband used to ask me to tweeze out the gray hairs at the back of his head. I told him he was crazy if he thought I was going to do that.

  6. I’d be afraid to do my eyebrows–the way I hurt myself just doing things that should be SAFE, can you imagine what would happen if I ignored the warnings about eyebrows????

    I want to see the after picture now!

    Oh–as I said on fb, I keep thinking that I really, really should go grey (this is my socio-political self doing this thinking)…and then I see how it looks and go running for the color.

    Ha–I liked the part about David wanting you to tweeze his hairs! I could do that for Manny, but he’d be totally BALD!

  7. Here here! My mother is 86 and still “blonde” and I have been coloring my hair since my teens when we all wanted to look like Cheryl Tiegs on the Summer Blonde ads. Cover up those roots and rock on!

  8. Still talking hair? I streaked my hair silver-blonde when I was in high school. Now I get the silver highlights for free! I don’t mind the way it looks.

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